5 Ways Publishers Can Monetize Newsletters

Last updated on Apr 03, 2024

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5 Ways Publishers Can Monetize Newsletters

Newsletters are owned channels that allow publishers to reach their audience directly and deliver personalized content. Besides helping you with brand building, fostering an active community, and attracting visibility, newsletters can also contribute to your overall revenue.  

In 2019, Morning Brew, a famous business publication, achieved 95% of its total revenue through its daily newsletter. With the expanding options to monetize newsletters in recent years, it has only become more accessible and convenient for publishers to explore diverse channels for scaling their revenue.

If you’re looking to start a newsletter or already have one with a good subscriber base, here are the top 5 ways to generate revenue without compromising the user experience or brand impression. 

  1. Advertising 
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Coupon Marketing 
  4. Sponsored email newsletters 
  5. Paid Newsletters

5 Ways for News and Media Publishers to Monetize Newsletters

1. Advertising 

Just as you monetize your website traffic through advertising, you can also generate revenue by incorporating ads into your newsletters. You can dedicate a slot in your newsletter to display ads and monetize it by charging advertisers based on exposure and clicks they gain. 

With newsletter ads, you have two distinct opportunities to explore: direct deals with advertisers and programmatic ads. 

  • Direct deals 

Direct deals are about establishing partnerships and negotiating ad deals for various channels, including websites, social media platforms, and newsletters. To initiate these partnerships, you can leverage your existing network of contacts or reach out to potential advertisers who align with your audience preference and brand content. 

While direct deals can result in higher revenue potential, and offer greater control and flexibility in ad placements, you must know that brands consider average open rate, subscription base, etc before collaborating. Hence, the success of finding relevant brands depends on your newsletter metrics, engagements, and activities. 

  • Programmatic ads

Programmatic ads allow publishers to automate the process of selling ad space and optimize revenue through real-time bidding while offering access to a wide range of ad inventory. If your newsletter targets a vast set of audience with a mix of different interests, programmatic ads might benefit you significantly. 

In contrast to programmatic ads, direct deals give you more control over the ads you display in your newsletters thereby making it an ideal option for publication with a narrow target audience. 

Before opting for programmatic ads, evaluate your target audience demographics, newsletter formats, and ad spaces to ensure you’re delivering relevant ads effectively.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Demandsage reports that 9% of affiliates earn more than $50,000 per year. For a publication with a growing subscriber list, affiliate marketing is one of the best monetary models to earn revenue without a product or service.   

Affiliate marketing involves promoting a product or service and earning a commission when a sale is generated through the promotion. It is an accessible monetization channel for new and established publications creating content that has supporting products or services. 

For example, if you run a tech publication creating content about new product launches and reviews, you can partner with well-known gadget brands or join their affiliate programs. By featuring and including links to these products in your newsletter, you can receive a commission when your audience buys via that link.

The success of this monetization option depends on your ability to influence your audience to make the purchase. However spammy or salesy affiliates have a hard time converting their readers. 

The key to generating revenue through affiliate marketing is by offering unbiased product or service recommendations that are relevant to your readers’ interests and preferences. 

3. Coupon Marketing

One of the lucrative strategies to increase marketing ROI is using coupon codes. When subscribers receive exclusive discounts or deals through a newsletter, they are more likely to open the emails, click through, and consider making purchases.

Publishers can partner with brands and businesses to feature coupons in their newsletters. These partnerships can result in monetary compensation for the publisher, either through a flat fee for featuring the coupon or through a commission structure based on the sales generated.

For instance: Consider a newsletter focused on lifestyle and fashion. By partnering with clothing brands, the publisher can feature exclusive discount codes in their newsletter, enticing subscribers to make purchases while earning a commission on the sales generated by the coupons.

Coupon marketing presents a win-win opportunity for publishers. It enhances subscriber engagement, creates monetization avenues, and fosters audience retention. Further, it can be bundled with multiple monetization strategies like affiliate marketing and sponsored content as they create a sense of urgency and gamify the purchase process. If your ROI is based on the clicks or sales made via the ads or promotional links, coupon marketing is an ideal way to increase your chances of earning commissions. 

4. Sponsored email newsletter

A sponsored email newsletter is where you promote a brand, product, or service in your newsletter. This approach opens up a new revenue stream for publishers while offering sponsors the opportunity to reach a targeted and engaged audience.

For example: A travel publication running a weekly newsletter with a dedicated following of adventure enthusiasts can benefit by partnering with a travel gear brand. The publisher can seamlessly integrate sponsored content showcasing the brand's latest products, travel tips, or exclusive offers. This not only provides valuable exposure for the sponsor but also delivers relevant and potentially beneficial content to the newsletter subscribers.

Sponsors ideally aim to generate ROI such as visibility, traffic, or clicks to measure the success of the campaign. Hence you need a healthy CTR and open rates to venture into sponsored email promotions. 

5. Paid Newsletters

A paid email newsletter is a subscription-based service where subscribers pay a fee to receive exclusive content, updates, or insights delivered directly to their email inbox regularly. These newsletters are often created by journalists, writers, industry experts, or influencers who offer in-depth analysis, valuable information, or entertaining content to their audience in exchange for a recurring payment.

With paid newsletters, publishers can establish a consistent revenue stream independent of advertising or sponsorship deals. This provides greater financial stability and reduces reliance on fluctuating ad revenues. Since the content is exclusive, subscribers are more likely to be interested in the new releases, leading to a more dedicated and interactive audience. 

This avenue presents an attractive opportunity for publishers to monetize their expertise and content directly, providing a sustainable business model that prioritizes quality over quantity and fosters meaningful connections with their audience.


Visibility and brand recognition are the keys to expanding publications growth. Your monetization potential is proportionate to your ability to reach the potential audience, and your capability to expand and build an active community. 

Hence if you’re looking for different ways to increase your publication’s traffic, brand visibility, and subscribers, consider opting for our newsletter or read our recommended articles presented in the top right corner. 

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Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Vaishnavi Ramkumar is a freelance content writer and marketer specializing in creating TOFU & BOFU content for SaaS brands. When she's not writing, you can find her immersed in the pages of a good book or a digital course.

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