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blog post

The Newsletter Business Model: How Newsletters Make Money (2023)

Gerrard + Bizway AI Assistant
Last updated: 
October 9, 2023
5 min read

The newsletter business model is fast becoming one of the most common entry points for internet entrepreneurs. They provide a simple way for anyone with knowledge, interest and time to spend on a topic to build a loyal audience and monetize (with very little capital upfront).

This article unpacks the newsletter business model, its revenue streams, subscriber acquisition strategies, standout features, and the best platforms to create a newsletter.

What is the newsletter business model?

A newsletter business model involves creating and distributing content to a list of subscribers via email. The content varies depending on the business, ranging from industry news, insights, original content, or curated articles. The primary aim is to deliver value to subscribers, which in turn fosters loyalty and engagement.

How do newsletters make money?

  1. Ads/Sponsorship Placements: Businesses pay to have their products or services advertised in the newsletter.
  2. Paid Subscriptions: Subscribers pay a monthly or annual fee to receive the newsletter, usually with added benefits such as exclusive content or early access.

How do newsletters get subscribers?

Newsletters acquire subscribers primarily through their website, social media, SEO, and online ads. Offering valuable content, exclusive deals, or free resources in exchange for a subscription can also attract subscribers.

What makes a newsletter stand out?

A standout newsletter offers unique value to its subscribers. This could be in the form of:

  • Original content;
  • Weekly news curation;
  • Unique datasets; or insightful analysis.

Consistent quality, a distinct voice, and a clear focus on the audience's interests and needs are also crucial.

Best platforms to create a newsletter

  1. Beehiiv offers a user-friendly platform with a host of features designed to make newsletter creation simple and effective.
  2. Substack: Known for its simplicity and ease of use, Substack allows you to create, distribute, and monetize newsletters.
  3. Revue: Recently acquired by Twitter, Revue offers robust features for curating and sending newsletters, with options for paid subscriptions.
  4. MailerLite: MailerLite provides a comprehensive suite of email marketing tools, including automation, landing pages, and paid subscriptions.
  5. ConvertKit: Designed for creators, ConvertKit offers a powerful platform for managing and monetizing email newsletters.
  6. Mailchimp: A popular email marketing platform, Mailchimp recently introduced features for paid newsletters.
  7. Sendinblue: With a focus on small businesses, Sendinblue offers a range of email marketing tools, including newsletter management.

Final tips for starting a newsletter

Starting a newsletter requires a clear understanding of your target audience and the unique value you can provide. Consistency, quality content, and a strong connection with your audience are key. Experiment with different content types, measure your results, and continually optimize your strategy for best results.


Gerrard + Bizway AI Assistant

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