Strategy

Advertising in Newsletters: 6 Top Ad Platforms You Should Know

Robert BrandlCharlotte Evans

By Robert & Charlotte

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Recently, I’ve invested quite a bit of time into newsletters ads, promoting EmailTooltester as an advertiser.

In my opinion, newsletter ads are a highly underrated method for driving targeted traffic to your website, thereby attracting new potential subscribers and customers to your sales funnel.

Consequently, I sought out interesting newsletters from smaller creators, primarily in the digital marketing space, and subscribed to several of them. Many of them included a footer link saying, “Advertise in this newsletter.”

Clicking this link sometimes takes you to the creator's website, while other times, it directs you to a marketplace. Marketplaces are intriguing as they allow you to book multiple ad placements simultaneously.

But before we dive into the marketplaces, let’s take a look at ad formats.

Typical Newsletter Ad Formats

Newsletter advertising can be done in various formats, each catering to different marketing goals and audience engagement levels. Let's take a look at the most typical formats:

Classified ads are small, straightforward listings often grouped together at the end of the newsletter, making them a cost-effective choice for reaching a wide audience without a significant investment.

Sponsored ads are more prominent and integrated within the newsletter content, offering higher visibility, often using a featured ad image. See our example:

sponsored ad example

That's an ad we ran in an SEO newsletter

Dedicated emails are entirely focused on one advertiser’s message, providing a highly-targeted approach to reach subscribers without any competing content.

Lastly, native ads are seamlessly integrated into the newsletter’s content, mimicking the editorial style and tone to provide a less intrusive advertising experience that aligns closely with user interests.

Each type offers unique advantages, from budget-friendly options to high-engagement formats, allowing advertisers to tailor their approach to meet specific campaign objectives.

Let’s now check the available marketplaces:

Newsletter Ad Marketplaces

Let me share with you the networks I found. They feature newsletters from all industries, so I am confident you will find a suitable placement.

We’ll start with marketplaces, where you book individual placements. In some cases, you can also create campaigns, where newsletter creators will apply to participate.

Passionfroot

passionfroot

First up, Passionfroot is my favorite. It hosts a wide range of industries and creators in the B2B space, both big and small. Although I have booked only a handful of newsletter ads through Passionfroot, the experience has been smooth, mostly thanks to their user-friendly platform.

And it’s not just about newsletters; it also connects you with YouTubers, podcasters, LinkedIn influencers, TikTokers, Instagrammers, you name it. This variety makes it an excellent platform for creating integrated campaigns that run across different channels.

Advertising through multiple touchpoints is generally the most effective approach, as it increases the likelihood that your advertising budget will achieve significant impact rather than just going “poof”.

Newsletter ad rates start at $10 for smaller creators but can increase to to several thousand dollars for very large influencers. The platform is niche-focused, which means you won’t typically find huge brands here.

passionfruit interface

Passionfroot interface

A lot of the influencers on Passionfroot are well-known within their specific circles but remain mostly unknown to the general public.

What makes Passionfroot special is its ability to let you set up campaigns where you define the objective and let creators apply for it. This approach ensures you receive proposals from very motivated publishers who might be willing to offer discounts.

> Try Passionfroot (free signup)

Paved

paved

If newsletters are specifically what you're after, Paved is a great platform. It includes some of the biggest newsletter publishers in its network (like Inc., FastCompany, Entrepreneur.com, CNBC, etc.).

paved publishers

Paved Featured Newsletters

Paved makes it easy to generate a large impact with well-known brands. The platform is divided into two main areas: the Marketplace, where you can hand-pick your publishers, and the Ad Network, where you set up a campaign for programmatic advertising.

This allows you to target specific job titles, interests, or countries. You set up a budget and define your desired pay-per-click rate, ensuring that your ads are displayed across suitable publishers within their entire network, thereby generating significant buzz for your brand.

> Try Paved (free signup)

Beehiiv

beehiiv

Beehiiv’s primary business is their newsletter service, which has quickly grown in popularity within just a few years. The platform hosts a wide range of newsletter creators, making it highly convenient for them to use this ad network as Beehiiv handles all the logistics. Essentially, creators only need to indicate their readiness to accept advertisers.

Beehiiv has acquired an ad marketplace called Swapstack and is also partnered with Hecto, another newsletter advertising marketplace.

hecto

A notable disadvantage of using Beehiiv’s ad network is that you only gain exposure in newsletters that run on their platform. This video is insightful if you want to learn more about how it works.

It's made for newsletter publishers, but as an advertiser myself, I found it useful as well:

beehiiv advertiser network

To sign up for Beehiiv’s ad network you simply have to fill in a form and wait for them to get back to you.

> Apply to the Beehiiv Ad Network

ConvertKit

Very similar to Beehiiv, ConvertKit also offers their own creator ad platform. They feature some well-known names among their publishers, such as Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday (Daily Stoic), and Pat Flynn. You might not recognize these individuals (and I don’t blame you for it), but they are almost superstars in their respective niches.

convertkit publishers

To participate in the ConvertKit ad network, you must apply via their form. ConvertKit charges a commission of 23.5% to newsletter creators if they market their ad slots exclusively through ConvertKit. If not, the fee increases to 30%.

> Apply for the ConvertKit ad network

Programmatic Ad Platforms

These platforms are designed for very large advertisers who want to advertise across various newsletters simultaneously. As mentioned earlier, Paved also offers programmatic ads, but I’ve categorized it separately since it allows for individual placements as well.

Let's now look at ad platforms that focus exclusively on programmatic solutions.

BuySellAds

buysellads

I remember BuySellAds as a marketplace for booking banner advertising. They have since completely revamped their business model to target large companies seeking a broad audience for their ads.

They now offer email advertising, podcasts, sponsored content, display advertising, and more. To be honest, I haven't used their services because our budget doesn’t align with their scale.

> Sign up for BuySellAds

Liveintent

liveintent

Liveintent is another comprehensive programmatic advertising platform that provides a variety of channels, including email and display ads. These can be combined into an integrated advertising campaign across numerous newsletters and websites.

> Sign up for Liveintent

Conclusion

I hope my article helped you to gain a better insight into which newsletter ad network might be right for you. However, remember that you can also contact newsletter creators directly. While this approach may be more labor-intensive than using an ad platform, it often allows for securing cheaper deals.

If you're looking to scale your advertising efforts, using one of these ad networks can be a very smart choice for your business. It gives you instant access to almost hundreds of newsletter publishers, facilitating widespread reach and engagement.

I'd love to hear about your experiences—let me know how it goes!

The authors

Learn more about us

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hello! I'm Robert, an email marketing expert with over 15 years of experience. After honing my skills at an agency by serving major corporations, I founded EmailTooltester as a passion project to help small and medium-sized businesses. Connect with me on LinkedIn where I regularly share my best email marketing knowledge.

Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology