Email is a popular and powerful communication channel to target as a content marketer. And the interest in expanding the number of email subscribers is even greater nowadays, due to the pandemic virus.
However, using newsletters to boost revenue requires more than a handful of subscribers. You also need a sound and sustainable email monetization strategy.
The key to making money from email is combining quality content with highly relevant and targeted advertisements. Done correctly, your email campaigns and newsletters can be rewarding for both you and your readers.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics of email monetization. Then we’ll discuss some key tips for boosting revenue through email monetization.
Let’s dive in!
As a content marketer or publisher, you’re likely no stranger to the power of email marketing.
First and foremost, email provides a one-to-one connection completely owned by the publisher, which in this case is you, as a content marketer.
Of course, there are plenty of “How to” guidelines and rules to follow for generating effective campaigns, but this channel is yours, controlled only by you.
On the other hand, starting an email newsletter is a low-cost way to:
Over time, sharing quality newsletter content can lead to more subscribers and, ultimately, conversions. However, for short-term financial gain, you’ll need to focus on email monetization opportunities.
Email monetization takes marketing activities a step further by using newsletters and subscribers to generate revenue. The most common way to do this is through email advertisements, such as native ads and display banner ads, that operate on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) basis.
Another popular method is selling sponsorships to email newsletters. Essentially, this is when brands pay for access to your subscriber list.
But those brands don't just come to you unless you are a well-known publisher. Monetizing your email campaigns by direct selling can be complicated in many ways since you’ve got to spend time searching for new advertising deals on a daily basis.
On the other hand, some publishers fear that incorporating ads or sponsored content in emails will annoy readers, affecting the relationships they managed to build in years. However, the key is making sure the advertisements are highly relevant to your subscribers and don't promote direct competitors.
Research shows that most email subscribers don’t mind ads. In fact, over 70 percent of Generation Z subscribers said they will click on ads if they’re interesting and relevant.
Now that we understand a little bit more about email monetization, it's time to learn how to use it to your advantage. Let's take a look at the following three ways of doing so.
The 'quality over quantity' principle applies to nearly every corner of content marketing, including email. Successful newsletters provide readers with content that must be worth reading, therefore relevant, helpful, and high-quality information.
Furthermore, creating valuable content brings not only increased opening rates but also the possibility for a newsletter to be recommended to others. Your editorial strategy should include varied content, such as blog posts, videos, success stories, testimonials, industry news, general news, feature stories, educational articles, interviews, various product reviews, statistics, infographics, or case studies.
Recommended Reading: 10 Email Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Audience Engagement
However, you want to make sure the methods you use to monetize your newsletter will not have any impact on its quality.
As a publisher, you decide which email monetization tactics you use. You also determine the placement and number of ads to incorporate. While you might be eager to sell ads and take advantage of every opportunity to earn money, more ads don’t necessarily mean more money.
Newsletters cluttered with too many ads, especially if irrelevant, may annoy readers and push them to unsubscribe. You can't monetize a newsletter without subscribers. Therefore, it's important to consider them in your email monetization strategy.
Be selective and aim for opportunities that fit your audience and brand. Conducting research to learn about your readers’ interests can make it easier to tailor content and advertisements around their preferences.
Another helpful email monetization strategy is using dynamic native ads in your newsletters.
Native ads typically appear as links to related content and they include images and appealing titles that promise information that your readers will want to read or products they’ll want to buy. These ads tend to be more discreet than, for example, display ads, known also as banner ads, so they don’t intrude upon your readers’ experience.
Dynamic or programmatic native ads are automatically selected based on your newsletter’s profile and your subscribers’ preferences and interests.
Native ads let you simultaneously earn money through click-throughs and provide readers with related content. The combination of placement and relevancy can help boost revenue and increase readers’ engagement.
To take this a step further, you can effortlessly place native ads through programmatic email advertising. All-in-one email monetization platforms use advanced algorithms and extensive data analysis to place programmatic native advertisements in newsletter templates, based on readers' interests and search history. This includes demographics, behavior, geolocation, and more.
Recommended Reading: Converting Clients using Cold Email Templates
As a newsletter publisher, you won't have to worry about finding ads that fit your audiences' interests; the platform handles it for you. Similarly, advertisers have the comfort of knowing their ads will only appear in newsletters with relevant readerships.
Along with the advanced targeting capabilities, there’s another great advantage of monetizing your newsletters with programmatic native ads: your only cost is to create and send out the newsletter.
Another email monetization option is selling solo ads, also known as sponsored or dedicated emails. This involves letting another brand use your newsletter for its own promotions. It’s basically like renting out your readership:
If you have a large, dedicated following, this can be an effective approach as well. However, in order to work, it must be handled carefully as to not irritate your customers. For example, there’s a thin line between an advertiser who complements your brand and one that competes with it.
Recommended Reading: The Importance of Email Deliverability
Also, if you do decide to sell solo ads, it’s important to be mindful about how often you do so. After all, your subscribers signed up to hear from you, not from other companies.
Incorporating email into your content marketing arsenal is a solid way to grow subscribers and promote your content. Still, generating revenue through newsletters calls for strategic and programmatic advertising techniques.
In this article, we discussed three key tips you can use to boost revenue with email monetization: