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Sponsored Content 101: Unlock the Secret to Monetizing Your Newsletter

Looking for ways to monetize your newsletter without compromising the quality of its content? Sponsored content may be the way to go. To help you make money from your newsletter without losing your readers' trust, we've put together this article with some tips on incorporating advertiser content.

There are two methods for developing sponsored content. One option is for the advertiser to write and submit all content to the newsletter. The other option is for the newsletter's publisher to make a unique ad for the promoter that fits the newsletter's audience and format. The second method maximizes the newsletter's potential by tailoring the ad to its specific audience and tone, increasing its effectiveness. Using a concierge tool like the one offered by Letterhead, the newsletter author can collect information about the advertiser's business and promotion, then use that data to craft an ad that fits seamlessly with the newsletter's tone and subject matter.

Sponsored Newsletter Workflow:

Option 1: Advertiser submitted content
Step 1 Advertiser reaches out or books an ad directly using a self-service checkout
Step 2 Advertiser takes content they have or writes something to their best guess for the newsletter audience.
Step 3 The newsletter creator approves and runs promotions without changes.
Step 4 The advertiser monitors the campaign and tries to guess the best next steps based on the results. 

At this point, a newsletter operator's biggest risk is letting their relationship with the advertiser end here. At the end of the campaign, the newsletter operator must offer their analysis and best practice tips on how the advertiser could continue to increase and improve their impact with the audience.

In option 2, we'll discuss how a concierge method naturally builds in this back-and-forth communication that can be used to keep the relationship moving forward for continued ad spend. 

Option 2: Custom newsletter creation
Step 1 Advertiser reaches out or books a concierge (write it for me) package from the newsletter operator.
Step 2 The advertiser answers questions designed by the newsletter operator that help the operator craft a unique piece of content just for them with their goals in mind.
Step 3 The advertiser crafts the campaign and submits it for approval by the advertiser. The advertiser can accept or request changes to the campaign. Then the campaign runs.     
Step 4 The campaign metrics are automatically reported to the advertiser, and the newsletter creator can suggest the next steps based on the results and messaging.     

What else you need to know: 

Finding sponsors whose beliefs and preferences mesh with those of your newsletter's readers is essential. To truly understand the company's operations and core values, do some research on it and the products it offers. A key component of effective content creation is providing the audience with something of value while also promoting the sponsor's message. 

Transparency is a must. Always label the content of the advertisements to ensure that your readers understand the relationship between your newsletter and the advertiser. This will boost the audience's faith in you and your authority. 

Keep the standard of all content, including advertising, at the same high level. Check that the content you're presenting is helpful and exciting to the people reading it. The sponsor's message should be secondary to the goal of providing readers with valuable content. Your readers may lose interest in your newsletter if you sacrifice the quality of your content for the advertiser's message. 

Spend your time and energy focusing on the advertiser's goals and providing added value. If you can help the advertiser achieve their goals, they will continue to work with you and may even increase their spending over time if you provide them with the best possible value. It would be a shame to waste a new connection by not making an extra effort.

Here are a few pro-level considerations to keep in mind when developing sponsored content:
  1. Be transparent with your readers about sponsored content and appropriately label it.

  2. Select sponsors who share the same values and audience as your newsletter.

  3. Ensure that the quality of content is maintained across all media types, including sponsored content.

  4. Utilize a concierge tool to simplify the process for advertisers and generate original, custom ads that fit seamlessly with your newsletter's content.

  5. Focus on adding value and assisting your advertisers in achieving their objectives to develop long-lasting relationships.

Want to learn more about how sponsored content can work for your newsletter? Schedule a free consultation call with our sales team today!