Newsletters have boomed in popularity over recent years. Many companies and solopreneurs have made millions of dollars from their newsletters alone, making them a solid asset in any business model.
Email is a very personal communication channel. Well, it’s not too personal like iMessage, for example, but still personal enough to establish a long-lasting relationship with your audience. It’s also convenient – who wouldn’t want to get bite-sized stories or tips about the topics they’re interested in delivered right to their inbox, anyway?
Here, I’ve shared some of the most impressive newsletter ideas that have generated millions of dollars for their creators to inspire you.
Email is still king of conversion rates
Email marketing is still one of the most effective B2B marketing channels for businesses of all sizes.
Don’t believe me? Let’s talk numbers, then!
50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once per month. (Salecycle, 2022)
99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning. (OptinMonster, 2020)
Based on recent research by Radicati, the number of email users is expected to hit 4.37 billion users in 2023. That’s more than half of the planet’s population, which presents an attractive opportunity for marketers to reach their audiences with email newsletters.
Another stat from Barilliance shows that the average global email conversion rate was 8.17% in 2022. In addition, according to Databox, 33% of marketers send weekly emails to their leads and customers, and at least 26% send more than one email per month.
Seven-Figure Newsletter Ideas to Get the Juices Flowing
Alright, now let’s explore some exciting multi-million dollar newsletter ideas that generate lots of revenue in a short time.
Contrarian Thinking (Estimate: $13 Million – 2023)
Category: Business and entrepreneurship
Everyone talks about super exciting business ideas that have never been there, so Codie did the exact opposite. She created a newsletter that guides people on how to create successful “boring” businesses.
Codie Sanchez has managed to build a multi-million dollar business with her newsletter idea in less than 3 years. She promoted herself everywhere and capitalized on the uniqueness of her niche: traditional boring businesses.
The Newsette (Estimate $40 Million – 2021)
Category: Women-focused business and lifestyle newsletter
The Newsette is a daily newsletter that was created for women and only women. With over 500,000 subscribers, Daniella Pierson has made a whopping $40 million with her newsletter.
The Newsette talks about beauty, business, and other topics that might interest women of all ages. Daniella also interviews influential people and subject matter experts to keep her subscribers engaged and interested.
The Saturday Solopreneur (Estimate $1.7 Million – 2023)
Category: Soloprenuership – entrepreneurship
In his weekly newsletter, Justin Welsh shares how he utilizes content distribution to reach and grow his audience on different social media channels.
He talks about the secrets of his success and how the systems he has put in place for everything in his life have made him reach more people, establishing himself as a thought leader in the industry.
Justin monetizes his newsletter with courses and other products.
TheDailySkimm (Estimate: Millions of Dollars – 2022)
Category: Bite-sized stories and news
TheDailySkimm is just as it sounds: a free newsletter where the creators share their most interesting stories, industry trends, current events, and business news in bite-sized emails. It was founded in 2012 by two former NBC News producers: Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.
For them, the news is more than just their career; it’s what they’re most passionate about in life.
Currently, TheDailySkimm has over 3.5 million subscribers and 1 million social media followers, with an announced email open rate of 40%.
Lenny’s Newsletter (Estimate: $2.2 million – 2023)
Category: Building Products
A former employee of AirBnB, Lenny Rachitsky had left his job in 2019 and had some relative success on Medium before a friend convinced him to start a newsletter.
Now he writes a weekly advice column about product development, career growth, and other office-related topics.
He charges a subscription of $15/month and has 456,000 subscribers.
The GIST (Estimate: $2.0 million – 2023)
Started by three college roommates who are taking the lead to bring equal sports news coverage for men’s and women’s sports. “Less than 15% of journalists are women and less than 5% of coverage is on female athletes and non-binary folks” – The Gist.
Sent every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday morning. They have almost 700,000 subscribers.
Questions about Newsletters
What topics do well for a newsletter?
Figuring out what topics you want to write about can be frustrating since anything under the sun could work in a newsletter but what would really succeed is anyone’s guess. The key aspects to think about are what you’re already knowledgeable in, how impactful it is on people’s lives, and most importantly, what you’re willing to write about for at least 5 years if not more.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, here are some potentially profitable newsletter topics that have shown success in the past.
Personal Finance and Investment: People are always looking for advice on managing their money, investing, saving, and planning for their financial future.
Health and Wellness: Topics such as fitness, nutrition, mental health, and holistic well-being are popular and relevant in today’s health-conscious society.
Technology and Gadgets: As technology continues to evolve, people are eager to stay updated on the latest gadgets, software, and tech trends.
Self-Improvement and Productivity: Many readers are interested in self-help, time management, goal-setting, and strategies for personal and professional growth.
Entrepreneurship and Business: Tips, strategies, and insights for starting and growing a business, along with advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners, can be valuable.
Travel and Adventure: People love to explore new destinations and experiences, making travel-related content, tips, and stories engaging for readers.
Food and Cooking: Cooking tips, recipes, restaurant recommendations, and food culture can capture the interest of a wide audience.
Parenting and Family: Parenting advice, family dynamics, child development, and related topics are always in demand.
Fashion and Beauty: Fashion trends, styling tips, skincare routines, and beauty product recommendations can attract a dedicated following.
Hobbies and Special Interests: Newsletters catering to specific hobbies like photography, gaming, gardening, crafting, or any other niche interest can be quite profitable.
Real Estate and Property Investment: Real estate trends, property investment strategies, and home improvement advice can attract readers looking to invest in properties.
Education and Online Learning: With the rise of online education, newsletters focusing on learning resources, skill development, and online courses can be valuable.
Remember, profitability doesn’t solely depend on the topic itself; your ability to provide high-quality, relevant, and engaging content is crucial. Outreach and engaging with new subscribers through effective marketing and communication strategies is a significant role in the growth of your newsletter. Always research your audience’s interests and keep abreast of changing trends in your industry.
How often should I send a newsletter?
While I personally know some companies that send 2 to 3 emails per day, it’s better to not send so frequently you push subscribers to unsubscribe due to sheer volume. Mailbird analyzed 91 million inquiries and found 35% of emails are left unread every day. At one of my earliest jobs, the CEO had over 21,000 unread messages.
Emailing your newsletter 2 to 4 times a month is considered best practice as a starting point. Every list is going to be different. It’s more important to match your subscribers’ expectations. If they’re expecting the latest updates once a day like daily news, then that’s what you’ll need to provide.
What newsletters make millions?
Here are some newsletters estimated to make millions annually.
Contrarian Thinking ($13 Million – 2023)
The Newsette ($40 Million – 2021)
The Saturday Solopreneur ($1.7 Million – 2023)
Lenny’s Newsletter ($2.2 million – 2023)
The GIST ($2.0 million – 2023)
Why do most newsletters fail?
There is a disconnect between what readers want and the contents of the newsletter.
Most newsletters fail to make any money or growth due to writers overestimating the time and effort to grow successful. Many people are inundated with success stories where rapid growth seems to be the norm. Rapid growth comes from learning what works and what doesn’t.In most cases, it takes years of persistence in marketing and learning from an audience before they pay off. Lacking consistency and tenacity are the two reasons most newsletter writers fail.
How to Write Your Own Newsletter
In today’s digital age, the power of effective communication cannot be understated. Newsletters have emerged as a potent tool for engaging audiences, sharing valuable insights, and even generating substantial revenue. If you’ve ever dreamt of creating your own million-dollar newsletter, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive roadmap to turn that dream into a lucrative reality.
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
The first and most crucial step in building a million-dollar newsletter is finding a niche that both resonates with your expertise and is something you will be interested in for years. It’s essential to choose a subject that you’re genuinely enthusiastic about and knowledgeable in. Passion is fool’s gold and once your excitement wears off you need something you generally can write about consistently for the long haul.
Draw three columns on a piece of paper. For the first column, you should just list everything you know about and the number of years of experience.
The second column should be focused on impact, this could be written as small, medium, or large the topic has on people’s lives. Remember a lot of this is relative, for some people knitting is life and for others it means nothing.
The third column should be the amount of effort it would be to write about the topic. Stocks for example take a ton of research and are constantly changing. Parenting and family matters don’t change nearly as rapidly.
You can now start identifying which topics have a good amount of prior experience, have a moderate impact, and are a manageable amount of effort to write about.
Step 2: Audience Research and Validation
Once you’ve identified your niche, conduct thorough audience research. Who are your potential subscribers? What are their needs, preferences, and pain points? This should be based on your prior experience to start. You should still ask around or use surveys, social media polls, and competitor analysis to gain insights into your target demographic. Validate your newsletter idea by creating a landing page with a sign-up form and gauging interest before investing further.
Step 3: Content Strategy
Develop a content strategy that outlines the sub-topics you’ll cover, the format of your content (long-form articles, curated lists, interviews, etc.), and the frequency of your newsletter. You’ll want to pick a schedule that won’t burn you out before you see results. Consistency is key – whether you choose to publish weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, stick to your schedule to build trust and anticipation among your subscribers.
Step 4: Build an Email List
Now that you have an idea of who your target customers are, you can start building your email list.
Spread the word and tell the people in your circles and professional network about your newsletter. Start thinking about the people that match your idea of your target persona and reach out to them with personalized messages that make them interested in your newsletter.
You can also promote your newsletter in relevant social media groups and on your social media profiles. Another good idea is to create a compelling landing page that invites your prospects to subscribe to your newsletter.
Step 5: Start Writing and Sending Emails
Once you have a decent email list, you can start now writing your newsletter. Keep your writing simple, concise, and straight to the point. Respect your readers’ time and make them find what they opened the email for easy. Creating a mind map to organize your thoughts can be invaluable here.
You might want to start with a low-frequency send rate to gauge the interest of your audience before spamming their inboxes with tons of emails daily and ending up with lots of unsubscribers. Once every one or two weeks should be a good starting point.
There are many email marketing platforms that can make this process simpler with automation tools, such as MailChimp and Klaviyo. These platforms also help you track relevant email metrics, like open rates and bounce rates.
Step 6: Monetization Strategies
Here’s where the million-dollar aspect comes into play. There are several avenues to monetize your newsletter:
Subscription Model: Offer premium content or exclusive perks to paid subscribers. Gradually build up the value of your paid tier to entice more readers to upgrade.
Affiliate Marketing: Partner with relevant brands and products that align with your niche. Promote these products to your subscribers and earn a commission for each sale generated through your affiliate links.
Sponsored Content: Collaborate with companies willing to pay for exposure in your newsletter. Ensure that the sponsored content aligns with your audience’s interests and maintains your editorial integrity.
Product or Service Launches: If you have a product or service of your own, use your newsletter to create buzz and generate sales.
Creating a million-dollar newsletter requires dedication, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of your audience.
I hope you found it helpful or inspiring what some of the most successful newsletters are doing to make money online.
Starting a newsletter business requires a solid plan, consistency, and real-life expertise with the subject. Whether you’ll be sharing news articles, quick tips, or hot topics, you’d want to use your own words and make the newsletter unique to get your first few readers.