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Why You Should Have a Newsletter (If You Don’t Already)

Have a Newsletter

Building buzz, generating engagement, attracting advertisers — it’s all made easier when you have a newsletter. If you’re not already sending an email newsletter, now’s the time to start.

If you’re like most publishers, you probably spend a fair amount of time brainstorming ways to engage readers and expand your audience. Putting out high-quality content is a start, but in order for that content to gain traction you’ve got to have the eyes. 

How many people are directly typing your URL into a browser? How many are finding your site through Google searches or social media posts? Email newsletters open an entirely new avenue for people to discover and interact with your content. Newsletters are also a powerful vehicle for advertising sales, both in the form of display advertising and sponsored content.

Even though email newsletters are one of the easiest products for digital publishers to create, they’re still incredibly underutilized. Some publishers are worried that their subscriber lists are too small. Others aren’t sure what type of content their subscribers would want to receive. Nobody wants to go through the effort of developing and launching a newsletter, only to have it be a flop. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about that. If you’ve taken the steps to launch an email newsletter using the latest best practices, then it’s almost a guarantee your newsletter will be a success.

Monetizing Email Newsletters

Did you know that you can place display ads in newsletters? Using Broadstreet’s tools, digital publishers are creating a new stream of revenue with newsletter advertising. The two most common ways to place ads in email newsletters are RSS Merge (commonly used with Mailchimp) and “static” zone code. “Static” zone code is the preferable method of implementing ad zones, regardless of the email automation platform you’re using.

In addition to selling display advertising, you can also monetize newsletters by selling sponsorships to advertisers, placing affiliate links in the content, or promoting ancillary products, such as ebooks and e-commerce stores.

For smaller publishers, the best way to monetize newsletters is by setting up a direct sales program.

Essential Newsletter Stats for Publishers

Are you still on the fence about whether you should have a newsletter? Consider these industry statistics:

  • Email is one of the most reliable methods to boost content marketing, and 87% of B2B marketers use email as a distribution channel.
  • Email is the most reliable channel for nurturing and converting leads to sales.
  • Nearly half of consumers subscribe to at least one newsletter for news and entertainment. 
  • The average newsletter open rate for publishers is 21%.
  • 29% of publishers say email addresses are the most important digital asset in 2021.
  • With advanced segmentation, it’s possible to achieve an ROI of up to $44 for every $1 spent on email.
  • 64% of B2B and 48% of B2C publishers use website banner ads or newsletter sponsorships for monetization.

Newsletter Optimization Techniques

The best newsletters generate a positive ROI from the get-go. With a low barrier to entry, most small and mid-size digital publishers can get their newsletter products up and running within a matter of weeks.

In addition to being one of the most valuable channels for publishers today, newsletters are also versatile. Publishers with successful newsletter programs are creating multiple versions of their products. For example, some publishers send ad-based, ad-lite, and ad-free newsletters based on readers’ subscription levels. Free newsletters almost always contain display ads, however, giving readers the opportunity to pay a monthly fee to receive ad-lite or ad-free versions can increase revenue and add value. 

Many publishers are also leveraging newsletters to nurture their relationships with readers and drive more engagement on their websites. They do this by taking advantage of optimization techniques, like A/B testing headlines, or using heatmaps to study reading patterns. These kinds of techniques sound more complicated than they really are. Most email automation platforms already include the features and tools you need to take advantage of heatmaps and track how readers are interacting with your content. You’ll want to look at the trends and see how your newsletters are performing over time to tell whether certain design or UX changes are impacting performance.

To learn even more about the benefits of having an email newsletter, read How to Monetize an Email Newsletter.

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