Want to level up your advertising program? If you don’t already have a plan to sell newsletter sponsorships, you may be missing out.
Display advertising is one of the most popular ways for online magazine publishers to generate revenue. However, despite its long history in the media industry, display advertising rates have been dropping for many years. Publishers that work in direct sales are having to work harder to sell traditional advertising packages, with many businesses growing skeptical of the effectiveness of display advertising.
Display advertising has become saturated with competition. Magazine publishers are not just competing amongst themselves, but also against hyperlocal news websites and blogs for advertising dollars. This makes it harder to turn a profit through display advertising alone, whether your publication is working with Google Ads or engaging in direct digital ad sales.
Ad blockers are another point of concern among publishers who rely on display advertising for revenue. An ad blocker is a filtering software that stops—or blocks—requests to download content onto a browser. Ad blockers are capable of limiting, altering, or altogether stopping online advertising content from displaying in a user’s browser. As many as 45% of consumers between the ages of 15 and 25, and 42% of consumers between the ages of 26 and 33, now use ad blockers, according to one recent study.
Fortunately, there is a way for digital publishers to get around ad blockers and sell advertising products that still generate exceptional results — newsletter sponsorships. Publishers that sell newsletter sponsorships are providing a service to advertisers. They’re also seeing incredible revenue gains by reaching readers at the most opportune time in the customer journey.
What Are Newsletter Sponsorships?
A newsletter sponsorship is a paid ad that is typically placed into a publisher’s email newsletter. With an average open rate of 30%—and top magazine publishers reporting open rates of up to 80%—it makes sense that advertisers would want to attach themselves to this type of engaging media product.
By sponsoring a successful email newsletter, advertisers have a unique opportunity to get in front of dedicated audiences that already trust the source of information. The advertiser is, in essence, piggybacking on the trust and brand loyalty that the publisher has cultivated. Businesses are sending their message directly to targeted readers with a demonstrated interest in specific topics.
Popular email automation platforms—like Mailchimp and Constant Contact—provide publishers with all the tools necessary to track open rates, click-through rates, and other engagement metrics. These metrics are highly valuable when it comes time to sell newsletter sponsorships, because they help demonstrate what kind of return on investment (ROI) an advertiser can expect to achieve.
Newsletter Sponsorships vs. Display Advertising
To sell newsletter sponsorships effectively, publishers rely on real results. Sponsored newsletters regularly generate higher click-through rates than display advertising or paid social media advertising.
Although social media has become an essential component in many businesses’ marketing strategies, and targeted advertising is increasingly popular as a way for smaller businesses to compete with larger companies, none of these channels can compete with newsletter sponsorships when it comes to long-term gains. Those are key differentiators that publishers should focus on when they sell newsletter sponsorships to businesses.
Ad blockers, ad blindness, and general distrust of traditional advertising are all at play in this comparison between newsletter sponsorships and display advertising. Newsletter sponsorships can’t be blocked by ad blockers. They are delivered directly to the inboxes of a targeted audience, and they have been shown to result in high interaction rates.
Preparing to Sell Newsletter Sponsorships
Once you’ve decided to start selling newsletter sponsorships, it’s time to find some sponsors and hone in on your specific value proposition. How much will you charge, and what can advertisers expect in return?
Follow these steps when preparing to sell newsletter sponsorships:
- Decide what type of sponsorships you want to offer. The most common format is for a sponsor’s ad to run in a prominent position at the top of the email. A line that says, “This newsletter is sponsored by ” might also be included in the header and footer, or even in the subject line. Another type of sponsored email is the dedicated email, which is a promotional email that’s sent to the publisher’s mailing list.
- Set your price. The cost of a newsletter sponsorship varies widely. Most publishers charge a flat fee, however sponsorship packages might also work well if your publication is willing to promote the advertiser across other channels, like your website, social media pages, or podcasts. The larger your audience, the higher the price tag. Publishers with niche audiences can also justify a higher price than publishers that focus on general interest topics.
- Promote sponsorship information online. With set prices and ad formats, you can get to work building out a separate page on your website with pertinent information for advertisers. Examples of information to include on this page include your newsletter engagement metrics, number of newsletter subscribers, audience demographics, and examples of past sponsorships.
To learn more about the latest revenue strategies for digital publishers, contact Web Publisher PRO.