How to Run Ads On Your Newsletter

💰 Make money from your email list

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How Can You Make Money From Your Newsletter?

Do you have a newsletter? Have you ever thought about how to make money from it?

There are several ways to do it:

  • ads

  • products

  • services

  • subscriptions

Today, let’s focus on ads. I asked an expert about what to do and avoid when running ads on your newsletter. If you’ve thought about this or find newsletter ads intriguing, you’ll find the answers to the questions below very helpful.

Meet the Expert

Katy Huff is the co-founder of Madrev, an ad agency for newsletters.

Her and her business partner help newsletter operators find the right ad partners and connect companies with the audiences they want to reach.

Aka: they make your life infinitely easier, so you don’t have to look for ads constantly (when the time is right for that in your business).

I’m excited we get to tap into Katy’s expertise below. :)

How to Run Ads On Your Newsletter

1. For those going “wait, what, you can monetize your newsletter with ads?!?“, when is it a good idea to start selling ads on your newsletter?

You can at any time start monetizing your newsletter by listing your newsletter on Paved and see if you get any bites from advertisers.

That being said, I think for niche newsletters, 5K subs is generally the starting point for getting ads going, and 25K subs for more general content newsletters. 


2. In your experience, what’s the most successful way to get ad clients for those starting out? Is it smart to pitch companies directly or get listed on a directory? 

Nothing beats direct outreach.

The directories are good resources but typically newsletters that are on the smaller side see very low volume from them. 


3. Is there a rule of thumb for how to calculate ad rates?

Who Sponsors Stuff has a great resource for this! You can find it here.


4. What is the number one mistake you see when people sell their own ads for newsletters? How can they fix this?

Not sure if this is a number one mistake, but oftentimes I think people waste too much time making a big multipage media kit, when in reality a 1-sheeter works just fine (for 95% of newsletters). 

[Sidenote from me: Canva has great 1-page templates for starter media kits.]


5. Your newsletter is growing, you’ve got some money coming in from ads, and now you want to go further. When does it make sense to outsource ad selling to someone like you? When is it not a good idea (yet)?

When you find that you have more inventory that you can sell.


6. Anything else you wish I would have asked you?

Is all paid growth created equal? No. Be mindful about where you spend your money on paid growth. The cheapest newsletter sub is generally not going to be your highest quality sub. I.e. someone that clicks on ads and converts on the offer. 

Aaaand that’s it for today.

I find newsletters and newsletter monetization fascinating. Why? Because in the algorithmic day and age, newsletters can become small media companies of their own, see The Morning Brew, for example.

It’s great that newsletters can be a great tool for creative self-expression AND a viable business of their own. With the growing newsletter economy it’s almost like we’re going back to the heyday of blogging in the mid- to late 2000s.

Social media is fickle. A newsletter you can own. And that’s a good thing.

Happy Marketing,

Johanna 📣

PS: You can get full-service email marketing with my agency, Mercury.

Ways to Work With Me

When you’re ready, here are the ways I can support you with your marketing:

The Marketing Plan Guide walks you through making your own, personalized marketing strategy. It comes with exercises and step by step instructions that give you clarity and break down marketing strategy into bite-size chunks. Follow the link above for a preview of the guide at the bottom of the site.

Show Me Your Work - my 1:1 service where we solve your marketing challenges together. Get feedback on your marketing strategy, infuse your copy with life, or make your newsletter fun and not a weekly chore.

The Marketing Plan Bundle gets you both of the above at a 50€ discount.

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