Profitable Email Newsletter: How to Earn a Living with Email!
Are you interested in having a profitable email newsletter?
Newsletters can make a lot of money these days. They can even turn into full-time jobs with employees and everything. People love to consume content. They especially love to consume content about their favorite topics and trades.
But where would you start if you wanted to create a profitable email newsletter? There are so many avenues and starting points that it almost feels like it isn’t worth it.
But I’m here to tell you that sort of thinking is wrong. Starting a profitable newsletter isn’t as difficult as you might think it is.
Sure, you’ll have to work and be dedicated to it like any startup. And nothing happens overnight. I’ll always be blunt about those two things.
But with the right attitude and will to turn your newsletter into a profit machine, you can do it. And to help you, I created this wonderful guide.
My guide focuses on what would help you earn a living with a newsletter, not just earning a little bit here and there.
Jump to a section in this guide:
A Profitable Email Newsletter needs a Niche
To create a profitable email newsletter, you need the right niche.
You’ll have to define a target audience that will be worth the effort of promoting profitable techniques. Many newsletter writers fail in this area because they don’t initially define their niche or target audience.
It’s important to do these things before you start creating your newsletter.
Most Profitable Email Newsletter Niches
There are many different newsletter niches out there.
Choosing a niche topic, you’re most passionate about is best. That way, you won’t get bored or overwhelmed with the niche.
But if you do need some inspiration for what niche to choose, these are typically the most profitable email newsletter niches that creators choose:
Personal Finance and Investing: Budgeting and money management, debt management, saving and investing, financial planning and retirement, passive income, side hustles, taxes, early retirement, personal finance for a specific generation, student loan debt, women’s finance, and small business financial advice.
Health and Wellness: Fitness and exercise, nutrition and diet, mental health and emotional well-being, holistic health, alternative medicine, weight loss, women’s health, men’s health, senior health, chronic illness management, sleep health, mind-body practices, addiction, workplace wellness, and family health.
Technology and Gadgets: Smart home technology, wearable technology, mobile devices and apps, gaming, photography, video, computer hardware, computer software, audio technology, tech news, robotics, cyber security, and web 3.
Business and Entrepreneurship: Startups and venture capital, eCommerce and online businesses, small business management, social media marketing, leadership and management, sales and marketing, business strategy, franchising, business technology, international business, business law, and business networking.
Lifestyle and Product Recommendations: Fashion and style, beauty and skincare, home décor and interior design, travel, health and wellness, books and literature, sustainable living, pet care, hobbies, craft, and outdoor recreation.
Food and Recipe: Healthy eating, baking, international cuisine, quick and easy meals, vegan meals, fine dining, gluten-free food, comfort food, desserts, seasonal and holiday recipes, meal prep, and culinary techniques.
Personal Development and Self-Improvement: Mindfulness and meditation, productivity and time management, emotional intelligence, self-esteem building, goal development, wealth mindset, leadership development, communication skills, social skills, dating skills, personal branding, and creativity.
Parenting and Family: Early childhood development, positive discipline, behavior management, parenting in specific stages, single parents, special needs parenting, blended families, parenting technology, homeschooling, parenting education, and family history research.
Identify Your Target Audience
Choosing a niche you know a lot about and are passionate about is important. This will ensure that you can continue sending emails about it without running out of ideas or getting bored with a topic you know very little about.
You should also conduct market research to understand if your niche has an audience, to begin with. Not every niche has a nig audience on the internet. An audience must be present to have a profitable email newsletter.
The best way to create buyer personas is to understand your audience and their needs and wants. If you have studied their buying behaviors, reached out to them in various communities, and understand your niche in general – you can easily create a persona.
Analyze your competitors as much as you can. Always try to understand what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. The best way to reach an audience is to fill in the gaps of what your competition cannot provide them while still giving relatable and familiar value that others give.
Try to reach out and engage with any existing audience you might have. These could be social media followers or blog commenters. Survey these followers and ask them what sort of content they would want to see in a newsletter related to the niche. To succeed, you should write for your audience rather than yourself.
Refine your value proposition by doing the things recommended above. But you should also define your USP or Unique Selling Point. This is what makes your newsletter different from the other newsletters in your niche. If it’s the same old content as everyone else, success will likely not occur. It’s important to be unique but even more important to provide the value that your subscribers want.
Segment your audience by understanding their needs, interests, and demographics. You’ll eventually learn to send emails to different segments based on what you know about your audience. Knowing your audience is important as it will help you maintain a profitable email newsletter by making choices that impact audience segments.
Always be willing to test and experiment. The best way to ensure that a profitable email newsletter can be successful is to try new things, monitor progress, and make changes when needed. You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone from time to time; otherwise, you’ll miss out on opportunities. Some of the opportunities could be major paydays for you.
Always ask for feedback. I try to include a quick survey in all my email newsletters, asking subscribers what they thought about the recent issue of the newsletter. I asked what they liked the most, what they didn’t like, and what they would want to see in the future. After you get your feedback, where appropriate, try to incorporate it into your newsletter. Write for them, not you!
Times will change. Trends will die. New trends will form. Changes are always going to happen. A good idea and understanding of change management are important for having a profitable email newsletter. You need to be able to adapt and evolve evening if it means leaving favorite styles behind. That’s just how the world works these days.
Focus on Building a Subscriber Base
To make money with a newsletter, you need a good subscriber base.
Without subscribers, you won’t make any money. If you want to make a substantial amount of money, you’ll need a lot of subscribers.
Using every ethical resource you can to gain new subscribers is important. I say ethical because there are unethical ways of getting subscribers that you should always avoid – like spamming.
Create Value for Potential Subscribers
It’s important to create value for your subscribers.
You can do this by creating compelling opt-in incentives. Offer something amazing to visitors as a result of them subscribing to your newsletter. The incentive needs to be something worth subscribing to and sought after. Research what your competition is offering and try to offer something even better.
Create opt-in forms and landing pages for your newsletter. Use persuasive copywriting techniques to encourage subscriptions. These forms and landing pages are meant to sell your newsletter to your audience. What sort of wording would make you want to subscribe to a newsletter?
Offer content upgrades to subscribers. You should first try to create the best content possible and then give it away for free in a blog or something like that. Then you create additional content that provides even more value. But only give it to those who subscribe to your newsletter.
Offer a referral program. Reward subscribers who get other people to subscribe to your newsletter. This is the best way to gain organic ambassadors. It will mean a lot to your dedicated and loyal subscribers when you reward them for helping grow your list.
Conduct webinars and online events for subscribers. These live events will allow them to get closer to you and ask questions. They’re great for engagement and encouraging others to subscribe. Share the event information publicly but only allow subscribers to see the actual live event.
Promote Your Newsletter
You will gain most of your subscribers by promoting your newsletter. There are many great ways to promote a newsletter.
Guest blogging and collaborations can help you gain subscribers. Write blog posts on other blogs and include a link to your newsletter landing page in your bio. Make sure you write a blog post that is of your best work. Your intention should be to impress the reader and persuade them to learn more about you by checking out your bio. There are other forms of collaboration than just blogging. These include video and photo collaborations.
Be a guest on a podcast to get more subscribers. Try to stick to podcasts that are related to your niche. The show notes are usually great for linking to your newsletter landing page. You can also talk about your newsletter on the show.
Social media is another great platform to share your newsletter. It helps if you’ve built a strong following on social media before sharing. If you’re new to social media, you might want to use paid ads and promotions on social media to get the word out about your newsletter.
If there are influencers in your niche, you should attempt to collaborate with them. You may have to pay or even offer them something free (like advertising in your newsletter) to get them to work with you. Influencers typically have a lot of followers, and these followers could become loyal subscribers to your newsletter if you play your cards right.
Put a link to your newsletter on your email signatures. You should also add CTAs (Calls to Action) on any blog or website you manage that relates to their newsletter. This is where copywriting and persuasive messaging are going to come in handy. It’s good to offer a free incentive for new subscribers when using these promotional methods.
Optimize your landing page and website for search engines. Conduct keyword research on terms that are related to your newsletter’s niche. Implement an SEO strategy to help list your pages on page one of Google search results. Start building links and focusing on search engine rankings. The more you see on search engines, the more subscribers you will likely gain to help you make a profitable email newsletter.
Paid advertising is good to use for promoting a newsletter. You can use paid ads on social media, Google, websites, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts directly. However, it’s important to create goals to earn more money from an advertising campaign than what you spent on it. It might not be that way at first, as you’re trying to promote your list, but that should be the goal later on down the road.
Attend public speaking events based around your niche and promote your newsletter at the beginning and end of your speech. Create business cards and hand them out to people who would make great subscribers. Obviously, make sure your newsletter link is on your business card. Utilizing QR codes is best for this sort of thing.
Offer Premium and Exclusive Content
Sometimes, the best way to create a profitable email newsletter is to create a premium newsletter.
A premium newsletter is simple. Subscribers pay to get it. It would be no different from a magazine subscription, but it’s digital. You can also put almost any kind of price on it as long as the value of its contents is worth the cost.
But creating something for free is important to create hype for the premium newsletter. Personally, I suggest creating a free newsletter and a premium membership with extra premium content within the newsletter.
Create a Premium Membership
Consider creating an online community for premium members.
You’ll need to define premium content and post it regularly. Then you give a sneak peek at the content of your free newsletter. You explain to subscribers that premium members can access the full content. Provide a link for premium members to log in but also enable a registration form for free subscribers to upgrade if they want to.
Create a tiered subscription system. Offer three memberships. Offer a free membership with limited features to the basic newsletter. Offer a low-end cost premium plan with limited online community features. And finally, offer a full high-end cost premium plan with access to everything.
Develop a content calendar for your premium content. Try to create the content beforehand to have it available by the due date. Give yourself due dates and make yourself complete them. If you don’t keep consistent with premium content, you’ll lose premium members and won’t build a profitable email newsletter.
Establish a good pricing strategy for paid newsletters or premium online community memberships. You shouldn’t undercharge yourself and all your hard work. But you don’t want to overcharge for premium features as it will scare potential customers away. Sometimes it’s best to offer a monthly rate with a discounted annual rate. I suggest looking at other paid communities and newsletters in your niche and seeing how you could compare.
Implement a secure payment system for your premium subscription. You should use something familiar to online shoppers, such as Stripe credit card processing or PayPal. Make sure you add domain security (SSL/HTTPS) to your main landing page and website. This is an SEO factor and has been for a while. Let’s Encrypt offers a free version that most website creators use.
Provide exclusive benefits over features. Features are things that some subscribers will use while other subscribers will choose not to use them. Features are merely specific and not for everyone. A benefit, however, is there to make someone’s life better. It improves their life in some way. Always try to promote benefits more than features to create a profitable email newsletter.
Engage with premium subscribers. You should engage with all subscribers. But premium subscribers should get a little more engagement priority than regular free subscribers. They’re paying you, after all! Engaging with premium subscribers will help to encourage them to continue being premium subscribers.
Premium content should be evaluated and updated regularly. To ensure that people keep paying for content, that content has to be the best you can offer. This means that you’ll always need to ensure it is up to par with what the premium subscribers want to see. This means you must constantly research and ask for feedback to keep premium content at its best.
You should promote premium content every chance you get. You can promote previews or even past content that has already been paid for. You can do this with your free newsletter, a blog, and social media. The idea is to promote the content to generate new subscribers willing to upgrade to the premium plan.
Continuously add value to your premium sections. To retain premium members, they have to get value from everything you create for them. If you stop giving them value, they’ll likely stop being a premium member. It’s hard to get a premium member back who left because they didn’t think your content or benefits were worth paying for. Value is everything.
Types of Newsletter Content
It’s important that your entire newsletter adds value for subscribers, whether free or premium. Many different types of newsletter content typically add the most value.
Educational articles and guides: Create short articles and guides that educate subscribers about something critical in your niche. Try to solve major problems and answer tough questions here. Keep the content short, as mobile users scan most emails.
Exclusive Interviews and Q&A: Create content to show exclusive interviews and Q&A sessions with notable people in your niche. These people can be niche experts, businesses, new startups, regulatory personnel, and promoters. People love interviews and Q&A sessions.
Case Studies and Success Stories: Share useful case studies and success stories based on topics and products within your niche. This can help subscribers decide if they want to do something or buy something in relation to the niche.
Curated Content and Recommendations: Create content that is specifically gathered for a specific topic within a niche. You can create content and recommendations for these specific topics to provide to subscribers. Doing this gives them information without having to do all the work to research and find it since you do it for them.
Industry News and Updates: You can provide the latest industry news and updated information about the niche. In many cases, an industry has multiple news sources and updates. You can gather the information from those sources and create an accurate description of what has changed, and then provide it to your email subscribers.
Personal Insights and Stories: Many newsletter subscribers seek trustworthy sources for the industry and products they’re into. By creating content that highlights personal insights and stories about such topics, you can provide a lot of value for your subscribers.
Exclusive Discounts and Offers: Especially in times like today, with the threat of a looming recession, providing discounts and special offers exclusively to email subscribers can be a great way to give value to your newsletter. People are always looking for ways to save money or get a discount. If you can provide these sources for them, they’ll loyally follow you all the way to the end.
Interactive Content: Create and share interactive content with your subscribers. For example, create polls and surveys about different topics in your niche. This provides value for the subscriber, giving them a chance to interact, but it also gives you value by allowing you to collect data from poll and survey results which can be used to enhance and better your newsletter.
Sneak Peeks and Previews: If you can provide sneak peeks, previews, beta testing opportunities, and early access to compelling things within your niche or industry, this will provide value to your subscribers. This is especially true if you have your own products and services and use your email list to introduce them before making them public. It’s an incentive to subscribe and remain a subscriber.
User-Generated Content: Try to include user-generated content when possible. You should focus on subscriber content. Always ensure the subscriber allows you to share their content fairly and transparently. You could share user questions, success stories, and even user-contributed articles. In my outdoor newsletter, I share subscribers’ camping recipes from time to time, crediting them for providing the recipe.
Sell Sponsored Content and Ad Space
One of the best ways of creating a profitable email newsletter is to sell ad space and sponsored content.
This is how most newsletter creators earn most of their revenue outside of events and online community opportunities.
Many online companies are willing to purchase advertising space on industry-related newsletters for the right price and the right number of subscribers.
You’ll just need to ensure that you treat sponsored content as if it’s your own content.
To retain paid advertising clients, they need to be able to see positive results.
Selling sponsored content is a great way to create a profitable email newsletter.
Sponsored content differs from ads because you’re selling sections of your newsletter that will provide value and inform subscribers rather than just putting an ad in place.
The first thing you need to do is develop a media kit. You will use this to provide information to clients who wish to pay for sponsored content. You’ll want to make this your “selling point” with rates, metrics, and copy about why they should buy it.
I recommend creating multiple sponsorship plans with different pricing structures. Go for the sponsors who only want to pay little and those willing to pay more for more.
You will likely have to reach out to potential sponsors yourself rather than them coming to you. Make sure you craft a compelling sales pitch. Accept being rejected. It might happen a few times, but you must learn from it and keep trying.
Try to go with sponsors of products and services related to your newsletter’s niche. Sponsored content that doesn’t relate will likely be a turn-off for your subscribers. It might even cause them to hit the unsubscribe button. Don’t beg for scraps; instead, stay focused on your niche.
Allow sponsorship clients to customize their sponsored content. Be flexible with sponsors but don’t let them control everything. You should definitely have sponsorship terms and guidelines. And you must enforce them.
Measure and demonstrate the results of sponsorship campaigns. Potential sponsors must understand that their money will be used well. They need to see proof that you will deliver what they need.
Your sponsors are a lot like your subscribers. You really need both of them if you want to have a highly profitable email newsletter. So, with that being said, make sure you foster good relationships with your sponsors to keep them paying you. Always try to seek their feedback and optimize your services to them when appropriate.
Selling Ad Space
The most traditional way of getting a profitable email newsletter is through ad space sales.
The first thing you need to do is define where the ad space will be. You typically want ads close to the top but not at the very top. An advertisement shouldn’t be the first thing a subscriber sees. You can also place ads around the middle, too. I try to keep ads after the first two sections and then after every 3-4 sections afterward.
Promote your ad opportunities. You can promote them in your newsletter and even offer a referral bonus to subscribers who get ad buyers to you. You can promote it on your blog, main website, and social media. I’d even purchase advertising on social media, Google, and podcasts. When purchasing ads for ad sales, you aim to earn a profit, so advertising options are typically a safe way to market in this area.
Implement a way to track and report ad activities to the ad buyers. You want to show them that their ad is doing well and get them what they want to get from buying the ad in your newsletter. You have to have some kind of metric reporting.
Manage ad placement correctly. I suggest creating a spreadsheet that shows the ad buyer, their ad information, and the dates the ad will display. You can also include anything extra, like where the ad will display and if there is a contractual agreement. Try to ensure that you’re checking the ad management spreadsheet routinely to ensure the ad is correct.
Stay compliant and be transparent. Like with affiliate ads or sponsorships, your subscribers should be clearly made aware of an advertisement in your newsletter. If an ad buyer wants you to withhold that it’s an ad, don’t do business with them. To want to withhold that makes a person or their company shady.
Always be honest and transparent, or it can destroy your reputation and make you lose everything.
Conduct Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another form of profitable email newsletter technique used for years.
You advertise products and services with special links that track clicks and purchases. When a person purchases using your link, you’ll earn a commission on the purchase amount.
Commission payouts vary depending on your affiliate service or program, how much an item is worth, and so on.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with a newsletter if you’re advertising the right products and services.
Effective Affiliate Marketing
It’s important to understand the best practices regarding affiliate marketing.
For starters, you should only use affiliate links to items and things that directly relate to the niche of your newsletter. Don’t attempt to make every penny you can by choosing to use all affiliate networks, even if the links aren’t related to your content.
Make sure you disclose affiliate links as affiliate links. Don’t try to trick anyone. It’s against the law in some areas to be transparent about it. And it should be. Dishonest people don’t deserve to have success. Make sure you clearly show that a link is an affiliate link.
Select quality products and services for affiliate links. Even if you’re using affiliate links that relate to the niche of your newsletter, they still need to be of the best quality possible. Don’t ever advertise something you would never use. The moment you start pushing affiliates to things of bad quality is when you’ll see a significant unsubscribe rate on your newsletter.
Track affiliate marketing activities in your newsletter. For the ones that are doing well, try to duplicate that success. For the ones that are not doing well, change them to mimic the successful ones. If that doesn’t work, you should remove them altogether. An affiliate not generating you money is taking up valuable real estate on your newsletter.
Try to be able to offer discounts and bonuses with affiliate links. Subscribers are more likely to buy something if they get a good deal. Bonus products or discounts will be the good deal they’re looking for. And by giving them bonuses and discounts, you’re providing value to them in your newsletter.
Finding Affiliate Link Partners
Now that you have some advice for effective affiliate marketing, you should find affiliate link partners.
You can use big networks to get affiliate links. Amazon Associates is one of the largest and most known networks. It’s easy to get on with Amazon, and practically everyone buys products from Amazon. ClickBank is another larger affiliate network that is notable to be best for digital products. They’re also known for their higher-than-normal commission rates. There are other bigger affiliate networks to choose from. Do your research and go with the best one suited for your newsletter.
The best affiliate networks are ones specific to your niche. Sometimes, it’s not even a network. Sometimes, it’s a brand or company that offers affiliate links. These tend to be some of the best affiliate links to market because their services and products are directly related to the content in your newsletter.
You can also use affiliate link directories to find partners. These directories often have more features in terms of fine-tuning your search for the best possible affiliate partners. Many of these directories do have a price tag, though. It’s something to take into consideration.
You should also see what affiliate networks and partners your competition uses. You might be able to use them, too. If your competition is using them, chances are, it’s generating a profitable email newsletter. That’s definitely worth looking into.
Sell Products and Services
One of the best ways to make money with a newsletter is by selling your own products and services.
These products and services could be physical, digital, or even a mixture of both.
The idea is to skip out on any middlemen that hinder your ability to make the full amount you deserve. Of course, other expenses will likely be, such as having an online store and payment processor.
But by selling your own stuff, you can still make more money than other ways of profiting with your newsletter.
Start Selling Products on Your Newsletter
You must create a product strategy to start selling your products and services with your newsletter. Your strategy will outline your products, how you will market them, and the profit you envision from selling them.
You’ll need to set up an eCommerce platform. Personally, I use a WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. I find it easiest to use, and for the most part, it’s free for what I need it for. I do have to pay a percentage to payment processing. Every processor will make you pay something. It’s best to demo different eCommerce platforms to choose the one that’s best for you and your audience.
Make it a mission to master the art of storytelling and copywriting. These skills will allow you to write in a way that reflects the needs of your subscribers. You’ll be able to sell your stuff with persuasion in mind and emotional connection. All the best sales folks have used copywriting and storytelling for years to make sales. Learn it and live by it!
Create dedicated email messages for your products and services. It’s fine to send these types of promotional emails every once in a while. Sending them every single day will likely result in annoyance and unsubscribes. But most newsletter subscribers expect the creator to try to sell them something every once in a while.
Offer discounts and promotions for your products and services as incentives for new subscribers and rewards for existing subscribers. Create your copy in a way that praises the subscriber for subscribing to your newsletter. And then give them the deal they want to see. You’ll make quite a bit of sales doing it this way.
Use segmentation to send product emails. Segmentation is when you understand the demographics, interests, and needs of sub-groups within the main niche group of your audience. You can send specialized product email messages to certain types of subscribers and sub-groups that will likely benefit from your products and services more than others.
Put customer reviews and testimonials in your newsletter and product emails. People want to see what others think about a product or service before making buying decisions. Customer reviews are important for your business, and you should take full advantage of their selling power.
Try implementing features that send emails to subscribers who have put your products or services in their shopping cart but never paid for them. Sometimes, these emails can get subscribers to finish their shopping and buy your products. We all tend to forget what we were doing five minutes ago; a little reminder is nice to get things done.
As an eCommerce business, you should have the best customer service and support that anyone can offer. Respond to every sales question (even if you must repeat yourself) and be quick about it. Create a spreadsheet with answers to common questions. This way, you can quickly respond to customer service and support requests. Great customer service reviews are often what get people to choose to buy from a company.
Track your sales and CTR metrics. Track any metric about your sales to understand the timelines of how your customers buy from you. The CTRs or Click Through Rates also help paint a picture of what customers are looking at the most. By tracking this information, you can significantly improve your eCommerce business.
What to Sell on a Newsletter
There are many different types of products and services you can sell in your newsletter.
Physical Products: If you buy or create physical products, newsletters are a great place to promote and sell them from. Some examples of physical products could be anything from apparel to parts to a specific type of machine.
Digital Products: Digital products are products that are solely digital-based or can only be used online or through an internet connection. Some great examples of digital products include eBooks, templates, itineraries, and graphics.
Subscriptions and Memberships: Subscriptions and memberships are good products to sell with newsletters. A good example of this is when a newsletter sells a subscription plan to its paid online community.
Services: You could also sell services from your newsletter, whether digital-based or physical. Examples of this include SaaS products, cleaning services, and consulting.
Affiliate Products: You can make a very profitable email newsletter solely based on affiliate marketing. An example of this is when you promote a specific product like SaaS products and earn a commission every time a subscriber buys the product using your affiliate link.
Merchandise: This type of product is mainly sold by influencers and online creators. Examples include t-shirts and other apparel, branded office supplies, and items associated with bands and singers.
Curated Products: Curated products are a great way to make a profitable email newsletter. A great example of a curated product is selling a bundle of templates to a web designer who wants to make different types of graphics for their customers.
Event Tickets: If you have an upcoming event or are an affiliate partner of one, you can use your newsletter to promote the event and sell tickets to it. A good example of this would be an event organizer using their newsletter to sell tickets to their convention.
Exclusive Content Bundles: Exclusive content bundles are best to sell on newsletters for audiences that are looking for specific types of content. A good example of this would be a news agency offering paid access to premium news stories or bundled articles.
Personalized Products: These products are often customized and personalized for the buyer. A good example would be a company that uses its newsletter to sell custom cycling kits to its subscribers.
Offer Webinars and Courses
One way to create a profitable email newsletter is to teach people what they want to learn about.
Webinars and courses are great for this sort of thing. They’re common, too. As most courses do, you can typically charge a nice profitable amount per year. But you’ll have to prove that you can provide valuable education.
It might be ideal for providing value for free in the form of your newsletter and blog until you gain enough expertise to offer a paid course or webinar to your audience.
Webinar and Course Best Practices
Following some best practices when implementing a webinar and course strategy is important to create a profitable email newsletter.
First, you need to define your course topics and plan them. Try to choose a topic that your audience really wants to learn more about. You’ll create value with your webinars and courses if you can solve their problems and improve their lives.
Select a platform to conduct your webinar and courses on. Many premium online community platforms, such as Circle or Mighty Networks, are available for this. You could also use a conferencing tool such as Zoom or Teams. Try to select platforms that are easy for you to understand but also easy for your subscribers to use; otherwise, it could deter them from using it.
Make sure you set a date and time for your webinar and courses. This will allow you to have a due date to get everything done. But it also gives your audience plenty of time to prepare and ensure they can participate in the course.
Create promotional content that compels your audience. This is where you’ll need to spend some time with storytelling and copywriting. You want to sell and persuade your subscribers to purchase your webinar or course access. Make sure you show them how it will make their lives better and solve all their problems. But you better make sure you deliver what you promise.
Create your sign-up process for your course or webinar. Try to make it as simple as possible. The more information or steps you require in a registration process, the easier it will be to lose a participant. More steps often mean more confusion, and people will just quit registering rather than try to contact someone for help.
Establish a system of how you will monetize your course or webinar. You charge for access to the service and typically ask for a good amount of money. Most courses I use are usually over $100 for access. You could use sponsorship within the course as a way to make money, too. Or even combine both. You could put a pay gate on the course and show sponsorship to double your income.
Before you launch your course to the public, practice it first. You should practice and rehearse your course before you start allowing people to consume it. This will help you present it better and fill any gaps that you might find during the process. It will also alleviate any stress and embarrassment you might have done a course for others. You’ll know what to do at that point.
Types of Webinars and Courses to Offer
You might be wondering what kinds of courses or webinars to offer.
This really depends on your niche more than anything else. Your course or webinar should reflect the topic of your newsletter.
However, there are some great topics that many profitable email newsletter creators are using to boost their revenue with courses and webinars.
Skill Building: Help your audience develop and master your newsletter topics’ skills.
Business and Entrepreneurship: Teach your audience how to start their own business or improve their business practices.
Personal Development: Everyone is always trying to improve their lives. Show your audience how to make their lives better in a webinar.
Creative Workshop: Conduct a webinar that shows subscribers how to create something. Then you can have them create and show their work.
Health and Fitness: There are many courses and webinars that earn a great deal of profit by giving fitness tips to their audience. It could be a yoga class, spinning, or aerobics.
Technology and Digital Skills: Create a course that teaches people about the technology that enhances their digital skills.
Language Learning: Teach your audience to read, write, and speak a different language.
Finance and Investment: If you can show your audience how to spend their money wisely, save for retirement, and invest efficiently, you’ll certainly profit.
Leadership and Professional Development: Create a webinar that teaches leaders how to improve in the workforce or with their businesses.
Industry-specific Training: Teach your audience about specific skillsets and tradecraft associated with your newsletter’s niche or industry.
Master Research and Data Analysis
If you want to create a profitable email newsletter, you have to get good at analysis.
The data you can analyze from web metrics, research, and user engagement will be gold for earning more profit. The data will tell a story. The story will show subscribers’ paths and what makes them perform various actions.
This information will help you make key decisions that will significantly increase your profit.
If you don’t master it, you’ll miss out on many money-making opportunities.
Research Best Practices
Follow some best practices for mastering your research capabilities.
Research what your audience wants out of your newsletter. You can answer this question by watching user behavior and what they do online. What are they searching for? What questions are they asking? Create an avatar of the user you want to subscribe to your newsletter and then create one specifically for them. A broad and general audience base isn’t going to make you any money because it’s too generic.
Stay up-to-date with industry news and trend. You need to be able to report the latest information to your audience. They’ll expect you to know it all, and you should know it all. You’ll need to conduct daily research, subscribe to all the newsletters you can (and read them), and pay close attention to changes, trends, and new updates.
Monitor your competitors because they are monitoring you. Keep a close eye on your rivals and those who are new and gaining strength. You need to understand what they do best and what they do worst. Then you must determine how to do it better and fill the gaps they have not filled. Knowing your competition is important when trying to make money with your newsletter.
Master keyword research! Keyword research will help you determine the best topics to write about in your newsletter. And, of course, it will also help you improve the SEO of your website, blog, landing page, and even social media. Many great tools are available to assist you in keyword research, such as Ahrefs, Uber Suggest, SEM Rush, and Keywords Everywhere.
Always try to engage with your audience. Look for indications of what they want the most out of the topic your write about. What are their needs and wants? When you can determine these things and create valuable content based around them with your newsletter, you see such a substantial growth in profit and subscription rates.
Take a look at the metrics and analytics features or page of your newsletter platform. Write down each metric and research its meaning, how to read it, and how to understand it. Then figure out what you must do to ensure it’s a positive reading. Do this with all of your metrics until you’re an expert in your newsletter analytics.
Experiment often! Don’t make the mistake of creating and staying within a security bubble. That won’t earn you more profit. In fact, you’ll have many missed opportunities because of that. Instead, you should try new things and measure the results. If it works, keep doing it. If it fails, you know you can mark it off your list or try it later if you think it could be successful later down the road.
Analyzing Metrics for Success
Newsletter metrics and analytics can be intimidating. But you’re a human, and you can learn. So be sure to take the time to learn these things because knowing how to read and use them can make your newsletter the machine that makes you rich.
Open Rate: This metric shows the percentage of subscribers who open your newsletter. It is typically shown in a percentage value (higher is better). You’ll want to focus on better email headings, sender names, and overall content to increase your open rate. You might also experiment with sending at different times and days of the week.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): The CTR metric measures the rate at which subscribers click links in your email newsletters. This is usually shown in a percentage value (higher is better). You can improve this metric by using better anchor text for your links, creating better Calls-to-Action (CTA), and rearranging where you’re putting links in your newsletter.
Conversion Rate: This metric measures how many subscribers of an email newsletter take desirable action that the newsletter includes meeting your goals. An example would be the goal of 100 subscribers buying your service during the latest email newsletter. These goals are based on what objectives you have created for your newsletter.
Subscriber Growth: This metric helps you identify the rate at which your email list is growing regarding news subscribers. It will measure the new subscriber rate against the number of subscribers you’ve lost during a specific amount of time. It will give you many new subscribers, usually monthly, and a rate of how the growth is doing, usually in percentage form. Don’t be discouraged if you see a loss in subscribers – it happens to everyone. You just want to focus on more people subscribing than the number of people unsubscribing.
Revenue and ROI: The revenue metric measures the total monetary value of your email campaigns. It will add in revenue from all sources of profit that are being tracked. The ROI (Return on Investment) metric measures the profitability of your newsletter based on the money you make and the money you spend to keep the newsletter going. You should always profit more than what you’re spending.
Other Metrics to Watch: Watch your bounce rates which is the percentage of emails that were not delivered to the subscriber. A higher bounce rate could indicate that your list has issues with quality and deliverability. The unsubscribe rate will show you how many people are unsubscribing after each newsletter. This can help you determine if changes are needed in your strategy. Watch for metrics about subscribers forwarding and sharing content. The more they do, the better it is for your profitable email newsletter strategy.
Feedback and Surveys: Some of the best metrics are information supplied directly from subscribers. Ask for feedback from your audience. Ask them what they like and don’t like. Ask them what they want to see more of and what news content they want to see. Create a short survey for every newsletter issue asking your readers to give their opinions about the recent issue. Ask what they enjoyed, what they didn’t enjoy, and anything else they’d like to see. This data is exceptionally valuable.
Engage with Your Community
A newsletter is very much a community, but once it becomes a profitable email newsletter, you really need to focus on the community.
You have to engage with your subscribers. They joined for your content but also for you, even if they don’t know it. You need to be there for them as much as possible. A profitable email newsletter is going to be hard work. It’s going to be a job.
Be ready to step up and engage if you want to keep your subscribers and keep earning a profit.
Create Engaging Content
Creating engaging content is the best way to engage with your newsletter subscribers.
Start off by creating engaging email subject lines and headlines within the newsletter. These headings need to sell and convince readers to keep reading. Think of them like you’re trying to write a novel that will be a bestseller. You need to audit every one of these headings to ensure that they pop and make people want to see what their about.
You must provide value with your newsletter. Value can be defined as something that allows a person to achieve something better by consuming or getting it. So, you want to provide something that makes them more money or allows them to save money. You want to provide value that makes their life better. That’s what it means to create value. Creating value will make people loyal to what you say, and it’ll be easy to get them to convert to money-making objectives.
Keep everything concise and scannable. It’s a brave new world we live in. Everything is mobile. That means everything is smaller, and we want to get through things quickly. No one wants to read a five-paragraph essay in a newsletter. They want something quick but valuable. You need to master that. Your content should be valuable, engaging, quick to read, and to the point. If you can’t provide this – another newsletter will.
You should use visuals in your newsletter. Visual media like infographics and images serve many purposes for written content. They’re eye-catching, for starters. They will grab the reader’s attention and get them interested in the topic. They can also provide a lot of value. Your visuals need to be of very high quality but small so it doesn’t slow down the email load. Slow-loading emails will hurt your growth and cause people to unsubscribe.
Try to personalize and segment your newsletter when possible. If you can use a code that will address the subscriber with their first name, use it. Try experimenting with this method if you can batch-send different types of emails to different groups based on their interests and demographics. Be personal in your tone. Write as if you’re talking to someone one-on-one rather than to a group. Put them and their needs before yours. Make it about them.
Experiment with different engagement campaigns. Not every style works with every mailing list. But you might miss out on a good campaign because you aren’t experimenting. Experimenting will help you identify what works, what doesn’t, and what might work after you reach a specific objective. You should always be willing to try new things and especially take advantage of current trends.
Be consistent with your newsletter after you find your sweet spot. This means you must choose the right day and time of the month or week you will send your newsletter. Stay consistent with that schedule to help your subscribers understand when they will get the next issue. Consistency will also help to keep you organized and on schedule.
Always try to keep talking with and engaging subscribers to keep them interested in your newsletter and products. There are many ways to remain engaged with your audience.
Encourage Two-Way Communication: Always tell your subscribers to contact you with questions. A best practice is to make it possible for a subscriber to reply to your newsletter email to reach you for questions and comments. Ensure you respond to everyone, even if you just thank the subscriber for kind words. You’ll make them feel special and noticed.
Respond Promptly: Try to be quick about responding to subscribers. It’s understandable if they contact you in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping. But you need to respond to them as soon as you wake up and start your day. You should also ensure subscribers know of any vacations you take and occurrences where you’ll not be available. Take advantage of email responders for this very thing.
Host Live Q&A Sessions: Try to conduct a few live Q&A sessions a month if possible. This will allow your subscribers to be able to talk to you live and ask questions. Try to schedule these around the time and days they choose if you can do it. The more opportunities you give subscribers to meet you, the more they will become loyal organic ambassadors of your newsletter.
Conduct Surveys and Polls: Make your newsletter interactive with surveys and polls. People love to give their thoughts and opinions. Keep the surveys and polls short and on topic for the best results. No one wants to spend too long doing a survey unless they get something special from it at the end. The results of surveys and polls can also help you generate new content that provides value to your subscribers.
Create an Online Community: Whether you create a free or paid community, you should create one for your subscribers. An online community will allow your audience to connect with you and each other. You can use it to encourage networking and to teach your audience new things. These benefits will provide a lot of value which is the key ingredient of creating a profitable email newsletter.
Offer Incentives: Give stuff away to your subscribers. You should offer a subscription incentive to new subscribers but don’t stop there. Be sure to give plenty of valuable things away to existing subscribers throughout the experience. People love free stuff, and it will keep them around if they keep getting more and more of it. It doesn’t take much to make a quick PDF guide for an article you wrote and give it away for free. That might be all it takes to make a subscriber happy.
Share User-Generated Content: When your subscribers ask questions, give testimonials, and publicly display things they have created – share it! If you feature the work or questions of your subscribers in the next issue of your newsletter, it shows you’re paying attention to them and praising them for engaging with you. It’s a good way to start a very healthy relationship with subscribers and keep them around forever.
Use Social Media: Social media is a great tool for creating engagement from your newsletter. Create some social media pages and tell your subscribers to follow you on them. Then as they engage with you on social media, be sure to engage with them back. You can also build separate communities on social media and convert social followers into newsletter subscribers. Social media is a great tool to use for engagement and growth opportunities.
Start a Blog: A blog is a great way to engage and provide even more to your subscribers. I send my newsletter out once a month, but subscribers can get more by checking out my blog. I post on it three times a week. You don’t always have to just have a written blog, either. Take advantage of the video. I post a new video (long and short) every day on YouTube, giving my audience daily content to consume. Starting a blog or video channel will help you develop your expertise and get more subscribers in the process.
And that concludes how you can start your own profitable email newsletter. The advice above gives you the ultimate tips and recommendations to get going and succeed. You just have to do it. It takes you to do it in the end.
This article is nearly 9,000 words long. It took me about a week to write and edit it. Consider subscribing to my newsletter (it’s free) to help show me support for writing it. I’ll definitely be writing more big guides like this one shortly.
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About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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