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Newsletter Business

How the Ultimate Tools newsletter makes up to $4,000 per month An Interview with Giovanni Fabris

Robert BrandlPaula Medeiros

By Robert & Paula

newsletter creator interview

Welcome to the #1 post in our new interview blog series, where we sit down with successful newsletter creators to chat about the inspirations as well as the secrets behind their newsletters.

There are now so many creators who are turning newsletters into a profitable platform with their innovative content. But the journey from brainstorming ideas to hitting ‘send’ requires a thoughtful and strategic process.

To give you an insider's view into this, we are excited to introduce our first guest: Giovanni Fabris, the brains behind the Ultimate Tools newsletter. Every Friday, over 24,000 readers receive his emails to check out the top three marketing tools of the week, recommendations from successful founders, and the latest market news.

You can subscribe here and even check out a past issue featuring Robert from EmailTooltester (who is a big fan of Giovanni's newsletter)!

Giovanni shared the story of how it all began and gave us valuable insights into what it really takes to run a newsletter like this. He was kind enough to provide all the details — from the time investment to the revenue involved!

So, grab a coffee, settle in, and get ready to be inspired by our interview below:

How did you get the idea for Ultimate Tools?

Initially, the idea wasn’t to start a newsletter. I just wanted to create a simple directory to organize all the tools I had discovered online (and saved in dozens of Chrome folders). There wasn't a specific plan or strategy — just a desire to organize and share with others all the marketing tools and websites I had come across over the years.

The newsletter came about as a natural extension of that project. Back in 2021, there wasn't a lot of buzz around newsletters, but I figured that a weekly newsletter recommending new tools, software, and websites could attract marketing enthusiasts like me.

It turned out to be a great idea, and in no time, the newsletter gained popularity and started to be followed by thousands of readers. Today, we have over 24,000 subscribers. It's still surreal to me, especially considering how excited I was initially about reaching just 500 or 1,000 subscribers.

ultimate tools newsletter

Screenshot of the Ultimate Tools Newsletter

How often do you send?

Ultimate Tools is a weekly newsletter that goes out every Friday morning. I always strive to be consistent and never miss a publication, although it can be challenging at times.

You now have a subscriber list of over 24,000. How did you achieve this growth?

It has been a long journey, and it hasn't always been easy. Reaching the first 1,000 subscribers was particularly challenging, especially because I didn't have much money at my disposal and newsletters were not yet a very popular format at that time.

However, as the newsletter gained popularity, the first sponsors started to come in, and from there, the momentum began to build. From that moment on, growth has been exponential. With new sponsors and increased revenue, I had more budget to reinvest in further growth.

Would you be comfortable sharing your approximate revenue?

Currently, Ultimate Tools generates between $2,000 and $4,000 per month, with earnings coming from a mix of sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and brand partnerships. However, most of this revenue is reinvested into its growth.

I am the founder of a startup, ZERO1 MEDIA, which focuses on bringing new online businesses to life and developing new ideas from scratch, whether they are mine or others', and Ultimate Tools is just one of several projects we are currently developing.

Are you running it all by yourself?

Yes, I currently manage the newsletter on my own. I research, test, and analyze the tools myself, as well as create and send out the newsletter. I do have someone who helps me with creating content for the website, but aside from that, I handle everything on my own.

What channels work best for you?

The acquisition channel that works best for our newsletter is definitely paid ads. Having worked for many years as an ads expert in several startups, I manage to achieve competitive CPAs (cost per action) that allow me to grow the newsletter continuously and consistently. Integrating paid campaigns with tools like Beehiiv or Sparkloop (which let you recommend other newsletters and earn per referral) creates a powerful growth mechanism.

There was a time when I wasn’t paying for new subscribers at all, as the money I received for each referral exceeded our CPA. Unfortunately, there are now more limitations, both geographically and in terms of engagement, that make this strategy more complex. But if the quality of your lead is good, it still helps reduce acquisition costs.

Additionally, the topic of the newsletter naturally attracts new subscribers. It’s a completely free newsletter, easy to read, well-structured, and full of useful insights. This certainly helps in acquiring and retaining new readers.

Of course, paid campaigns alone aren't enough. They are integrated into a broader system of content creation on social networks, recommendations from other newsletters, and collaborations with blogs and websites.

How do you come up with new content every week – could you describe your process?

I usually create the newsletter the day before publication, and it takes me no more than 3 or 4 hours. However, the real work happens throughout the week. Every morning, while having a cup of coffee, I spend at least an hour catching up on the daily news, reading blogs, online magazines, newsletters, and listening to podcasts.

During this time, I collect, analyze, filter, and save all the resources, tools, and marketing news that I will later include in the weekly newsletter. This routine allows me to stay up-to-date and makes the process of creating the newsletter much smoother. By the time I sit down to create the actual newsletter, I already have all the material ready. It's just a matter of organizing it and preparing it.

Is analyzing your stats an important part of your work?

Absolutely. I always try to find some time each week to analyze data and stats to understand what interests the readers and what doesn't. Additionally, I regularly scrub my email list. I have an automation system in place that puts inactive subscribers through a sequence that, after a series of reminders, permanently removes them from the newsletter list.

This practice helps me maintain excellent open and click rate levels, even as the subscriber base continues to grow.

How easy is it to find advertisers? Any other ways you monetize your newsletter besides ads?

I've never had to actively search for advertisers. They usually reach out to me organically. Most of them email me directly, while others contact me through platforms that specifically connect brands with creators. Passionfroot is definitely my favorite (this is my storefront).

Many of the people who contact me are founders or operators who read Ultimate Tools newsletter and want to promote their brand (or the company they work for). This makes me very happy because it means they follow it and find it useful and interesting.

Earnings come from a mix of sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and brand partnerships.

What newsletter service do you use and recommend?

As a tool enthusiast, I have tried a bit of everything. I started with Mailchimp, then moved on to MailerLite. After that, I switched to Substack, and finally, I settled on Beehiiv, which I consider the most comprehensive newsletter platform ever. Beehiiv is an ideal tool not only for publishing a newsletter but also for monetizing and growing it. It is intuitive and easy to use, yet it offers many extremely useful features.

Beehiiv allows you to create automations, referral programs, polls and surveys, segment your audience, promote your newsletter on other publications, and even helps you monetize your newsletter through subscriptions, ads, or by recommending other newsletters.

The only downside of Beehiiv is the price, which is not affordable for everyone, especially if you have a free newsletter. Otherwise, it is truly an amazing platform.

Do you have any tips for people wanting to start their own newsletter?

Find a topic that you are truly passionate about and create unique, valuable content that makes you stand out. Avoid generic subjects. Instead, focus on an unexplored niche. There are already too many generic marketing, tech, or business newsletters out there. And be consistent.

Where can we find you?

I'm not particularly active on social media, but you can find me on LinkedIn or on my personal website.

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To learn more about Ultimate Tools, you can visit the directory or subscribe to the newsletter.

Big thanks go to Giovanni! And if you have a favorite newsletter creator you'd like to see featured, please leave a comment–it might be our next pick.

Finally, don't miss the next interview by signing up for our new Creator Newsletter!

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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.

Paula Medeiros

Content Manager

Olá! I'm Paula, the person responsible for our Portuguese website. I'm passionate about books and technology, setting up my own online book club and newsletter. After tirelessly searching the web for the best tools for my own projects, I am glad I can now help other people through my work at EmailTooltester.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

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

Our Methodology