Jun 09, 2022 - 02:48 PM
The goal of every newsletter isn’t just to provide value to its readership but to build trust and a solid community.
Readers have a strong bond with the newsletters they love, and just dumping third-party ads on your audience could negatively affect the community you’ve been building over the years.
So, with that said, here’s what you need to do before including third-party ads in your newsletter.How to Include Ads in Your Newsletter
You must understand that your readers trust you, so make sure you communicate that trust back to them by:
- Communicating With Your Audience
Obviously, you’re still new to adding third-party ads to your newsletter so make sure you take baby steps. Start by communicating with your audience and letting them know beforehand that you’d be adding ads to the newsletter and the decision—if any—that led you here. Inform your audience how the ad revenue will help your business grow and expand. The last thing you want to do is spring an ad on them. Like YouTube, Spotify and other services, you could also offer a “no ads” option for a relatively low monthly subscription price e.g. $10 per month. Substack allows you to do this fast and easily.
Remember your audience are already familiar with your product the way it’s, and the absence of ads may be the reason they’re in love with your brand in the first place.
Set some basic rules that the third-party ads on your platform must satisfy. This would show your readers that you still have their interests in mind. Also, ensure you give them some time—at least a week—before implementing the ads.
- Consider Doing Produce Reviews vs. Straight Ads
One highly effective monetization strategy is to recommend products you’ve reviewed in detail i.e. the so called ‘unboxing’ promotions. If it is a physical product, you open the box on video then describe its features and show how to use it. You can also do this for digital products without literally ‘unboxing’ but the strategy is the same.
These work because you are demonstrating expertise and helping your customers choose helpful products. You can then include an affiliate link at the bottom of your review, and it is fine to let your audience know that you may get compensated through the affiliate link.
To increase trust, your review should also mention some cons about the product (or service) that are not deal breakers. Direct response guru Dan Kennedy calls these ‘harmless faults’.
And if you want to dial up this tactic, every now and then do complete tear downs where you completely trash a mediocre product and tell your audience to steer clear from it. When you later recommend one to buy, they will trust you more and you will make more money.
You see, research shows that people who criticize and denounce things (rather than praise them) are perceived to be more authoritative and have more expertise on a subject.
- Don’t Confuse Your Audience With Similar Products
Advertising similar brands may sound like a great way to make some extra revenue, but you run the risk of confusing your audience. It’s even worse if the products are identical to each other.
The logic is simple: if you’re constantly jumping from one killer product to another similar killer product every time, why should customers trust you? Now you know why celebrities don’t endorse similar products.To Wrap Up: Don’t Become a Shill
As time goes by, you’ll become more comfortable running ads on your newsletter, but make sure you don’t get carried away and become an ad shill.
Always ensure to increase the quality of content you put out periodically. Your audience signed up for your newsletter for the value they’d gain and not for the ads.