Unlocking the Power of Email Newsletters

Unlocking the Power of Email Newsletters

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Start an Email Newsletter
  3. Benefits of an Email Newsletter
  4. Choosing the Right Platform
  5. What to Write About
  6. Finding Your Writing Style
  7. Getting Started with Substack
  8. Monetizing Your Email Newsletter
  9. Growing Your Email List
  10. Tips for Successful Email Marketing


Last week, I had a conversation with Alex Lieberman, who started an email newsletter in his dorm room and later sold it for $17 million. He explained to me that starting an email newsletter was one of the best decisions he's ever made. As a creator, every time he sends an email, he makes around $5,000, which is more than he was making in a month as a doctor. In this article, I will break down why you should consider starting an email newsletter, what you should write about, and provide a step-by-step process on how to get started for free.

Why Start an Email Newsletter

Starting an email newsletter is the perfect starting point if you are new to being a creator. Firstly, it's completely free. Unlike starting a YouTube channel or other platforms, where there may be initial costs involved, you can start an email newsletter without having to spend any money. Secondly, an email newsletter is very low friction. It's easy to get started, especially if you already know how to type. You simply write a few things and hit send. Compared to other platforms, such as YouTube or TikTok, an email newsletter requires less effort and faff. Lastly, an email newsletter offers a more private and intimate way of sharing your content. While it is written for public consumption, the lack of algorithms and the ability to send your first several issues in private gives you the freedom to ease into the process of sharing your thoughts and creations with others.

Benefits of an Email Newsletter

One of the main advantages of starting an email newsletter is that you have a direct relationship with your audience. Unlike other platforms, where the algorithm controls who sees your content, with an email list, you own the audience. When someone signs up for your email newsletter, they are giving you permission to contact them directly. This allows you to build a more personal and meaningful connection with your audience. Additionally, an email newsletter can serve as an asset that you can monetize in the future. By building a loyal and engaged audience, you can potentially generate revenue through sponsorships, product sales, or affiliate marketing. The success stories of creators like Alex Lieberman, who sold his newsletter for $70 million, showcase the potential financial benefits of having an email newsletter.

Choosing the Right Platform

When getting started with an email newsletter, it's important to choose the right platform. There are several options available, depending on your needs and budget. If you're looking for a free platform, two popular choices are Substack and Revue. Substack allows you to create and send newsletters for free, while also offering monetization options. Revue, recently acquired by Twitter, is another free platform that integrates well with the social media giant. If you're willing to invest in a more robust and advanced platform, ConvertKit is highly recommended. Although it is a paid service, ConvertKit offers powerful features and is widely used by professional creators and marketers.

What to Write About

When it comes to deciding what to write about in your email newsletter, there are several approaches you can take. First, you can write about whatever interests you. Being a creator is about finding joy in creating content for its own sake, and it's important that you choose a topic that you genuinely enjoy. This intrinsic motivation will help you stay consistent and maintain your passion for writing. Another option is to curate content. If you spend time reading articles, listening to podcasts, or watching videos, you can share your favorite resources with your audience. This approach can position you as a trusted source of information in your niche. Lastly, you can share your personal thoughts, experiences, and insights. Treat your email newsletter as a public journal where you can document your journey as a creator and provide valuable insights to your subscribers.

Finding Your Writing Style

Developing your writing style is an important aspect of creating an engaging and captivating email newsletter. Writing in a conversational style, utilizing personal pronouns, and keeping it simple are key elements of engaging your readers. Using an informal tone, active voice, rhetorical questions, analogies, and metaphors can make your writing more relatable and enjoyable to read. It's also crucial to keep your paragraphs detailed and specific while maintaining the overall context and specificity. Balancing perplexity and burstiness ensures that your content is intriguing and attention-grabbing without sacrificing clarity.

Getting Started with Substack

To get started with an email newsletter using Substack, simply visit their website and create an account or sign in using your Twitter account. Once you've set up your newsletter, you can start writing your first issue. Substack provides a user-friendly interface where you can compose your content and format it to your liking. You can add images, videos, and links to make your newsletter more visually appealing and interactive. Once you've finished writing, you can preview your newsletter and, when you're ready, hit publish to send it to your subscribers.

Monetizing Your Email Newsletter

While your primary goal may not be to make money from your email newsletter, it's worth considering the potential for monetization in the future. As your audience grows and becomes more engaged, you can explore opportunities for generating revenue. Some common monetization strategies include sponsored content, affiliate marketing, selling products or services, or offering exclusive paid subscriptions. It's important to find a balance between providing value to your subscribers and generating income, ensuring that your content remains authentic and beneficial.

Growing Your Email List

Building and growing your email list is a crucial part of successful email marketing. There are several strategies you can employ to attract new subscribers. One effective method is to create lead magnets, such as free eBooks, templates, or exclusive content, that visitors can receive in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter. You can promote your lead magnets through your website, social media channels, or guest posting on relevant blogs. It's also important to engage with your existing subscribers and encourage them to share your newsletter with their networks. Additionally, optimizing your website for email sign-ups and offering incentives for referrals can help accelerate your list growth.

Tips for Successful Email Marketing

To ensure the success of your email marketing efforts, there are several best practices you should follow. First, be consistent in sending out your newsletters. Establish a regular schedule and stick to it, as consistency builds trust and engagement with your audience. Second, segment your email list based on subscribers' interests, preferences, or behaviors. By tailoring your content to specific segments, you can deliver more targeted and relevant emails. Third, make your emails visually appealing and easy to read. Use compelling subject lines, clear headings, and concise paragraphs to capture your readers' attention. Fourth, track and analyze the performance of your emails. Pay attention to open rates, click-through rates, and subscriber engagement to understand what content resonates with your audience. Lastly, always provide an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe. Respecting their preferences and maintaining transparency will help build trust and credibility.


Q: How often should I send out my email newsletter? A: The frequency of your newsletter will depend on several factors, including the type of content you provide and your audience's preferences. It's generally recommended to send newsletters regularly, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, to stay connected with your subscribers.

Q: Can I monetize my email newsletter from the beginning? A: While it's possible to monetize your email newsletter from the start, it's important to prioritize building a loyal and engaged audience first. Focus on providing value and establishing a strong connection with your subscribers before implementing monetization strategies.

Q: How can I encourage more people to subscribe to my email list? A: There are several tactics you can use to grow your email list. Offering valuable lead magnets, optimizing your website for sign-ups, and engaging with your existing subscribers are effective ways to attract new subscribers. Additionally, leveraging your social media presence and collaborating with other creators can help expand your reach.

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