Have you recently launched your business and are struggling to acquire your first set of customers? I’ve been there, and it’s not easy unless you have an existing audience or are an expert media buyer.
It’s even worse when you’ve tried Google Ads, Facebook Ads, blogging, social media, YouTube – and nothing works or works well enough.
I was in that situation two and a half years ago when I launched my content writing agency. No traffic. No customers. No existing audience.
To the point I was having second thoughts about the business.
That’s when newsletter sponsorships entered the picture.
I risked $600 on two newsletter ads in January 2021 through a popular blogger I follow in the content publishing and niche sites space.
The result? 55 customers for a total of $11,565 in revenue. With an average customer LTV of $536, this promotion could’ve yielded up to $29,480 over a 1 and ½ year period.
Interested in trying out this strategy for your business?
In this guide, I’ve outlined the entire newsletter sponsorships strategy into 7 simple, easy-to-follow steps that you can apply to almost any niche and any type of business.
Overview of Newsletter Sponsorships
Newsletter sponsorship, in my opinion, is the simplest and easiest method of advertising with the highest ROI potential.
Here’s how it works:
Identify The Right Newsletter For Your Brand
Identify a newsletter that aligns with your niche and market and whose audience matches your target demographic.
This can be done through online research, a platform like Sponsorships.com or using free & paid tools like Twitter, Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, or even directly reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your industry.
Negotiate A Sponsorship Deal
Once you’ve found the right newsletter, the next step is to negotiate a sponsorship deal. This usually involves contacting the newsletter owner, discussing terms (such as the cost and when your ad would run), and confirming the deal.
All it takes is a simple email like this to get the negotiations going:
“Hi, I hope you are well. I’m the owner of (website). I think that our (product/service) would be a great fit for your audience. Do you accept newsletter sponsorships? Looking forward to hearing from you.”
All you want to know is:
- How did they grow their newsletter? (Organic/Google Search is the best way)
- How many leads do they have? (Look for 10k+)
- What’s their average open rate? (Look for 20%+)
- What’s their average CTR? (Look for 5%+)
If they fit the criteria, you should be looking at paying anywhere between $500 to $5,000 depending on the size and activity of the audience.
Launch Your Campaign
Finally, you’ll need to create the ad for the newsletter.
This could be a simple text ad, an image, or a combination of both. Depending on your placement (top, middle, or footer), the newsletter owner will give you 100-500 characters to convince the reader to click over to your site.
Once the ad is ready, the newsletter owner will include it on the agreed date, and your message will be delivered straight to potential customers’ inboxes.
Did you know for every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses can expect an average return of $42? Compare that to Google Ads, whose chief economist, Hal Varian, says on average, businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on their platform.
It might be time to jump off the Facebook/Google rollercoaster and hop on this path to advertising serenity.
Why Newsletter Sponsorships Work So Well
First, you need to understand the subscriber journey.
The journey your future customer went through before they saw your ad in their favorite brand or influencer’s newsletter.
Stage 1: The Initial Search
The subscriber journey often begins with a simple Google or YouTube search.
A user may be looking for a solution to a problem, information on a specific topic, or researching a product or service.
They click the link and think they’ve found their answer.
Stage 2: The BS Check
The content they see must be valuable and engaging for them to spend more than 10 seconds on their site or platform.
And if they do, that’s truly when the subscriber journey begins.
Stage 3: The Holy Conversion
As the user continues to consume more content from this brand or authority, they start to trust them. They start sharing with their friends and family. Maybe they even consider them their go-to resource for that particular topic.
Only at some point in that process do they notice the newsletter CTA and convert from a reader/viewer to a lead.
And the truth is unless someone’s data is misused, people only subscribe to newsletters because they believe the content is valuable enough that they want regular updates.
Stage 4: The Sponsorship
This journey illustrates the potential power of newsletter sponsorships.
By sponsoring a newsletter, you’re getting your message in front of an audience who have already passed the initial stages of the customer journey.
They trust and engage with the content they receive, making them more likely to be receptive to your offer when it appears in their inbox.
We’ll discuss shortly how much a newsletter sponsorship might cost you, what you should expect, and what to look out for when making your first sponsorship.
Examples of Newsletter Ads
To help you better understand what a newsletter sponsorship is, let’s take a look at some examples of newsletter ads:
A newsletter ad for my ex-content writing agency
A newsletter ad by Odys Global (domain marketplace)
As you can see, newsletter ads are very straightforward. You get a limited number of characters you can submit, so choose your words wisely.
I have provided my proven-to-perform ad template later in this guide, so look out for that – you’ll have no trouble creating your own engaging and highly profitable ads within minutes.
Step-by-Step Guide to Newsletter Sponsorships
You probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t see the power of newsletter sponsorships by now. So without further ado, here are the exact steps you need to take to successfully run your first newsletter sponsorship campaign.
Just because it’s straightforward doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notes.
Step 1: Craft An Irresistible Offer
As you know, creating an irresistible offer is an art and a science.
But does it have to be hard?
All you need to do is deeply understand your customer’s needs and desires to formulate an offer they can’t refuse. Here’s how you do it:
Identify the Problem
Start by identifying a problem your target customer faces that your product or service can solve. Are they struggling with productivity? Is a particular task taking too long? What is causing them stress or frustration?
Present the Solution
Next, you need to present your product or service as the solution.
For instance, if your software saves time on project management, your offer could be “Streamline Your Project Management and Save 5 Hours Every Week.”
Or in my case, our agency saved them time and money, so our hook was “Get All Your Writing Tasks Handled Under One Roof For One Fixed Price”
Thanks to this offer, we were able to turn roughly $21,000 in newsletter sponsorships into over $327,000 in revenue for our agency over 18 months (but what is it really thanks to? Newsletter sponsorships, our offer or both?)
Finally, add value to your offer by including bonuses or additional services that enhance the core product or service. These should be things that your target audience will find valuable and set you apart from your competitors.
For example, at my writing agency, our main offer was content writing billed by the word. But we made it the ultimate offer by offering images, publishing and on-page SEO tied into the word pricing.
That’s how you get someone to think, “It’s a no-brainer!”
Step 2: Build Your Conversion Machine
This is where the SSF (Sidewalk/Slow lane/Fast lane) method shines, guiding you on effectively reaching and moving your audience through your conversion funnel.
Let’s quickly recap the SSF method…
The SSF Method segments your potential customers into three categories or “lanes”.
These individuals are starting to understand their problems and the possible consequences if left unresolved. They are searching for clarity and understanding.
They’ve identified their situation and are actively seeking a solution. They crave the process, proof, and case studies. These individuals are starting to ask questions like, “Do I like & trust this person?”
They already recognize the problem and are clear about the kind of solution they need. Fast Laners are ready to hear about the vision, see what the solution looks like, how it will work for them, and have any remaining objections answered.
The great thing about sponsoring newsletters is that you can skip 98% of the sidewalkers. These individuals are mostly qualified customers since they subscribed and opened the newsletter with your ad in the first place.
So here’s where the magic happens…
When your sponsored traffic lands on your site, send them straight to a Slow Lane lead magnet. This could be a free guide, a webinar sign-up, or a free trial of your product.
On the back end of this Slow Lane magnet, include an option for them to join the Fast Lane. A compelling way to do this could be a video on the thank you page after they sign up for the lead magnet.
The idea here is that they can consume this Fast Lane material in less than 15 minutes, making a decision to purchase by the end.
Remember, if you have a more complex offer or a lot of competition in your market, you may need to give your audience a compelling reason to invest additional time and attention into consuming your Fast Lane content.
The more enticing the offer, the more time they’re likely to invest in considering it.
|Awareness||Sidewalk||Provide clarity about the problem||Health brand publishes blog posts explaining the importance of certain nutrients|
|Evaluation||Slow Lane||Provide method and proof||SaaS company offers a webinar demonstrating how their software works with case studies|
|Conversion||Fast Lane||Provide vision and answer objections||A video on the thank you page after they sign up for the lead magnet, providing a vision and overcoming objections|
Follow the SSF method to develop your offer and the simple funnel setup I shared to start taking traffic and generating sales!
You’re ready to secure your first newsletter sponsorship.
Step 3: Find the Right Newsletters for Sponsorships
This whole method comes down to finding the right newsletters to sponsor. The aim is to find newsletters that reach your target audience and receive high engagement from their subscribers.
Here’s how you can find them:
Define Your Audience
Who are the people you’re trying to reach?
What are their interests, needs, and habits?
Having a clear picture of your audience will help guide your search for the right newsletters.
Look for newsletters in your industry or niche.
You can do this by following industry leaders on social media, joining relevant forums and communities, and using newsletter directories.
Look at the newsletter’s content, tone, and engagement levels to see if they align with your brand and audience.
Tip: Take a Google search for the queries your target audience would have and identify newsletters within the top 10 results of your search.
Consider the newsletter’s reach and engagement. How many subscribers do they have? What’s the open rate? How often do subscribers click on links?
The goal is to find newsletters with an engaged audience likely to be interested in your offer. In percentage terms, this would look like:
Open rate – 30 to 50%
CTR – 2 to 10%
For example, if you’re selling a productivity tool for small businesses, you might want to sponsor a newsletter like ‘Morning Brew’, which has a large, engaged audience of business professionals.
However, if your product is a sustainable fashion brand, a newsletter like The Good Trade’s ‘The Daily Good’, focused on conscious living and sustainability, might be a better fit.
Remember, the key is finding newsletters your target audience frequently reads that align with your brand values and messaging.
Step 4: Secure a Sponsorship Deal
Now you’ve identified some potentially great newsletters to sponsor, all you need to do is secure a deal with the newsletter owner.
Don’t panic. This will be quick.
Upon identifying a newsletter you’d like to sponsor, you end up in one of three situations:
Clear Pricing and Availability
The best-case scenario.
The newsletter website clearly outlines the sponsorship cost, the available dates, and how to get started. In this case, simply follow the instructions, secure the available date that works for you, and pay.
Available, But No Clear Pricing
In this scenario, the newsletter is open to sponsorships but doesn’t list specific pricing details. Your best course of action here is to reach out directly to the newsletter owner or the contact provided.
I’d write a simple email like this (send it through their website contact form or ticket system if they don’t have an email address:
“Hi, I hope you are well. I own (website), and I believe our (products/services) are a great fit for your audience. Do you sell newsletter sponsorships/ad placements? Looking forward to hearing from you!”
Tip: Reference their 2nd or 3rd to last newsletter in the P.S. line to make it more personal and less robotic.
If there is no contact information, you can try to:
– Reply to the email you receive from their newsletter
– Check the footer of their website
– Reach them through social media
But if I’m being very straight with you, this just won’t happen.
No business with a genuine brand presence wouldn’t have contact details easily accessible. And for whatever reason, they didn’t; I’d probably not consider them for a newsletter sponsorship.
No Mention of Sponsorship Opportunities
In some cases, there might not be any explicit mention of sponsorship opportunities on the newsletter’s website. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re closed to the idea.
Your task here is to craft a personalized and convincing email expressing your interest in a potential sponsorship.
Follow the simple email template I provided you above. Make it more personal and convincing, as this person or brand you’re contacting may not currently be open to newsletter sponsorships, but your email could convince them.
Personal = knowledge of their brand and business, newsletter references, mutual friends and circles, similar sponsorship deals or referrals
Convincing = proof of concept, great offer, track record, other successful partnerships and sponsorships
In any case, remember negotiation is part of the process.
The first price you get may not be set in stone. Don’t be afraid to discuss and come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
For example, in one of my sponsorship deals, the newsletter owner was willing to reduce the fee for sales commissions, which looked exactly like this:
$4,000 – No Commissions
$3,000 – 10% Commissions
$2,000 – 20% Commissions
Since I knew we had a decent Lifetime Value per customer, I didn’t want to risk giving away a % of sales as that could add up in the long run, so I stuck with the $4,000 option.
Agreeing to $4k stand-alone, no commission
Luckily, I did, or I would’ve been sending them over $15,000 in commissions (and that wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing if that pushed them to send us another $10-15k of promotions for free)
Once you have agreed on and to the terms, make sure everything is in writing.
This includes the price, the sponsorship’s requirements (such as ad placement and duration), and other important details.
Just like that, you’ve secured your sponsorship deal.
Keep in mind that with real newsletter sponsorships, you are not paying for clicks.
You’re paying for the placement. It’s up to you to calculate against the average CTR of that newsletter how many clicks you’ll potentially receive.
And sorry, but the work doesn’t end here.
You still need to create an engaging ad, set up tracking, and, ultimately, launch your campaign!
Step 5: Create an Engaging Ad
Creating an ad for your newsletter sponsorship is a science that involves understanding your audience, offering value, and having a strong call to action.
Don’t lose sleep over it. Just like the entire process, we will keep this simple too.
But first, it’s important you know that the best newsletters will write the copy for you so it’s native and performs well. In this case, you can ignore this step.
In case you have to do it yourself, here’s the approach you need to take to create your first profitable newsletter ad:
Analyze Previously Sponsored Ads
Before you craft your ad, study previous ads that have been successful in the newsletter. Look for recurring sponsors – their consistent presence suggests their ads are profitable.
Analyze these ads’ structure, tone, and messaging and adapt your ads around them for your particular offer and the message you’re trying to convey.
Understand Your Audience
Successful advertisements speak the language of their audience.
Use the language and information you see from previous ads, coupled with your understanding of your ideal customer, to craft an ad that grabs the readers by the hand and forces them to click!
Communicate Clear Value
Readers aren’t interested in a laundry list of features. They want to know how your product or service solves their problem or fulfills a need.
The focus of your ad should be on the transformation that your product facilitates.
In this short ad, it’s best you focus on the benefits, not the features.
Develop a Strong Call to Action
Your call to action (CTA) is the bridge that leads the reader from the ad to your offering. Make it clear, compelling, and direct.
Explicitly state what action you want them to take next.
Creating an ad is not just about selling your product; it’s about offering a solution to your reader’s problem. By understanding your audience, communicating value, and having a clear call to action, you can create an ad that not only gets clicks but profitably converts.
Remember, a newsletter ad is not the place for lengthy pitches.
Here’s a simple template to create a compelling, 150-300 character ad:
[Catchy Hook] + [Value Proposition] + [CTA]
“Stop juggling multiple content providers! Discover our all-in-one content solution and save time and money. From blog posts to copywriting, we’ve got you covered. Experience convenience and quality now. Click here to get 10% off your first order. Use code ([newsletter name]10OFF)”
- Catchy Hook: “Stop juggling multiple content providers!”
- Value Proposition: “Discover our all-in-one content solution and save time and money. From blog posts to copywriting, we’ve got you covered.”
- CTA: “Click here to get 10% off your first order.”
The message is clear and compelling, it communicates the value of the service, and it directs the reader on what to do next.
Or if your initial goal is acquiring a lead, which we recommend at Sponsorships.com, here’s another example:
“Tired of managing multiple content creators? Get all your content needs under one roof and save endless time and money. From SEO blogs to snappy copy, we do it all. Request a free quote today!”
- Catchy Hook: “Tired of managing multiple content creators?”
- Value Proposition: “Get all your content needs under one roof and save endless time and money. From SEO blogs to snappy copy, we do it all.”
- CTA: “Request a free quote today!”
If the newsletter owner allows you to use a banner alongside your ad copy, don’t overcomplicate it. I’ve tested banners with CTA’s, banners with buttons, banners with copy, and banners with just a logo.
A plain banner with a logo or image always outperforms.
Let the ad copy do its magic. The image is just there to take up space and occupy the reader’s view making it impossible for them to miss your ad.
Step 6: Track Your Success
As we approach the finish line, we’re left with the most important task yet…
It’s vital to track the performance of your ad, understand how the audience is responding to it, and make necessary adjustments to improve your results in future sponsorships.
This is normally seen as quite daunting. But there’s nothing worse than running multiple traffic sources and not knowing where your leads/sales are coming from.
A shitshow. Trust me.
So here’s what you need to do:
Set up UTM Parameters
Use UTM parameters to track the performance of your newsletter sponsorship ad.
These are simply tags you add to your URL, which you can track in Google Analytics or any similar tool. Your UTM URL would look something like this: yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=yourcampaign
By doing this, you’ll be able to monitor where your traffic is coming from. Now as long as you’ve set up conversion tracking, you’ll also be able to track the number of acquisitions and acquisition costs through your tracking platform.
Monitor the Metrics
Keep an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per acquisition (CPA). These metrics will tell you if your ad resonates with the newsletter’s audience and leads to conversions.
At the same time, don’t get your head lost in vanity metrics.
The conversion rate and cost per acquisition you can monitor yourself through your tracking platform. However, you can only find the CTR by requesting the email performance overview from the newsletter owner.
The most important metrics you need to be monitoring are CPA and ROI.
If your CPA is less than your AOV, you’re profitable (ROI = net positive)
If your CPA is higher than your AOV but lower than your LTV, you’re going to be profitable (ROI = negative, soon net positive)
And if your CPA is higher than your AOV & LTV, you’ve got serious work to do (negative ROI)!
If you’re not pitching something immediately, you’ll have to measure your CPA against your sales cycle. For example, if purchases normally occur 14 days after a lead enters your sales cycle, you’ll need to be patient and calculate your actual CPA & ROI then.
Use the data collected to evaluate your ad’s performance.
This analysis will tell you if your investment in newsletter sponsorship is paying off and if you should secure the next available placement.
Refine Your Strategy
Based on your findings, make any necessary adjustments to your ad or offer.
Remember, this is an iterative process. Don’t be disheartened if your first ad doesn’t get the response you were hoping for. Use the data and insights to refine your approach and improve your ad’s effectiveness.
Here’s a simple chart to help you organize and visualize your metrics:
|Jan 2023||Newsletter A||$600||1.5%||15||$40||$1,100|
|Feb 2023||Newsletter B||$600||2.3%||23||$26||$750|
Looking at this chart you might be confused.
Here’s the confusion unraveled.
You invested $600 in Newsletter A. It gave you 15 conversions. Each conversion costs you $40. You made $1,100 in revenue. So, each conversion was worth about $73.33.
Then comes February. You invested another $600 into Newsletter B. You got 23 conversions. Your cost per conversion? $26.09. But your revenue was just $750.
That means each conversion was worth roughly $32.61.
Less spend per conversion, but less revenue. Seems counterintuitive, right?
And so we uncover the truth…
It’s not all about the CPA or CTR. It’s about the transaction value.
Newsletter A customers spent more. They gave you higher revenue despite fewer conversions. Newsletter B? More conversions, less cost per conversion, but lower spending customers.
But then comes lifetime value (LTV).
Newsletter B customers might buy again. And again. Their LTV could be higher. The immediate revenue? It’s just part of the picture.
The key is sustainable profitability.
Immediate metrics are valuable, sure. But they’re not the whole story.
So yes, your calculations are spot on. They show why we need a broader view of campaign success. Don’t let immediate revenue or CPA blind you.
Keep an eye on long-term gains, especially when it comes to newsletter sponsorships since this is a form of highly focused micro-advertising.
Step 7: Launch Your Campaign
At last, we’re here.
It’s time for the newsletter to go out and the sales to start rolling in (hopefully)!
Understand that newsletter sponsorship, like any marketing venture, is not an overnight success game. It may take a few attempts to refine your approach and achieve the results you’re aiming for.
Be patient and open to learning from each experience.
Once your campaign goes live, keep a close eye on performance. Remember the tracking setup you did? It’s about to pay off.
And just like that, your campaign is live.
Newsletter Sponsorship Checklist
We’ve dove deep into newsletter sponsorships in this guide, tackling each step and part of the process with purpose and precision.
Now it’s time to summarize and review your knowledge.
This checklist isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.
So, before sending your ad to the newsletter owner, cross-check every detail against this checklist (and continue to do so with future campaigns).
|Craft an Irresistible Offer||Have you identified your offer’s USP?Do you know the core benefits your product or service provides? Have you articulated how your offer solves the newsletter reader’s problem or delivers their ideal outcome?|
|Build Your Conversion Machine||Have you segmented your audience into Sidewalkers, Slow Laners, and Fast Laners?Have you crafted content tailored to each group? Is your Fast Lane content accessible and concise, offering clear value and proof?|
|Find the Right Newsletters||Have you found relevant newsletters with engaged readerships? Have you studied the demographics and interests of the audience? Have you confirmed that the newsletter’s audience aligns with your target market and offer?|
|Secure a Sponsorship Deal||Have you contacted the newsletter owner or the advertising team? Have you negotiated the terms of your sponsorship deal? Have you confirmed the ad placement, format, and schedule?|
|Create an Engaging Ad||Have you analyzed successful ads in the chosen newsletter?Have you incorporated the key components in your ad: catchy hook, value proposition, CTA?|
|Track Your Success||Are you tracking your metrics, such as cost, click-through rate (CTR), conversions, cost per acquisition (CPA), and revenue?|
|Launch Your Campaign||Have you thoroughly reviewed and tested everything? Have you scheduled your ad for the agreed date and time? Is everything ready to measure the performance once the campaign goes live?|
This checklist is your roadmap (and this guide is the course that most marketers would sell for $9,997 but today for only $997). Keep it handy.
Check off each point as you complete it and refer back to it as needed.
Every successful campaign starts with careful planning and thorough execution. This checklist ensures you’re on track every step of the way.
7 Tips To Ensure You Hit A Home Run With Newsletter Sponsorships Every Single Time
I’m sure you can tell that newsletter sponsorships can be a gold mine when executed correctly. Just like any other marketing effort, the devil is in the details.
Here are seven simple (like everything else) tips to ensure that every sponsorship is a swing for the fences:
Deeply Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience is like learning a secret language.
It’s not enough to skim the surface; you need to go deep. Go beyond basic demographics; age, gender, or location won’t reveal the entire picture.
The heart of your advertising efforts lies in understanding psychographics – the interests, attitudes, and behaviors of your ideal customer.
Here’s a quick tip: Build a detailed customer persona.
This semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer can guide your ad creation, offering insights into what will resonate and what will fall flat.
Remember, your ad isn’t speaking to everyone. It’s whispering intimately in the ear of your perfect customer. The sharper your focus, the deeper the connection you can build, and ultimately the more successful your campaign.
Alignment Over Reach
Don’t get blinded by the subscriber count; a crowded party isn’t always the best place to have meaningful conversations.
I’ve seen new newsletters with just 5,000 subscribers outperform those boasting over 50,000! The secret? Relevance.
Smaller audiences tend to be more engaged and aligned with one theme, one message. They aren’t always the rule, but once you compare some newsletter open rates and CTR, you’ll see what I mean.
So, instead of chasing large numbers, seek alignment.
Look for newsletters that echo your target audience’s interests, values, and demographics. The closer the fit, the better the response.
Remember, in this game, quality beats quantity every time.
Provide Genuine Value
Your ad isn’t just a sales pitch. It’s a promise of improvement.
It should offer something meaningful that lightens their load, brightens their day, or puts a solution at their fingertips. Whether that’s a tool to overcome a nagging problem or an opportunity to enhance their life, make certain your ad delivers more than just a catchy headline.
It should be a gift waiting to be unwrapped.
Command An Action
Your Call-to-Action is the tipping point of your ad.
It holds the power to convert passive readers into active participants. Make it crystal-clear, to the point, and stimulating.
It’s not a mere suggestion. It’s a persuasive invitation to learn more.
Metrics are your guide to what’s working and what’s not. That’s why you must set up your tracking and ensure it works before launching your campaign.
Once your campaign goes live, you need to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) like your click-through rate (find out from the newsletter owner), conversions, and cost per acquisition to continually refine your approach.
Imagine your brand as a melody.
Every note should be in harmony, from the ad in the newsletter to the landing page they’re led to. An inconsistent brand voice or conflicting messaging can sow seeds of confusion in your audience’s minds and hinder conversions.
Ensure that your brand’s voice rings true and clear throughout your campaign.
Test and Iterate
A/B testing is your best friend.
Experiment with different headlines, CTAs, value propositions, and visuals to find what works best. This is a game of constant improvement, and each campaign brings fresh data and insights.
By following these seven tips, you can ensure that each newsletter sponsorship swings for the fences, driving profitable results and making you wonder why you ever gave Meta or Google your money.
Case Study: $600 Into $11,565 Selling Content Writing Services With 2 Newsletter Ads
Now I’ve talked the talk this entire guide and told you exactly what to do. But how do you know any of it will work?
Luckily for you, I gave you the improved strategy that I developed after investing over $20,000 in newsletter sponsorships in 18 months and generating over $400,000 for my content-writing business.
I haven’t exactly mentioned how I even stumbled upon newsletter sponsorships in the first place, so let me tell you now.
A few days before making my content writing agency live, I had a thought (which later turned into a great epiphany).
The thought was, “How crazy would it be if I could get my offer in front of (X blogger)’s email list?” I was closely following X person for advice and inspiration for many years in that field.
So I emailed him to find out if he sells newsletter placements.
And lucky for me – he did!
Initially, I purchased only one ad placement for $300.
But after seeing the insane response and absurd returns from the first one, I ordered another one for a total of $600 invested that month.
The Slightly Unconventional Approach
- I identified a reputable newsletter in a niche closely aligned with my services.
- I secured my first sponsorship deal by emailing the newsletter owner.
- I created a short but compelling ad targeted to the newsletter’s audience.
- The traffic from these ads was directed not to a lead capture page but to our sales page. The objective was an immediate conversion without the often recommended lead nurturing process.
- The sales page was straightforward, with the pricing clearly listed at the end.
- Total revenue generated in the first month: $11,565
- Total customers acquired: 55
$11,565 in gross revenue from 2 newsletter ads (rest came from PayPal)
This direct-to-sales-page strategy blew my socks off. And upon seeing results like this, I no longer had any interest in running directly to a lead form.
Does that mean this will work for you? Absolutely not.
And to be frank, it’s not a risk worth taking.
I was just being lazy, and that just happened to work out well for me. The audience was extremely aligned with the offer, and the market we were selling to is solution-aware, so it didn’t take much convincing to get them to buy from us.
The Long-Term Impact
We found over 18 months, our average customer lifetime value (LTV) was around $536. So that means theoretically, these 55 customers could’ve generated our business $29,480 in gross revenue.
Despite the success, I committed one serious crime – I didn’t set up tracking for these campaigns.
The reason for this is that this was our first month in business and my first time ever testing newsletter sponsorships, so knowing that this was the only traffic we’d be getting, I didn’t overthink it.
So on one side, this case study should give you solid hope that this can work for you and help you get your first 100 customers, considering that it gave me a 2,000%+ ROI on my first campaigns while doing half of what I’ve advised.
And on the other side, there are some very valuable lessons you can take from my initial experience with newsletter sponsorships.
In any case, setting up tracking correctly should be at the top of your priorities when launching your newsletter campaign.
The End of The Beginning
And there you have it – a comprehensive deep dive into newsletter sponsorships.
From the first steps to the final launch, you’ve navigated through the mechanics, strategies, and best practices to profitably acquire your first 100 customers with newsletter sponsorships. I truly appreciate your investment of time and focus in going through this extensive guide.
After covering over 5,000 words, I understand this might feel like drinking from a fire hose. It’s a lot to take in. But remember, mastery of anything requires patience, practice, and perseverance.
Each section you’ve gone through and each strategy you’ve learned is another tool in your toolkit, another step towards mastering newsletter sponsorships.
As you continue to embark on your sponsorship journey, you don’t have to go through it alone. We at Sponsorships.com are here to guide you every step of the way.
And for those who wish to accelerate their journey, I invite you to enroll in our Sponsorships Intensive program.
This program is designed for those who want to fast-track their success with newsletter sponsorships and beyond. We’ll provide hands-on guidance, done-for-you and done-with-you support to ensure you can quickly and confidently execute the strategies you’ve learned today.
Learn more about the Sponsorship Intensive here
Remember, the world of sponsorships is vast, but with the right guidance, the right strategy, and the right mindset, the sky is the limit. Here’s to saying goodbye to traditional advertising and hello to sponsorships!