A Guide To Buying And Selling Space In Email Newsletters

When we say paid ads, what comes to mind? For many of us, it’s social media and web banner ads and TV commercials. However, there’s another strong advertising channel that is sometimes overlooked: email newsletter ads. 

Not only are ads in email newsletters a powerful way to contact new prospects, but it’s also a great way to generate extra revenue if you have an extensive email list. 

Running paid ads in emails and newsletters can turn a massive return on investment (ROI) when done correctly. We put together this guide to cover everything you need to know about successful email newsletter advertising. From determining ad rates to placing them in newsletters, we’ll go over all the benefits and ways to get you started on this advertising channel. 

Are email newsletters a growing online marketing channel?

Like other forms of digital marketing, email newsletters are meant to build trust, educate, and entertain consumers. So, what makes email newsletters stand apart from other advertising channels like Google and Facebook ads?

Readers opt-in to receive newsletters via email. They are invested in the company enough to have provided them with their email address. This sign of interest is much more influential than behavior-based signals like following hashtags or social media pages. Unlike social channels which we know are subject to ever-changing algorithms, fake accounts, privacy issues, etc. – email newsletters, fortunately do not have to contend with such concerns.

What is email newsletter advertising?

Not to be confused with email marketing, email advertising refers to the paid advertisements located inside email campaigns. You might be asking yourself: isn’t email marketing a promotion in itself? How can you place an ad inside an ad?

It’s simple! Email campaigns tend to have a great deal of real estate you can potentially work with. Companies rent out this space and allow other companies to place advertisements in their emails to bring in more income. These ads enable brands to reach targeted audiences in addition to AND outside of their existing CRM database. 

Ad spaces are usually paid for by the brand/company that is advertising. However, it’s also an option to partner with someone who will trade advertising space with you (let you advertise in their emails) or some other mutually beneficial arrangement. 

What are the benefits of advertising in email newsletters?

Email is still one of the most effective ways to market products and/or services. While the ROI varies from industry to industry, recent reports show an average ROI on an email campaign is 42 to 1. That means for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you’ll get $42 back. 

Wondering if placing an ad in an email newsletter will drive sales?  The Association of National Advertisers reports that 66% of consumers have purchased online due to an email marketing message.

Placing your ad in a campaign featuring an influencer or another business that has a close connection to their subscribers is an excellent way to get your products/services in front of new prospects. Readers will most likely see the ad as a personal endorsement, which increases the chances of converting them to customers. 

What are the benefits of selling advertising space in your email newsletters?

While making extra money on space that would otherwise sit empty is probably the most significant advantage to selling ad space, there are a few other benefits to keep in mind. 

Minimize costs 

You’re already sending an email newsletter, right? So, while you are generating more revenue by selling ad space, why not minimize the cost of your email marketing service as well?!

Add value

You already know the importance of an effective email newsletter to engage customers with your company and brand. When deciding to sell your email real estate space, work with companies that you know your audience will be interested in and that you can feel good about promoting. This will strengthen your brand while positioning you as an expert in your industry. 

How much does it cost/ what should I charge?

Whether you are thinking about selling ad space or buying ad space in email newsletters, this is an investment for your business so it’s important for you to consider the cost, Email ads are usually priced by cost per mille (CPM). This marketing term refers to what you pay (or charge) per thousand subscribers on the list.

In general, CPM rates range from $15 to $30, but you should also consider the email campaign’s expected open and click rates. As a buyer of ad space, you should also remember to take into account your cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-of-acquisition (CPA) when working with a particular email campaign. 

To calculate the expected CPC, take the number of subscribers and multiply it by the click rate to get the number of expected clicks. Then, divide the CPM (the actual price you’re paying) by the number found. 

Here’s an example:

CPC = (Total Campaign Cost)/(Subscribers * Click Rate)

So, for a campaign with a $20 CPM; 65,000 subscribers; and a 10% click rate, we’d do the following:

  1. 65,000 * 0.10 = 6,500
  2. (65,000/1,000) * 20 = 1300
  3. 6,500/1300 = 5

The expected CPC for this ad would be $5. 

Another option to consider is affiliate links. Most brands/companies that send out emails will ultimately make a product or service recommendation. Affiliate programs allow you to make money on those recommendations. 

You sign up for the affiliate program of a retailer you like, get approved, and get an affiliate code. From there, you embed that code in any link you include in your newsletters. When someone uses that link to make a purchase, you get a portion of the sale. 

Platforms for newsletter advertising 

Email newsletter advertising platforms can help you with:

  • Finding partners to buy/sell ad space too
  • Receiving and sending payments
  • Manage ad placements
  • Turn your email newsletter into a revenue-generating marketing channel

Check out these platforms if you are looking to streamline your search:

Final thoughts

Deciding to advertise or take on advertisers in email marketing is all about balance. You don’t want to cheapen your brand by coming across as salesy or waste ad budget in a newsletter with a million other businesses.  

Ads don’t have to take away from the subscribers’ experience with email newsletters. Relevant ads that don’t overload and bring value to readers can lead to a successful email campaign.

After all, the more money you make, the better an email newsletter you can create for your readers. This is one of those rare but exceptional opportunities where everybody’s a winner:

  • You get more money.
  • Your subscribers get recommendations for great stuff.
  • Your advertisers find a new audience.

Whether you’re looking to advertise your business or have an extensive email list, email newsletter advertisements can be an exceptional revenue generator. If you’d like to learn more about email marketing and advertising, Firon Marketing is here to help.