How To Get Premium Prices & Repeat Sponsors With Your Email ListTips On Maximizing Your Newsletter Placements
Most people don’t mind advertisements when they are valuable, non-intrusive, and clearly labeled. If you’re attempting to run sponsored content or ads in your email newsletter, but continuously forget to consider what your reader wants, everyone loses.
Monetizing your newsletter doesn’t have to be difficult. You can both sell sponsored emails and grow your list at the same time. One doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other.
Following these three tips will help you sell more sponsored email sends, and get a better response from your subscribers without sacrificing your relationship with your readers:
Stay Relevant With Your Advertisements
Knowing what your audience is looking for and then giving it to them is a surefire way to grow your newsletter subscription base. The same philosophy applies to the advertisements you’re delivering to your newsletter subscribers. Advertisements need to remain targeted towards your niche.
Early on, if you find yourself denying more advertisements than you’re approving, there’s a good chance you have uncovered your target market. Not everything is relevant to your niche. Running improperly targeted campaigns will only result in poor performance and lost revenue in the long run.
Understanding your audience may seem like a no-brainer, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Yes, many of us wear blue jeans, but I didn’t subscribe to an advertising technology newsletter, AdTech Weekly, to see ads for skinny jeans. The folks at MacRumors also illustrate this concept perfectly. When you open their newsletter, you see ads that are relevant to their niche and the topics they cover on a regular basis.
The take advantage of both a banner advertisement and a sponsored article in their newsletter, but in both cases the advertiser is aligned with MacRumors’ audience.
Label Your Sponsored Content
A simple text label isn’t enough to convince your readers that you’re not just out to monetize their eyeballs, but it’s a start. Your readers have come to trust you — don’t abandon that. They see you as an expert or leader in your industry and they’re interested in what you have to deliver. They trust everything you send them has been vetted, including the products you’re advertising. Don’t test that trust. Vet your advertisements, and make sure they’re clearly labeled as a paid placement. Don’t hide the text, or bury the facts in fine print. Let them know that what they’re about to click on is an advertisement. Pocket, everyone’s favorite save-it-for-later app, manages email sponsors like a champion. Notice the clear sponsorship indication both at the top and where the content lives. If you’re keeping score, that’s the double-rainbow of newsletter advertising. Always disclose.
Give Sponsors Great Placements
Newsletter advertisements aren’t about you. In fact, it’s entirely about connecting your audience to companies you believe deliver on the bill of sale. When it comes to making sure you’re delivering on your promises to advertisers, make sure you’re genuinely giving your sponsor the best possible placement in your emails. Our friends at UX Booth do this well in their newsletters. As you can see in the images below, the sponsorship placement for Atlassian was not only featured at the top of the newsletter, but it was also featured a second time again further down the newsletter.
Multiple touch points for sponsors in your email can work well.
Giving your sponsors prominent placement and ensuring their content looks and feels like it belongs will increase the likelihood that ad campaigns reach their targeted goals.
Bonus Round: Relationships Come First
Here’s the thing, at the end of the day, your relationship with your subscribers needs to be your top priority. You may have bills to pay, but failing to respect the relationship with your readers is a guaranteed recipe for growth collapse.
The formula for success with email sponsorships is a simple on:
Happy Readers + Happy Advertisers = Happy You!
Use the above formula as a guide to direct you through your monetization strategy. If what you’re delivering your readers is making them unhappy, then advertisers will be unhappy with the performance of their campaign when no one is clicking on the advertisement. You need a great response rate from your readers to increase your chances for repeat sales.
If you follow each of these tips, along with building a vibrant, healthy email list (which is a discussion you should have had already), then you’ll be on your way to premium prices and repeat sales with your email list.