- Newsletter Operator
- How To Spy on Newsletters To Discover Their Revenue and Growth Sources
How To Spy on Newsletters To Discover Their Revenue and Growth Sources
Find out how much money newsletters make and how they grow
Welcome to Newsletter Operator!
In today’s edition:
How to spy on newsletters to find their revenue and growth sources
Newsletter news: A $24M acquisition, fundraising, hires, and more
How newsletters are using Refind to grow on auto-pilot
And much more…
How To Spy on Newsletters and Discover Their Revenue and Growth Sources
Here are 5 ways to spy on other newsletters so you can discover how much money they make and how they get subscribers:
1/ Newsletter Ad Marketplaces
On these platforms you can see:
Newsletter list size, open rate, CTR, and ad CTR
Ad / sponsorship rates
Pick a newsletter you want to spy on.
To find out their ad revenue look at:
Average price per ad
How often they're sending
How often their ad inventory is sold
How many ad placements per newsletter
Use this formula to estimate their monthly ad revenue:
Sends per month x percent of ad inventory sold x average price per ads
(For example: 20 x 80% x $3500 = $56,000 monthly ad revenue)
2/ Find Their “Advertise", “Sponsor”, Booking Page, or Media Kit
If the newsletters you want to spy on aren’t using any sponsorship platforms or marketplaces, try this.
Look for their “Advertise", “Sponsor”, or booking page on their website
If this info isn't on their website, complete their sponsorship form or email their sales team to get it.
After that you’ll have access to their ad packages, placements, price per ad, list size, open rate, CTR, and ad clicks.
Then you can use the same formula to estimate their ad revenue.
Let’s break down how to do this with an example…
Superhuman AI has 450k subscribers and sends a newsletter 5 days per week.
They have 2 ad placements per send.
1 main ad for $3599 each
1 featured ad for $1599 each
That’s $5198 in ad inventory they can sell every send
Let’s assume they only book 80% of their ad inventory.
Based on our formula…
(Sends per month x percent of ad inventory sold x average price per ad)
…Superhuman makes $83,168 per month in ad revenue.
Here's how you find out how they grow their list
Now you've got a good estimate of their ad revenue, let’s find out how newsletters get subscribers.
3/ Use Similar Web
Install their browser extension and pick a newsletter to spy on.
Here you'll see:
Top traffic channels
Social media traffic
This is how you analyze the results:
Top traffic channels: Direct is the #1 channel for newsletters (because traffic from email to a website is direct)
Look at the #2 channel. This is their #1 marketing channel.
If it's Social, and they have a large following they're growing organically from those social media accounts.
If it's Social, and they do not have a large following they're probably using social ads to grow.
If it's Referral, they probably use affiliates or content syndication.
If their top keywords are not branded keywords they're buying Google ads on those search terms or ranking for them.
If they have most of their referral traffic from 1-2 sites those could be affiliates or sponsored posts.
This also could be a site where they're syndicating content.
Social Media Traffic:
If most of their social media traffic is coming from 1 platform, they're probably running ads there or they have a large following on that platform.
4/ Facebook Ad Library
If a page has 10+ active ads FB ads are a big growth channel for them.
You can also get a sense of how well their ads are doing if you get targeted by them. If an ad has 500+ likes or 100k+ views, it's working well.
5/ Interviews with Founders
This one is simple: Find the founder, search their name on Google and podcast players, and then listen and learn.