Newsletter Growth Masterplan PART 1


This topic is near and dear to my heart: it’s about how to grow a newsletter. Just like this one!

I’ve covered bits and pieces from this topic before but want to pull everything together in one place for you.

We’ll cover:

  • Part 1: The newsletter is not the business.
  • Part 2: Organic awareness.
  • Part 3: Hyper-growth.
  • Part 4: Get paid to advertise.
  • Part 5: Turning the revenue taps on.

We’ll start today with some basics on how we deploy a newsletter as part of our business.

But first!

Today’s issue is brought you by

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Let’s get started:

The newsletter is not the business

Huh what?

Aren’t we talking about newsletter businesses today?


I’ve done that before. In fact it’s one of my most popular playbooks. Here’s a link if you want to grab a copy : start a newsletter business with AI.

When your newsletter is your business you rely on a few income sources:

  • sponsorship
  • advertising
  • premium subscriptions

These are all great but rely on you having a pretty serious sized newsletter for it to really work.

We’re talking 100,000+ high quality subscribers to really reap the benefits of this model. At this sort of volume things like sponsorship and advertising really start to scale.

For most of us a newsletter will instead be part of our wider business.

We’ll have a newsletter with 1,000 or 10,000 subscribers and use that to drive our actual business.

This business could be selling products, providing services, raising investment or any other business model.

This means the newsletter is a component of the business.

Not the entire business.

It’s a subtle but extremely important distinction.

First, the newsletter!

To successfully grow a newsletter you first need a good newsletter!

Otherwise all these strategies are for nowt – people won’t read your newsletter, they won’t recommend it to others and they won’t (ultimately) buy from you.

For this reason I don’t recommend writing your newsletter with AI.

Shocker right?

Truth is there are already too many low quality newsletters written with AI out there. Adding to that pool is a losing strategy.

Instead focus on something only you can create. You can absolutely use AI to aid your writing process- just don’t use it to produce wholesale. Use AI as your legs, not your brain.

Go for daily

My recommendation is a daily newsletter. Start with this in mind and work backwards.

What daily publication could you send out that would be valuable to your audience and future customers?

This is why news round-up newsletters work very well – there’s always something new to talk about!

In the world of AI for example the Neuron and Rundown put out daily updates. This is valuable because the world of AI moves so quickly!

Why daily? Because it vastly increases the throughput of of our newsletter.

Let’s say we have 50,000 subscribers and a 43% open rate (as I do…I’ll use my figures for simplicity).

50,000 subs at 43% open means 21,500 impressions per issue.

That’s 21,500 chances to:

  • make a sale
  • show advertisements / sponsorships
  • offer premium upgrade

If we put out this newsletter once a week that gives us 52 × 21500 impressions for a total of 1.2m impressions.

But if we publish 5 times a week (Monday through Friday) we’re looking at 6 million impressions.

Taking very very rough figures of $20 per thousand impressions (about standard for newsletter advertising) we’re looking at $24,000 for weekly or $120,000 for daily (5 times a week).

Big difference.

And that’s just the advertising, not including your own sales and premium upgrades.

Publishing daily acts as a force multiplier – in one fell swoop we just increased revenues by 500%.

Too much work!

But daily issues are too much work I hear you say.

Sure, it’s more work than weekly. That’s a given. But the rewards are well worth it.

Your job is work out what can be produced on a daily basis and work backwards from there.

The newsletter itself does not need to be long. Check out Josh Spector’s fantastic For The Interested as an example. There’s a lot of work behind the curation – but the issues themselves are light.

Let’s use a prompt to help us brainstorm what daily value we can drop in our audience’s inbox:

Act as a newsletter consultant

I wish to create a daily newsletter for my audience

My niche is [AI for entrepreneurs]

My audience's main problem is [starting their own business]

Research the top daily newsletters in this niche, summarise their value

And use this to generate 10 ideas for a daily newsletter I could produce

Replace the [ ] parts with your niche and audience’s problem.

Here’s an example output:

Some are obvious – like “news digest”. Others are less so – case studies or AI for productivity. Your list will obviously be different depending on your niche.

Remember the main goal here is to find something that i) is valuable on a daily basis to your readers and ii) can be produced on a daily basis by you / your team.

Starting with this strict remit in mind will focus your efforts.

Premium Prompt – Personal Recommendations

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