Newsletter Growth Masterplan PART 5


The greatest “hack” for growing your newsletter is cash.

Cash gives you options.

It lets you focus more of your time into growing your newsletter.

It also opens up more options for acquiring subscribers by increasing your spend.

Most of all though it moves you out of scarcity and into abundance. Once there is cash coming in you can reinvest it into the newsletter, your team and your systems.

In this Part we’ll look at some monetisation routes that will help cashflow which (promise me this!) you’ll feed back into growing the newsletter more.

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Let’s get started:

Turning the Revenue Taps On

I’m assuming you are using beehiiv because I don’t shut up about it.

Reading back through this it reads a little bit like an ad for beehiiv. Honestly it’s just one of my favourite tools and it keeps getting better and better.

They aren’t sponsoring this (you can if you want Tyler) but I do have an affiliate link if you do sign up. It’s here if want to use it: feed me honey.

But if you are not on beehiiv that’s all good. Most of these methods can be replicated – it’s just more complex and will require additional (paid) tools. I’ll flag up the additional tools as we go along.

I’ll cover monetisation techniques ranging from small to larger newsletters. The exact size depends on your niche. For example if your newsletter is small but in a highly specialised high value niche like luxury watches then you can get away with a smaller list. Use your judgement.

Level 1 – Boosts

First up make sure you turn beehiiv Boosts.

Here’s mine from yesterday:

That’s $65.15 just dripping into my account. Neither a particularly good or bad day – just the most recent I screen-shotted.

Why is this the first level? Because it’s so easy to turn on – it’s a couple of button presses and hey presto that’s a revenue stream in play.

I personally have the $99/month beehiiv Scale plan – but that cost is about 1.5 days of Boosts. No brainer.

Don’t have beehiiv? You can hook something similar up with Sparkloop Upscribe. It’s more setup but will do the same job.

Level 2 – Premium Subs

Next us is creating a Premium version of your newsletter.

This is the next step because it doesn’t really matter how many subs you have. If you are providing enough value and building real connections with your lists then there will always be people who will support you.

Let’s say you have 1000 on your list and 5% or 50 people go premium.

At $5 a month each that’s a nice $250 recurring a month coming to you.

Not going to retire on that sure but it stacks. Same 5% on a 10,000 list and you are looking at $2500 revenue.

The best part is that this revenue (unlike the next levels) is entirely based on your content. Not on the size of your list.

Level 3 – Ads

I would have had this as a later level but recent news has put it here. Literally happened this week so I’ve had to rewrite as we go!

Basically beehiiv now guarantees ad placements for anyone on a paid plan. Details here. Previously it was up to the advertisers to chose your newsletter.

Now you get 1 guaranteed a month regardless. That one ad a month could recoup your beehiiv payment (if Boosts hasn’t already lol).

Ads on beehiiv are done on pay per click basis. You get paid for clicks, not the size of your list.

Generally the clicks are $1-2.

Because of this you generally need a larger list for it to ad up.

At 10,000 subscribers, 50% open rate and 1% click rate we’d get 50 clicks for $50-100. As you get larger (or have a higher click rate) that payment obviously goes up.

But because of this maths generally it’s not worth running pay per click advertising until you have a decent subscriber base. Always run the numbers to gauge whether it’s worthwhile.

Don’t have beehiiv? Try Paved for similar ad insertion technology. They do require higher subscriber count and don’t have any guaranteed placements.

Level 4 – Sponsorship

Sponsorship is similar and has blurred lines with advertising. When talking sponsorship I’ll be mainly talking about deals you cut with companies to feature them in your newsletter. This is a little different to the algorithmic ad networks like beehiiv Ads and Paved but it’s a little grey!

For sponsorships I recommend starting on Passionfroot.

Here is my Passionfroot for reference : Prompt Entrepreneur and a screenshot:

Passionfroot lets you set up a tidy profile page for sponsorship opportunities. It acts as a shopfront where you can take payment and fill your calendar. It’s a slick tool.

One of the best things if you are just getting started is that you can send out 5 requests a week to sponsors in their network. I got my first 2 placements (for $1000) from this. Very valuable for starting out.

Sponsorship for newsletters varies depending on niche. Generally though you are looking at CPMs of around $20.

CPM is “Cost per Thousand”. To calculate it you need to work out how many people will see the sponsorship.

Let’s say you have a newsletter of 20,000 with a 50% open rate. That gives you 10,000 impressions per issue.

The Cost per Thousand is $20 and 10 thousand people will see the issue.

$20 × 10 = $200 for the ad placement using this CPM method.

This is (by the way!) why you should do daily newsletters – the maths stacks up for you much better if you are sending more often (and maintaining quality).

$200 per issue over 30 issues (a month) = $6000/month.

Double that subscriber base to 20,000 and we go to $12,000/month. Triple to 30,000 for $18,000/month. And so on.


These 4 methods can all generate income for you personally.

Initially though I recommend reinvesting into growing your list more.

The reason for this is that by increasing your list size all of the above revenue methods will increase. It’s a compounding effect:

  • Boosts will generate more cash.
  • You’ll get more premium subscribers.
  • You’ll get more ad clicks.
  • And you’ll be able to secure larger sponsors.

It’s a flywheel effect where reinvestment grows all of these channels. Further increasing revenue.

So set a size target and keep reinvesting as you grow towards it!

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