When you’re trying to decide whether or not to monetize your newsletter with advertising, you might encounter a lot of mixed messages. And it’s not because there isn’t a lot of information out there—it’s because it can be hard to know which advice rings true, and which is just a myth.
Well, today, consider the Paved team your personal myth busters. We’re sharing four of the most common email advertising myths we hear in our work with hundreds of publishers—and, of course, letting you know the truth, too.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to place ads in your email newsletter, but we hope that we can make the decision process a little easier.
Let’s jump right in.
Myth: Your Readers Will Unsubscribe if You Advertise
As with any email you send, some percentage of readers will unsubscribe if you send an advertising email. That said, we’ve found that this number is usually not nearly as large as advertisers worry about.
We know you’re carefully watching your email metrics, but you should mostly worry about unsubscribes if you are sending irrelevant messages or spam advertisements.
In fact, you can send ads in a way that readers will actually be excited about. All you have to do is take advantage of the information you already know about your readers—you know their interests based on what your newsletter is about.
With that in mind, make a point to find advertising partners that are related to your niche. If you write a newsletter about camping, partnering with a tent company will feel natural.
Even better, most advertisers create special offers for email advertisements. Not only will your email ad be relevant, but you’ll be able to give your readers a killer discount or valuable ebook in the process.
Many publishers also provide a quick reminder in the header or footer of their emails that reminds readers where the email is coming from.
In this example, publisher Webdesigner Depot includes the same header as usual in their dedicated email blast, with the date and the notification that this is a “special edition.”
You can also add a note that explains that you’re sharing a partner offer to remind readers that the message is coming from a newsletter they like to read. That way, you don’t get accidental unsubscribes from confused readers.
Myth: Email Ads Undermine Your Credibility
The root of this myth is the assumption that your advertising content will affect your editorial content. It’s an issue that newspapers have dealt with for decades, as have magazines, blogs, and just about anyone with an ad on their website.
The easiest response to this myth is a reminder that you can do whatever you want on your own site and in your own newsletter. If you allow advertisers to impact your editorial content, you’ll undermine your credibility.
If, however, you choose to publish your actual opinions, regardless of the advertisers you work with, you can maintain your credibility
Additionally, always be sure to disclose when your content is sponsored, whether it is advertising, a sponsored blog post, or a social media post—after all, it’s against the law to hide this information.
You may also want to include a disclosure on your website or in your advertising emails. When in doubt, seek the advice of a lawyer.
As long as you disclose your advertising relationships and maintain your integrity as a writer, you don’t have to worry about undermining your credibility. Plus, most readers these days understand that advertisements are a necessary part of running an online business, and that they don’t necessarily affect editorial themes.
Myth: Email Ads Don’t Pay Well
This myths stems largely from articles that say you shouldn’t sell advertising, but instead, should create your own product. Have you ever noticed that most of the people telling you to sell an information product to make money from your audience are also trying to sell you an information product on how to do just that?
There’s nothing wrong with creating and selling your own product, but the idea that it’s the only way to make money from blogging is a myth.
In fact, you should probably diversify your income if you can, using affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising together. That way, if one income strategy stops working for you, you won’t be completely out of luck.
The amount you can make through placing ads in your email newsletter varies, but at Paved we give you the freedom to set your rates. That way, you’re always comfortable that your advertising is paying enough.
When setting your rates, take into consideration the size of your list, your open and click rates, and how many ad placements you’d like to run. Then, set a number that feels comfortable to you.
With Paved, advertisers can calculate the potential ROI of working with you, and they’ll reach out if your numbers are in alignment. If you’re curious about how your rates look from an advertiser’s perspective, play around with the ROI calculator on your Paved profile.
Myth: It’s Difficult to Work With Advertisers
Even if you can be convinced that email ads work, the inevitable next question is one of practicality: how do you actually start selling ads in your email newsletter? How do you find advertisers? How do you ensure you get paid fairly and quickly?
While the traditional way of working with advertisers might be difficult, these difficulties are the reason Paved exists. We are a sponsored content marketplace that streamlines the process of placing advertising for both advertisers and publishers.
When you join the Paved marketplace, you can create your own publisher profile, set your rates, and connect your ESP to fill in your profile with a robust media kit.
Then, advertisers come to you.
Not only do our community of advertisers search the Paved marketplace to find publishers to work with, but they also receive emails with recommended publishing partners each week. Then, they can research your brand and learn more about your audience on your Paved profile.
You’ll receive proposals from interested advertisers, allowing you to easily book your first advertising campaign.
Is it Time to Place Ads In Your Newsletter?
With these myths busted for you, you can now decide if newsletter advertising is right for you. Don’t fall into the same traps that other publishers have before you—weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself if you’re ready to place ads in your newsletter.
Want to experience the easiest way to work with advertisers? Join the Paved publisher network today and get advertisers to reach out to you.
Let us know in the comments if we missed any email advertising myths you’ve heard!