Our tips for being more strategic with your digital publications.

By Elaina Hundley

While print certainly isn’t dead, one way to bolster your revenue, complement what you’re publishing in print and expand advertising programs is to maximize digital opportunities. When it comes to email newsletters specifically, we have a few pointers for ensuring your digital publications are delivering value to both your readers and advertisers. Increased revenue will follow!

Be Consistent

A branded and well-designed eNewsletter that follows a style guide and is clearly aligned with the association’s mission will perform better than one that feels disorganized and isn’t clearly penned by your editorial team. Readers like consistency. A consistently branded eNewsletter could be a potential member or advertiser’s first engagement with your organization as a whole, so you want recipients to notice it for positive reasons: readability, clarity of voice and quality of content and style.

Have Some Personality

Consistency is great, but that doesn’t mean it should feel flat. Developing a brand persona that seeps through all written materials (print and digital) gives your organization some character. Different email newsletters can also serve different purposes. For example, one email newsletter could contain meatier industry reportage style updates and another could be a skimmable and humorous take on the latest headlines (both from your publication and from others around the web). This kind of variety helps your organization reach different types of members and helps advertisers target the specific audiences they seek to reach.


Speaking of helping advertisers target specific cross-sections of your membership, segmenting newsletters and streamlining your publication can be taxing—but it adds a lot of value to advertisers and readers alike. In this ASAE story, contributing editor Emily Bratcher wrote about how the Associated Builders and Contractors “found a new revenue opportunity in a content strategy based on two principles: simplification and personalization.”

By using categories, the organization reorganized its website content and more carefully segmented its newsletters by sorting subscribers based on previous reading habits. The subscribers were also able to personalize the content they received based on their interests. In doing so, the association was able to help advertisers reach more qualified prospects who were already interested in learning more about their product or service category.

Reaching the right audience is typically high-priority when an advertiser is looking for potential opportunities, we talk more about how and why to sell the audience here.

Offer Content-Driven Marketing Opportunities

While well-placed ad opportunities offer tremendous value, sponsored content placements give advertisers a platform to engage with readers in a deeper way. Blending in with your association’s original content, a sponsored content piece should align with the mission of the organization and provide readers with a specialized view on a particular industry issue or challenge.

Sponsored content can range from how-to articles to catchy videos but they should first and foremost give readers something of value: a clear tip or takeaway or even a downloadable white paper they can use in their own research. Whatever the case, value first and brand second is key in an effective content marketing campaign.

Developing quality content and making your digital publications more targeted—helping them reach strong and engaged audiences—are both essential ways to boost revenue. In order for an eNewsletter to be profitable, it needs to be popular among readers—the selling point here is high open rates and an engaged subscriber base. Once your eNewsletter gains traction with members, it’s ready to generate revenue.

Want to learn more? Get in touch today.