How To Make Video Ads That Drive Subscribers For Less Than $2

PLUS: 4 Newsletter Acquisitions, Twitter Growth Hacks, and More

Welcome to the first issue of 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 strategies that drove 180,000+ subscribers for 2 B2B newsletters

  • The biggest month for newsletter acquisitions ever?

  • 3 easy ways to get more subscribers from Twitter

  • A deep dive on how to create video ads

  • and more!

Now let's dive in...

Deep Dive

How To Make Video Ads For Facebook and TikTok

If you want to grow your newsletter with paid acquisition, you need to be great at Facebook ads. And to do that you need great videos.

UGC videos are by far the best-performing Facebook ad creative style. Plus, they work for all the major ad placements on Facebook – feeds, stories, and reels.

Here’s the formula I used to create videos that have generated 300,000+ subscribers for my clients:

Step 1 - Find Actors

I recently wrote a thread on all the ways I find actors.

The TLDR is: Use Fiverr.

Fiverr is the fastest and easiest way to find actors to make your video ads. It’s cheap ($50-$150 per video) and on-platform payment will save you time negotiating with creators and paying invoices.

The downside of Fiverr is there are a ton of actors that suck. The videos they make sound robotic and will never convert viewers to subscribers.

Avoid Fiverr gigs that call themselves “spokesperson videos”. Instead, look for “UGC videos”. These UGC video actors sound natural and authentic - which is what you want in a video ad.

For the best results on Fiverr, do this:

  • Search for “UGC video” to find actors

  • Look at the example videos the actor made for clients. This is a better indicator of their work than the first video you see on their gig page which is usually an “ad” for their service.

  • If they don’t have examples of videos they made for clients (or not enough examples to see if they’re worth ordering from), send them a message and ask for more. 90%+ will send you a folder with more examples of their work.

  • Their videos should look and feel authentic. Like they’re telling a friend about a product. They should not “sound” like an ad.

  • Don’t order on their gig page. Instead, click “contact seller” and send them a message with a link to your script and ask for a custom offer.

Step 2 - Write instructions for the actor

Actors on Fiverr need a script to work with. They also need instructions that explain what you want, how the video will be used, the goal of the video, and examples of other videos you want them to emulate.

Don’t forget to include clear instructions! This will save you time and money on revisions.

Here’s my template for instructions. Make a copy of this doc and fill in the blanks.

Step 3 - Write scripts for the actor

This is the hardest and most important part. Even the best actor can’t make a bad script into a good video ad.

Here’s how to make a good script:

1/ Make the reading time 15-25 seconds long. 

About 90 words or less.

I rarely see a video ad that's longer than 30 seconds work.

Use this tool to estimate the reading time.

2/ Use my 4-step “HPPA” framework to structure your video script:

Part 1 - The hook

One sentence to grab viewers' attention.

Part 2 - The product and promise

Introduce the product (your newsletter) and explain how it helps your ideal reader.

Focus on one big benefit. Or show how your newsletter solves a problem for the reader.

Also, show that it takes very little (or zero) time, effort, and money to get the benefit.

“Easy to understand news, that will make you smarter in 5 minutes, for free”

Part 3 - The proof

Back up your promise with proof. Make it believable. Show logically that the viewer actually can get the benefit. Remove doubt and cover objections here.

A great way to do this is with social proof and authority.

Social proof means consensus - “10,000+ people read our newsletter”

Authority means that people follow the advice and actions of legitimate experts.

If you write your newsletter and you're an expert in something - show that in your ad.

You can also show the authority of your readers. “Over 10,000 people trust our newsletter including readers from Goldman Sachs, Harvard, Apple, Amazon, a16z and more”.

Part 4 - The ask

This is your call to action. Here you need to tell the viewer clearly what you want them to do. Keep it short and simple.

Also, if your product/newsletter is free - mention that here.

“Click the link to subscribe for free”

“Subscribe for free with the link below”

“Click the link to sign up - it’s always free”

3/ Find video ads for inspiration

Use the Facebook ad library and search for the Facebook pages of newsletters (and other brands) you want to spy on.

Look for videos that have been live for multiple months. Those ads are likely working best.

Swipe ideas from those videos. Don’t copy them word for word. Instead, make a different and better version of the script using my framework above.

This will also give you ideas on video edits and effects.

Here’s a few newsletters ad libraries I would check out:

  • Finimize

  • The Hustle

  • The Milk Road

  • TLDR Newsletter

  • 1440 Daily Digest

  • MorningBrew (and other newsletters from them)

Step 4 - Edit the videos

First off, use Kapwing. It’s by far the easiest to use and has all the features you need.

Then once you get the video(s) from the actor add these elements:

1. Background music

Check Tokboard to find trending TikTok music without lyrics. Pick a track that fits your video and download the mp3.

Add it to your video and make sure the background isn’t too loud. You should clearly hear the actor, not the music. About 15%-25% volume works best.

2. Subtitles

Use Kapwings autogenerated subtitles. Check for spelling errors.

Use a font that looks native to FB and IG - I recommend Montserrat or Roboto.

Reduce the characters per line so there are only 3-6 words per line. You don’t want big blocks of text on screen.

Use animations that highlight each word as the actor says it.

3. Add b-roll and images

Add images or b-roll footage of what the actor is talking about. For example, when they start talking about your newsletter, add an image or video of your newsletter.

Every 3-5 seconds there should be a new image or video on the screen. You’ll lose viewers' attention if they don’t see something new within 5 seconds.

No one wants to watch a person just talking to the camera.

That’s it!

Those edits can be done in ~15 minutes. Or you can get it done for you on Fiverr.

Now you’ve got videos you can use for Facebook and TikTok ads.

Three Examples You Can Steal

1. How Ben's Bites grows with Twitter replies

Ben Tossell has grown his AI newsletter from 0 to 20k subs in 14 weeks.

If you look into his Twitter replies you'll find a brilliant growth hack.

Here's how it works:

  • Ben finds the latest AI news, product launches, announcements on Twitter

  • Replies to the tweets with "will cover it tomorrow in my AI newsletter"

  • Links to his newsletter in each reply

Look at this reply to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of google:

It has 21k views! If 1% of those views subscribe that's 210 subscribers.

Not bad considering the reply only took a few seconds to tweet and Ben often sends multiple replies like this every day.

2. Before and after CTAs

The day before your newsletter goes out, post about what subscribers are going to learn and share a link to sign up.

After your newsletter is sent, tell them about what they missed and share a link to get it.

3. Partner giveaways

Team up with 2-5 similar newsletters to do a giveaway. Create a landing page about the giveaway where users can sign up for all the newsletters to be entered to win.

Each newsletter promotes it to its audience and shares the subscribers.

You can set this up with tools like UpViral or DojoMojo.

Or you can use a landing page builder and send all sign up emails to a shared google sheet with zapier.

The key is that every newsletter promotes the giveaway to its email list and its followers.

Our Future is a media startup that creates TikToks, Shorts, and Reels about business, tech, and entrepreneurship. They have 1M+ followers and 1B+ views.

Michael Sikand, CEO of Our Future says: "Our Future’s vast reach combined with Morning Brew’s owned email audience will create incredible synergies”

They can also drive massive growth for Patent Drop from their audience of over 850,000 subscribers.

Love the synergies here!

A great breakdown from They Got Acquired.

Super well researched article that covers exactly how Marketing Examples grew.

Insights on growth from the founder of StackedMarketer.


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