Want to increase your newsletter revenue? First, you have to answer the question, “what exactly are advertisers looking for when sponsoring a newsletter?”
The answer to this question may surprise you.
When choosing which newsletters they want to sponsor, most advertisers look for specific qualities that can directly translate into revenue.
In this guide, we’ll share the inner workings of how Paved secures large sponsorship deals and give you the action items you need to do to increase the amount of money coming in from ads on your newsletter!
Brands spend millions on newsletters every year
If you’ve been struggling in the trenches for a while, remember this simple fact.
Brands spend millions on sponsorships.
But here’s the catch, individual newsletters struggle to capture that revenue because of one major issue; scale.
Here’s a powerful quote from an advertiser:
“One small newsletter sponsorship just doesn’t quantify the manual effort needed to book the campaign.”
Advertisers want to spend their ad budget on newsletters. They know newsletters are a great way to get in front of a highly engaged audience that’s opted-in to a topic.
But the effort has to be worth their while. Advertisers simply don’t have the capacity to reach out to hundreds of newsletters for sponsorships under $5,000.
That’s why Paved exists. We deploy large advertiser spend to you.
While sponsorships make up a large chunk of advertiser budget, more is spent on channels like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Twitter, and YouTube. Because these networks are automated, a single employee can quickly deploy and manage a large amount of ad spend. It’s a very efficient option for companies.
It’s one of the reasons why we work with such good advertisers — we make it possible for companies to ramp up their ad spend without more administrational work.
Let’s dive into how you can attract bigger advertisers to your newsletter.
Know your audience if you want to increase newsletter revenue, because it’s what advertisers look at first
For marketers and brands, getting in front of the right audience is the most crucial part of advertising.
You need to really know your audience for big advertisers to get interested in your newsletter.
“Even if the performance stats are strong; if it’s not the right audience, we won’t pull the trigger ”
How can you get to know your audience better?
Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one! You just need to go out and ask them.
Ask your audience by running surveys and including a feedback button in every single email.
Here’s a great example of a detailed demographic’s survey that you can send to your subscribers.
For newsletter feedback, Eric Adamowsky, creator of The Report includes a thumbs up or thumbs down icon at the bottom of each email.
When you click it, it pops up a feedback box where you can leave more detail. Eric receives hundreds of responses with every send. It’s a fantastic way to figure out what content readers like or dislike.
Present your audience metrics in a data-format
No advertiser wants to read an essay about your audience’s quirks. They want to know the answer to one question.
“Does this audience look like the audience I’m trying to reach?”
To quickly get them to make a decision, present your audience in stats.
- Location: 80% US, 10% CAD, 5% UK
- Industries: 50% tech, 30% finance 20% Business services
- Types: 80% Fortune 500 and 10% SMB’s
- Departments: Sales is 31%, Finance 21% and Marketing 18%
- HHI: $200K+
- Interests: New business solutions, tech news
- Gender: 60% women & 40% men
- Location: 97% US
- Age: 30-65,
- HHI: $100k+
- Interests: conservative in nature, family-oriented, new technology, healthy living resources and fresh ideas.
Niche audiences are becoming very popular with large advertisers. For example, a recent advertiser was looking to reach logistical professionals in the manufacturing space. That’s a very specific niche only served by a few newsletters.
Brands can collect more data on their audiences than ever before. They build comprehensive customer profiles and buying journeys that result in a more detailed target audience. Thanks to the abundance of data, audiences that are more specific, and less broad, are in demand.
Getting specific on your audience is your change to outshine larger platforms like Google and LinkedIn.
Using the niche angle, you can earn newsletter revenue by directly competing with the targeting capabilities of social media.
On top of the increased demand for niche audiences, we’ve found that a small subscriber base predicts better engagement. Below, we’ve shown newsletter performance (open rate and click-through rate) to subscriber count.
As you can see, the fewer subscribers a newsletter has, the more clicks and impressions the sponsorship receives. This is especially true for newsletters under 15k subscribers.
“Focus on your audience data and stats, and you’ll outshine the bigger newsletters”
Native ads always win over banner ads
Native ads are designed to look and read like original content. And it’s one of the biggest benefits to newsletter advertising.
Banner ads are designed to grab attention with big bold colors, images, and text. They usually don’t match the surrounding content. So naturally, readers quickly notice the ad.
Quality ad space is what advertisers want
53% percent of consumers look at native ads more than display banners.
And with 2x the number of eyes on native ads, can you guess which ones perform better? Over at Paved, we’ve found that banner ads don’t get much interaction. Native is where it’s at.
Here are two examples of native ads from Noom. See how smoothly the ad integrates with the regular content? That’s what advertisers are looking for.
Leave enough room for proper education
While short, snappy one-liner ads have their place, advertisers are more than willing to pay for a higher word count. It means they have more room to educate readers about their product.
Longer, informative sponsorships maintain the value of your newsletter and reduce ad fatigue. Something interesting to read will always trump an in-your-face ad.
Knowledge is power as they say – and these longer ads tend to get a higher click through rate. A higher CTR means you can charge more for every sponsorship position, further boosting newsletter revenue.
In this example from the newsletter Owler, you can see the sponsorship by Jamf (bottom) has plenty of space for in-depth information.
Let advertisers know upfront what your ad placement looks like, how many characters or words you allow, and image specifications. They’ll be that much more likely to purchase a sponsorship with you.
Clearly communicate your performance metrics
Native ads are a performance-driving force. Done correctly, you won’t lose subscribers and your advertisers will get even better results. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Advertisers need to know three key metrics:
- How many subscribers you have
- Average unique open rate
- Average total click through rate
That’s what every single publisher shares. But you can take it up a level and share three more metrics that’ll help them see exactly how much value you bring to the table:
- Usual click through rate for sponsorships
- Ballpark cost per click for sponsorships
- Number of leads previous advertisers have received
The three metrics above are how advertisers will judge the quality of a sponsorship. So make it easy for someone to see how much value they get out of a sponsorship.
Pro tip: If you want to know how to price your sponsorships perfectly, check out this free calculator.
What advertisers want: Efficiency and ease
“I don’t have the internal resources to spend my budget”
We hear this a lot from advertisers coming to work with us.
You want to find ways to help advertisers book and run sponsorships quickly and efficiently.
The bigger the advertiser, the bigger the budget. And the less time and resources they want to dedicate on talking to individual publishers. This is an opportunity for you to get smart with processes.
Why convenience is everything to bigger advertisers
Imagine you had $100,000 to spend on newsletter advertising in the next three months. Knowing that smaller audiences perform better, how would you go about spending it?
Let’s pretend that the average cost of sponsoring a newsletter with 15k subscribers is $500.
You’d need to find 200 publishers! And then you’d have to write the creatives, book the campaigns and report on the results.
In a nutshell, you would have to run 2 campaigns every single day. That’s a crazy pace when you’re working within a niche and one of the main reasons newsletter advertising struggles to scale.
On other mediums like Facebook, you create an ad, set audience parameters and you’re done.
Advertisers are looking for ways to centralize their campaigns in one place. If you can achieve ease of purchase, then your newsletter revenue is sure to increase
Join a marketplace for publishers – it’s free advertising for you
The restrictions of scale are why many brands are turning to large marketplaces (like Paved) where they can operate newsletter sponsorships like social.
They want triple their sponsorships without doing triple the work
Marketplaces also give you the opportunity to market your own newsletters (without cost). It’s basically free advertising for you.
Show advertisers you’re trustworthy
Big advertisers have big budgets and will want to spend it wisely.
It’s not enough just to send a pitch and your media deck. You need to build trust through results, communication,and professionalism. It’s essential to maintain the relationship if you want repeat sponsorships.
Be honest and professional in all your communication so that advertisers know you deliver on performance and ease of process
How to scale up your newsletter revenue
Advertisers want to scale and so should you. Here’s what you need to consider:
- Subscriber count
- Pristine list quality
- Ease of sponsorship purchase
Grow your readership
To get the big advertising whales you need to grow your reach. Reach is how companies set their advertising budgets. And if you offer similar performance but a larger reach, you’ll be able to charge more for your sponsorships.
Whilst niche newsletters perform better on average, it’s easier for larger advertisers to quickly Google a big name newsletter and hit ‘buy’. The results are fast and easy. Especially with well known brands like Morning Brew.
Here’s how you can increase your brand awareness to both brands and potential subscribers:
- Join marketplaces
- Embrace Twitter
- Increase the touch-points you have with your subscribers
- Start creating long-form content.
- Get featured on other websites
Land the Most Lucrative Sponsorships
We’ll bring back home to one simple fact that’ll take your newsletter revenue to new heights. Brands spend millions of dollars on sponsorships.
We’ve worked with newsletters who bring in millions of dollars in advertisers revenue in a year. And we’ve spoken to the advertisers who happily spend it.
Get more advertisers by presenting the right audience data, offering up performing native ads, and working to constantly increase your efficiency.