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How to Use Newsletter Placements to Acquire SaaS Users with Paul-Louis Valat

How to Use Newsletter Placements to Acquire SaaS Users with Paul-Louis Valat

About a month ago I connected with Paul-Louis via Medium, after reading his awesome article on his experience spending about $8000 on newsletter placements.

We had a great discussion which is very practical and covers:

  • Types of newsletter placements (and performance)
  • Estimated budgets
  • How to find and approach newsletter operators
  • Tips on maximizing your click performance
  • How to scale newsletter advertising

Enjoy the episode.

Why newsletter ads?

If you're looking to reach engaged communities, newsletter ads can be a great option. According to Paul Louis Valat, acquisition marketer at Plezi, these types of ads can be particularly effective for products with a clear value proposition that can be conveyed in just a few sentences. Content, in particular, tends to do well in this format.

How should you formulate your ads?

When it comes to creating the ad itself, Valat recommends including a headline, text of around 300 characters, a call to action, and possibly an image. It can also be helpful to ask for feedback from the newsletter creator or even have them write the ad for you.

How much can newsletter ads Cost?

In terms of cost, Valat says he spent around $250 for newsletter ads with less than 10,000 subscribers, and around $800 for those with more than 10,000 subscribers, with the cost per ad coming in at around $1,000 to $2,000. The type of placement can also affect cost, with main sponsor placements in the intro generally costing more than basic sponsor placements in the body of the newsletter.

What is the process of buying newsletter ads?

To get started with newsletter ads, Valat suggests looking for newsletters on platforms like Substack and reaching out to creators via LinkedIn or email with a brief pitch explaining why your product is a good fit. From there, you can ask for their media kit (if they have one) and agree on price and placement before working on the ad copy.

Any tips for better newsletter ad creatives?

When it comes to the ad itself, Valat recommends making sure the value proposition is clear and having a good landing page, with a conversion rate of around 10%. He also suggests asking for feedback from other marketers and making sure you understand the audience of the newsletter you're targeting to avoid any misalignment.

What is the difference between newsletter placements?

Valat recommends testing out different placements to see what works best for your product.

Main sponsor placements in the intro can be more expensive but may stand out more to readers, while basic sponsor placements in the body of the newsletter can also be effective. Sponsored-only placements, which are generally cheaper, can be less engaging but can still be useful for sharing links.

How do you vet newsletter creators?

When it comes to choosing the right newsletter publishers to advertise with, Paul-Louis emphasized the importance of doing your research. He suggested reading the newsletters and checking their social media to gauge the level of engagement and professionalism.

Any key lessons learned?

Paul-Louis shared that for Plezi, the sweet spot for newsletter ad campaigns was between 5k and 10k subscribers. However, he cautioned against assuming that bigger newsletters are always more effective. Paul also emphasized the importance of not reusing the same ad copy if you repeat the placement on the same newsletter.

What mistakes should people avoid?

Paul-Louis highlighted a few common mistakes to avoid when running newsletter ad campaigns. He advised ensuring that your value proposition is clear and that you have a well-constructed landing page with a conversion rate of at least 10%. He also suggested seeking feedback from other marketers and making sure you understand the audience of the newsletter before running an ad.

What do you recommend for the frequency?

Plezi currently runs ad campaigns on a quarterly basis, targeting two newsletters per month. He emphasized the importance of finding the right balance and targeting the right creators to achieve the best results.

How do you suggest people start?

For those just starting out with newsletter ad campaigns, Paul-Louis recommended testing with four different newsletters and scaling up from there. By starting small and carefully analyzing the results, you can fine-tune your campaigns and maximize their effectiveness.