How to Start and Manage a Paid Newsletter

Writing newsletters people actually read is hard enough, but writing newsletters people want to pay for is an art. It requires you to have access to exclusive and extremely useful content, as well as creativity and good knowledge of your target audience.

In this article, we will briefly explain the concept of paid newsletters, and learn what it takes to make and manage them.

Paid Newsletters: What Is That?

When people hear about newsletters, they usually think about boring emails or posts they receive. Unfortunately, in most cases, people perceive newsletters as something not particularly interesting or relevant for them. It is because most businesses tend to forget that the No1 rule of marketing is to provide value for your customers.

However, people are willing to pay for a good quality newsletter that provides them with insight or information that is hard to find, or that condenses a sea of information on the internet into short, smart, consumable bites. That’s why writing newslettersreal newsletters – makes sense. Readers will pay an annual or monthly fee to get exclusive and personalized content that can’t be found elsewhere on the web. 

On the other hand, the paid newsletter is a very useful tool for businesses as well. By supplying your customers’ inbox with high-quality content, you get regular and recurring income. Also, you get to have full control over your content, as you don’t have to include sponsorships in your emails. 

Here are some examples of different forms of the paid newsletter: 

  • Interviews or podcasts
  • Access to learning materials and video streams
  • Unique case studies
  • Exclusive market reports
  • Closed events
  • Ask me anything
  • Access to Slack community
  • And more.

Now that we’re clear on what a paid newsletter is, here is what we would suggest you do to launch your first campaign.

#1 Define Your Goals Precisely

Before any marketing campaign, its creators have to be clear on what they want to achieve. Therefore, it is always a good idea to be as specific as possible when you define your goals. Then, you should translate your goals into measurable KPIs. In such a way, you will be able to monitor your results much more efficiently.

For example, your goals could be:

  • Monetize content
  • Gain new subscribers 
  • Boosting sales
  • Building relationships.

#2 Know Your Target Audience

You can’t have a good content marketing strategy if you don’t know who you’re addressing. Before creating your exclusive newsletter, you need to define what are your audience’s characteristics. Basically, what you need to do is segment or group people within your target audience based on their 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Location
  • Etc.

What you want is to find out goals, needs, problems, and aspirations that are present in each of the groups. In other words, you need to outline your buyer personas. Most businesses have at least two or three buyer personas, and the main goal of having them is to better personalize content and attract more attention. 

#3 Make a Schedule and Use Automation

First of all, ask yourself how often you want to send your newsletter. Will you send daily, weekly, monthly, or occasional updates? Remember that different buyer personas might require different schedules.

Also, remember that the frequency of your newsletter directly affects your price.

Later on, when you begin to distribute your paid newsletter, get help from your existing email service busing automation to manage and send your latest edition.  That can be of immense help for scheduling emails, personalizing recipients’ subscriptions, monitoring who opens and acts on your newsletter, and other interactions that can tell you how successful your newsletter is. It can even show you who is no longer opening and reading your paid newsletter, thereby letting you know that their subscription renewal might be in jeopardy and giving you a chance to act before the subscription expires. 

While newsletter automation can’t give you the content, it can save you time, scale your newsletter business, and also serve as a communication tool with your subscriber base. 

#4 Find the Pricing Model That Suits Your Needs and Those Of Your Customers

The optimum subscription price usually ranges somewhere between $3 and $15 a month. If they are willing to pay for the annual subscription, your customers should get a discount or some other perk. Also, students, loyal customers, retired people, or other sensitive groups could have some discounts as well.

One of the most important guides in setting your prices is your competitors. Actually, before deciding on your pricing strategy, you should know your competitors’ strategies in detail.

The best way to find out the inside information about your competitors is to subscribe to their newsletter. 

Also, before having a paid newsletter, you can have a free or trial version, so that customers can have a glimpse of what they could get in case they decide to pay.

#5 Build a Landing Page Dedicated to Your Paid Newsletter

If you want your customers and clients to take your newsletter seriously, you should be the first one to do it. Therefore, make a special page on your website, dedicated only to your paid newsletter.

On this page, you should specify what you’re offering and explain what is the value your customers can get out of it. A testimonial block, with customer reviews, is a great thing to have on this page as well. 

Also, this page needs to have a sign-up box or a button leading to the newsletter sign-up page.

#7 Grow Your Subscribers List

There are countless ways to grow your subscriber list. If you see your newsletter on your Shopify store, take advantage of the popular Shopify pop-ups to get more subscribers. WordPress sites offer plugins to help you do something similar. Otherwise, you can promote the newsletter on your website home page or even use paid Facebook advertising to raise awareness and post a strong call to action. 

Also, one of the most effective marketing strategies has always been word-of-mouth. Think of discounts, bonus points, or similar perks for people who recommend your paid newsletter to their friends and family. 

Another highly effective way to grow your email list is email marketing. Yes, email has been around for a long time, but that’s because it’s so successful. In fact, a good email marketing strategy is usually one of the most cost-effective promotional efforts you can launch with some of the best ROI you’re likely to get anywhere. 

Finally, giveaways are the best strategy to attract attention. Who doesn’t like to get something for free? Ask your followers to spread the word about your latest paid newsletter by sharing and/or commenting on your posts, and offer free subscriptions to the lucky ones.

#8 Start Creating Your Paid Newsletter!

Finally, once you’re clear on your goals, target audience, and pricing strategy, it is time to roll up your sleeves and do the fun part – create your newsletter!

Luckily, you don’t have to worry much about design or the visuals, as there are plenty of email newsletter templates you can choose from, free or paid. Most of these templates will enable you to include things like your logo, characteristic fonts, colors, etc.

Finally, if your newsletter is very successful and you’d like to think of ways to generate more income beyond subscriptions alone, you can promote your company as experts in paid newsletter marketing. Fortunately, that won’t take as much time as it sounds, because you can outsource the actual marketing to a white-label SEO marketing service with trained marketing professionals who do the work under your name. You get the credit, so you can resell the marketing work to your clients, the owners of other newsletters. Use this strategy to develop a second stream of income based on your newsletter’s success. 

Having a Paid Newsletter Campaign On Your Mind?

Creating an exclusive newsletter is a great way to create a paid digital product that comes from your expertise or insider knowledge. Knowing your audience and competitors, properly defining your goals, and using automation tools to manage your subscription efforts are the basic prerequisites to any successful paid newsletter launch. 


Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her little white bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.

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