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Getting new subscribers by supporting other newsletters

The subtle art of newsletter advertising


Alex from GrowGetters

Aug 01 2021

4 min read


Hey GrowGetters!

I hope your week has been nothing but successful!

A quick intermezzo before we continue with our regularly scheduled program: This week, I interviewed Ethan Brooks from Trends. I am mentioning this here because there was so much value in this conversation; it would be a shame if you missed it.

Ethan knows the newsletter industry in and out, so if you know what is good for you: check out his interview.

Among other things, we talked about:

  • Why grow your Twitter
  • When to start monetizing a newsletter
  • How to monetize a newsletter
  • Early TheHustle growth hacks

What is Facebook's plan?

After last week's newsletter, I got quite a few emails from people that also got blocked for promoting their newsletter. I don't want to get into theories... but one thing is for sure: right now is not a good time to advertise a newsletter on Facebook.

Buying Newsletter Ads


So, I went another route: paying other newsletter creators to get on their thang. I took my big Facebook budget ($300) and went newsletter hunting. I used Swapstack exclusively because even though they charge a hefty 10% fee, figuring out which newsletter would be up for advertisement and reaching everyone directly was too much hustle for one week.

I don't love the Swapstack solution, as it still involves a lot of direct messaging, but it did the job (and introduced me to a few newsletters that were not on my radar. I contacted about ten newsletter creators; three were fast enough and had an open spot so I could actually see the results before the end of the week.

I tried different sizes and (slightly different) genres to see if there was a pattern:

  1. Newsletter 1(Marketing): 1,500 subscribers, 30% open rate, cost: $30
  2. Newsletter 2 (for writers): 6,200 subscribers, 40% open rate, cost: $100
  3. Newsletter 3 (side business): 15,000 subscribers, 35% open rate, cost: $225

( I know I went over budget....)

I set up different tracking links to see which ad got me the most subs/$ and here's what I found:

Newsletter 1 - dadunn - 5 subscribers so 6$/subscriber

Newsletter 3 - still early as it was send out yesterday - so far: 153 new subscribers - $1,5/subscriber

Newsletter 2 (!!) - 234 new subscribers - $0,4/subscriber WHAT?!

My verdict? The subscriber base and costs for advertising don't matter. It really (really) depends on the newsletter niche. Newsletter advertisement (still) kinda sucks as a generic form of advertisement - but if you find a newsletter with an audience that really fits your product, you should double in on that.

I see it in the links I send out all the time; by now, I know approximately how many people will click on which link and what's interesting to you.

Marketing people don't care about another newsletter (even if it's as great as this one). Side business people are not interested in newsletters as they are probably looking for instant monetization. But writers REALLY care about growing a newsletter as it is a great way to get their work out.

So, don't wait any longer - find that newsletter with the audience that will go nuts about your content. Even if the creator doesn't take advertisements, try to get on his newsletter one way or another. Convince him/her to take your money, try swapping newsletters or just outright steal his/her list (that's a joke).

Talk to you again next week, and let's keep growing.


PS: Letterdrop now has the option to rank referrals; I want to use this in the coming weeks. Please, do me a favor, answer this email and tell me for what prize you would try to refer as many people as possible to this newsletter (nothing is off the table)

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