How To Make Facebook Ad Copy and Images For Newsletters
PLUS: LinkedIn Growth Hacks, Ad Arbitrage, How To Sell Newsletter Ads, and More
Welcome to The Newsletter Operator! Today, we'll cover 5 links, 3 examples, and 1 deep dive to help grow your newsletter.
Here's what you'll learn:
The ultimate guide to making static Facebook and Instagram ads
How to use “ad arbitrage” to scale
A LinkedIn growth hack
And much more…
Let’s get into it!
How to Create Great Facebook Static Ads
Last week I covered how to make video ads for newsletters. Now let’s talk about the 2nd type of ad creative, which is also the easiest to start with.
Static aka “image” ads
There are 4 elements to a static ad:
The primary text
Here’s how to make each element convert viewers into clicks and subscribers.
1/ The primary text
For newsletters, I like to keep copy short, 1-4 sentences or <50 words.
Ideally, keep the copy “above the fold” on FB and IG so users don’t need to click “see more” to read all the copy.
However, I’ve made a ton of successful newsletter ads with long-form copy. When doing this, use bullets to break up the text to make it more readable.
Add emojis to illustrate your copy. Don’t overuse emojis or misuse them. 1-2 emojis in your primary copy will help you communicate better and stand out.
For long-form copy use emojis as bullet points like this:
✅ bullet 1
✅ bullet 2
✅ bullet 3
I recommend using the AIDA framework:
Your first sentence should hook readers and grab their attention.
This is a great place to use “dog whistle” copy. Which is copy that only your target audience will respond to.
For example, I might begin an ad for The Newsletter Operator with copy like this:
“Building an email newsletter?”
“Want to grow your newsletter?”
“Here’s how to grow your email list”
Don’t be too obvious or crude in the way you call your target audience out. I would avoid using copy like:
“Newsletter founder? Read this!”
“Calling all founders with newsletters!”
This type of copy screams “ad” and will be ignored.
We want our ads to look authentic - like actual posts you would see on FB and IG.
Your second sentence should create interest.
Here you should share:
What readers learn
What topics your newsletter covers
What problems your newsletter solves
Here’s an example for The Newsletter Operator:
“We work with the most successful newsletters and share their growth hacks with you.”
Okay, now this ad is interesting. Many people would love to learn what growth hacks the most successful newsletters are using.
Now you need to channel that attention and interest into desire.
To do that, you need to use proof and credibility to build desire and belief.
At this point in the ad, the reader just needs to know that The Newsletter Operator is legit. They want to learn “growth hacks” from “the most successful” newsletters. But can this ad actually deliver that to them?
To show them they can believe, I show credibility through the “authorities” I work with.
Here’s what that copy might look like:
“Our clients include: The Hustle, The Daily Upside, Chartr, The Milk Road, and more”
People in the newsletter space know these brands and know they are some of the most successful in the industry. Therefore, they’re more likely to believe the claim in my ad and desire what I’m advertising.
If you don’t have “authorities” you’ve worked with, don’t worry! There are tons of other ways to show your credibility and expertise.
Here are a few:
Where you’ve been featured - “As seen in Forbes”
How many readers you have - “Join 1,000 readers”
Prestigious people who read it - “GaryVee reads our newsletter”
Your personal experience - “After 10 years working in marketing”
Where your readers work - “Read by leaders at Google, Netflix, and Amazon”
Where you previously worked - “From the team that brought you The Hustle”
Your reader testimonials - “Readers call it: ‘The best newsletter on cybersecurity’
Your team's experience - “With the combined experience of over 50 years in ad tech”
You get the idea…
It’s also a great idea to “show” that credibility in your ad image. (You can also show credibility in the image rather than the copy - or do both).
For example, if an industry leader like GaryVee reads your newsletter, show it in an image so it’s believable, don’t just say it in your copy.
Finally, the last part of your copy should get readers to take action.
This is the easy part. Keep it simple:
“Join for free”
“Subscribe for free”
“Subscribe to get smarter in 5 minutes”
“Click the link to sign up! It’s always free”
If your newsletter is free (or if you have a free version) mention that here.
Putting it all together
Here’s my ad for The Newsletter Operator using the AIDA framework:
Attention - “Building an email newsletter?”
Interest - “We work with the most successful newsletters and share their growth hacks with you.”
Desire - “Our clients include: The Hustle, The Daily Upside, Chartr, The Milk Road, and more.”
Action - “Click the link to join for free.”
Now, this ad copy could work great, but it’s a bit long. Here are a few shorter versions using the foundational ad copy I wrote from the framework:
“Building an email newsletter? We work with newsletters (like The Hustle, The Daily Upside, and more) and share their growth hacks with you. Subscribe for free!”
“Want to learn the growth strategies behind newsletters like The Hustle, The Daily Upside, The Milk Road, and more? We’ve worked with them. And we share those learnings in our free newsletter.”
“Become a better newsletter operator in 10 minutes a week. Get the growth strategies we use to help brands like The Hustle, The Daily Upside, The Milk Road, and more. Join Free.”
Also - I don’t always include a clear call to action in the primary text. Sometimes it’s better to add that in the image or sometimes not at all. But if you don’t include one, make sure you explain what the product is (a newsletter). Don’t expect people to click to find out.
2/ The image
Here are my favorite types of images for newsletter ads:
Use this meme template library to find ideas for your newsletter.
Use easy-to-understand memes that show a benefit of the newsletter. Your memes won’t be funny, but they should grab attention and show a reason why people should subscribe.
B. Notes ads
Write copy in the iPhone notes app (or Notion). Screenshot it and use it as an ad. If you’re using this style of image, your primary text should be short.
C. Text ads
Same concept, different look and feel.
D. Founder images
If you’re the face of your newsletter, use images of you. The images should be personal or aspirational - but not too personal or aspirational.
- Use an image you would share on Instagram, but without your friends or family in it.
- Use a photo of you doing cool stuff (like on a vacation or in a cool office) but don’t use a photo of you in front of 3 Lamborghinis you don’t own.
E. Carousel of content
Use the headlines and images from your best content to make a carousel ad.
F. Testimonial screenshots
Screenshot testimonials for image ads or use multiple testimonials for a carousel ad.
G. Press or award screenshot
Featured in other publications? Show that in your ads.
H. Authority / Social proof
Show off your credibility and expertise in an image like this or show your readers credibility.
Want more examples?
Go to the Facebook Ad library of your favorite advertisers:
Select "active" ads only
Select "active" ads only
Scroll to the bottom of the page
Look for ads that have been live for 2-3+ months
If an ad has been live for that long, it's working great.
3/ The headline
Your headline should show:
A clear benefit
Social proof or authority
How your newsletter solves a problem
How easy or fast it is to get the benefit or solve the problem
Also, it should almost always be in TitleCase.
Here are a few examples from some of my favorite newsletters:
The Milk Road:
“Join 200,000+ Crypto Investors, For Free”
“Trusted Crypto News and Insights. In 5 Minutes”
“Become A Better Crypto Investor In 3 Minutes a Day”
“Get Smarter On Crypto and Web3 In 3 Minutes a Day”
“Find Out Why 4 Million People Read This Daily”
“Stay Informed and Entertained, For Free”
“Get Smarter On Business and Tech (For Free)”
“2.5M Professionals Start Their Day With This Newsletter”
“The Morning Paper For Tech”
“The Daily News For Software Engineers”
4/ The Description
This is the last and simplest part of your Facebook ads.
Your description should be short copy that has a call-to-action, shows social proof, or emphasizes that the newsletter is free.
Here are some examples:
“Join Free Today”
“It’s Always Free”
“Join 1,000+ Readers For Free”
Three Examples you can steal
1/ Recommendation Swaps
Beehiiv or Substack Recommendation can be a great form of free and automated growth.
I advise cross-recommending with 3-6 newsletters with similar topics and growth rates.
Don't worry about perfectly matching the subs you send each other. It's worth doing even if you give more than you get. This is free growth you wouldn't have gotten without cross-recommendation.
Houck News does a great job of this (the newsletter in the screenshot above). He’s cross-recommending with 5+ other newsletters.
What’s the best way to find other newsletters to recommend?
I made a google sheet with 50+ beehiiv newsletters and their contact info. Fill out this form to list your newsletter and get access to the google sheet on the thank you page:
P.S. Don’t mass email everyone on this list. Reach out one-on-one if it’s a fit.
2/ Landing page from Project Leaders
This is one of the best newsletter landing pages I’ve seen.
It includes all the key elements to get visitors to subscribe and read your newsletter:
Headline with a clear benefit
Project management is confusing to most. This makes it “simple”.
Subheadline that explains 3 key things
A. What you’ll learn by subscribing: “to manage work and lead people” + “one actionable project leadership framework”
B. Who reads it (social proof): “Join 7,500+ subscribers”
C. When and how often you’ll get emails: “every Tuesday”
Includes an “authority section” to show proof that the content is good
If project leaders at Netflix, Slack, Google, and Microsoft read it, it must be good!
3/ LinkedIn newsletter hack
When you create a newsletter on LinkedIn, all your connections and followers get the invitation in the “My Network” tab.
Aleksandr did this and got 1,500 subs within 24 hours (and he’s not that active on LinkedIn).
However, you can't export your subscribers’ email addresses, so it’s not truly “your” newsletter. It’s a just newsletter you can distribute on LinkedIn.
Now here’s the hack:
Use a scraper tool (or hire a VA) to get their email address from their LinkedIn page. Then you can add them to your primary email newsletter.
Make sure you’re following the law with this tactic. Don’t spam. You won’t get subscribers that open your newsletter by adding them against their will. You’ll only hurt your sender reputation.
Instead, send them 1 email to ask if they would like to be added to your email newsletter. Because they already “subscribed” on LinkedIn, they’re much more likely to say “yes” by confirming their subscription or clicking to sign up on your landing page.
The Five Best Links
This is the best resource I’ve seen on how to sell newsletter ads. Ethan Brooks has spent years researching and interviewing top newsletters to break down how they monetize.
Another link from Ethan Brooks because his content is so damn good. This guide covers how to find your content objectives, your voice, the 8 components of a great newsletter, and more.
Who Sposoners Stuff launches NewsletterJobs.io, a job board for the newsletter industry.
A fast and simple way to get a ballpark for how much you should charge for ads.
This thread reveals how many newsletters go from 25k, 50k, or 100k subscribers to 1M+ subscribers with paid marketing.
That’s it!If you found this useful, subscribe below for more newsletter growth tips.