How to Promote a Paid eCommerce Newsletter


Published: | By Lee Li

Paid newsletters can be incredibly hard to sell to new subscribers. This fact is especially true if we consider how most companies implement free newsletters, mostly to advertise and promote their products and services. 

Paid newsletters must add value to subscribers' lives that their free counterparts cannot. Incorporating seamless newsletter sign-up tools into your marketing email messages and web pages is a good idea, but it simply isn't enough. The following guide will explore several techniques to create and promote a worthwhile paid newsletter campaign. These techniques will allow you to increase your revenue streams and elevate your eCommerce hustle to the next level.

Understanding paid newsletters

Paid newsletters are extremely popular among the creator community. From streamers to podcasters and other influencers, they've found that one of the best ways to engage with their audience and fan bases is through a newsletter subscription service. 

It makes their followers feel like they’re a part of a community. Furthermore, it allows them to support their favorite creators and be part of the creation process. It's similar to how everyday donors and sponsors may be keen to support their favorite creators through a service like Patreon. In fact, some creators will sell subscription services to their newsletters through avenues such as these. We'll expand more on this concept further down this guide. 

However, you must understand that individuals and online personalities aren't the only ones who may benefit from using a paid newsletter subscription. Your online or eCommerce store may benefit from it. Whether you're selling crypto online or software subscriptions or physical products, monetizing newsletters can potentially provide you with an additional stream of income while nurturing long-term relationships with customers. But how do you encourage new subscribers? 

Promoting paid newsletters

Use free newsletters to promote your paid subscriptions

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This strategy slightly ties into the last point. To return to an earlier example, most software vendors use the free version of their application as a demo for their paid version. Essentially, the free app will function as a usable advertisement. Furthermore, they often provide a trial version of their free app. In most instances, activating the trial requires your credit/debit card or bank details.

Companies do this for several reasons, such as preventing service abuse and reducing spam registrations. Nevertheless, you're automatically transferred over to the premium version and billed accordingly once the trial is concluded. 

You can apply these tactics to paid newsletter subscriptions. You can offer a free version of your newsletter and use it to advertise the premium version's subscription. Furthermore, you can offer a trial version of your paid newsletter. Since it's an electronic newsletter, you can easily incorporate a sign-up popup app into it. The length of the trial will be dependent on the frequency of your newsletter releases. For example, if it's a weekly release, you can offer a 1-month free trial. If it's a monthly release, you can provide a three-month trial period. 

Incentivize

Your newsletters need to offer something that subscribers can't easily find for free. Furthermore, the incentive must be substantial enough to be enticing. For example, some software vendors offer premium versions of their apps. However, oftentimes, the only benefit of switching to the premium version is removing ads and adding features that you may not necessarily need.

Thus, the incentives are there, but they may not be ample motivators. You need to learn from this example by not just providing incentives but incentives that will add value to your subscribers' lives. How can you do this? The incentives related to your newsletter will be determined by the services your company offers or the products it sells.

You should write a separate business plan for your newsletter subscription services. It would help if you emphasized service and market research to truly understand what would motivate users to sign up for your subscription services. Nevertheless, some good ideas would be to add exclusive promotions such as "first-dib" incentives where newsletter subscribers have exclusive or first access to limited stock on promotion. 

You can also offer exclusive coupon codes or partner up with other eCommerce stores to create an ecosystem to cross-promote your products. Again, the idea here is to offer something that can't be found for free. While these are good ideas to start with, you'll have to form incentivization strategies meaningful to your company and its products. 

Advertise

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This point may sound a little counter-intuitive, considering that newsletters are often used as promotional tools for advertisement. However, you need to see paid newsletters as a service you provide - one with its own overheads. 

Performing this step may mean sponsoring content on video services or buying online ad space from services such as Google or Microsoft. Of course, it's important to keep your eyes on the metrics. Your ad costs will need to be considered in your customer acquisition costs. This figure will then need to be weighed against customer lifetime value. You'll need to assess if your campaign is both effective and financially feasible. 

Additionally, ensure that your newsletters are well highlighted on its landing page or areas frequently visited by users if you have a website. It would help if you also considered adding it into your physical literature. If you have business cards, flyers, posters, etc., add a QR code that customers can scan to sign up for your newsletters.  

Start a referral program

When implemented correctly, referral programs are one of the most effective tools for generating worthwhile leads. In fact, according to Forbes (through Social Media Today), 54% of B2B marketers claim that referral programs have lower cost-per-lead than other streams.

Again, developing an effective referral program involves exceptional incentivization (among other things). In most cases, if your newsletter and services provide an outstanding product, consumers will already be motivated enough to spread good gossip about your brand. However, adding a referral program will almost guarantee word-of-mouth.  

Rewards can be in the form of competition entries, coupons, money, vouchers, or free subscriptions. You can use a point system to denote the number of referrals each customer successfully acquires. You can then allow users to use these points to purchase rewards. Alternatively, you can offer them rewards for every five customers (more or less) they manage to sign up successfully.    

Use social media effectively

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Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok are still incredibly popular. Generally, your company should have a healthy online presence with a good following on these platforms. They are extremely valuable marketing tools. They can increase your outreach and help you keep in touch with your consumer base. 

Hire a social media manager or marketer if you cannot maintain these services yourself. You need to create posts that relate to the content of our newsletter without being too obnoxious. Your social media pages should make your brand likable to encourage customers to support it because they emotionally resonate with it and thus want to be a part of it. Again, effective social media marketing will allow you to nurture your brand ecosystem or community and help you establish long-term customer relationships. 

Conclusion 

It's important to test and assess the value and quality of your newsletter. Collecting user feedback through email, user surveys, and social media channels is always a great approach. As Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom once said: "Great products sell themselves". Of course, consumers need to be informed of the existence of said products, and that's where good marketing comes in. 

Make sure that you encourage readers to share. Incorporate a share link into each newsletter to make it easier for users to share information on social media sites and emails. Your website and newsletter's landing pages should be well organized and search engine optimized. They should be replete with the right keywords but not over cluttered with controls and unnecessary images. These are just a few things you should consider when not only marketing and promoting your paid newsletter but creating it too.

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