How to create a premium subscription newsletter

With Leaky Paywall and Mailchimp, your paid newsletter can be handled as a subscription service all on its own. Complete with automated payments and expiration cut-offs.

Trying Something Different

Not every publication comes in the form of a magazine (or even a digital magazine).

Consider, please, the email newsletter.

A Versatile Medium

Most publications send out teaser email newsletters, with subscription reminders or new issue announcements.

But increasingly, publishers are finding the newsletter to be a primary revenue-generating medium or a premium supplement to their web-based issues.

It can be a full-text morning round-up for daily news publishers. iPolitics, a Canadian political news publisher, does that. And during their last election cycle, they had a separate publication just for that news. So a newsletter could be be a short-term series of topical articles, collected for a specific purpose or event.

It can be one long-form monthly article. Or even the primary distribution source for all of your articles or blog-type content. Which is what the Tracinski Letter does. (More on that in a second.)

To generate revenue, your newsletter could be sponsored or it could contain ads. It could even be added on as a bonus to a paid subscription.

A Bridge To Automation

The new integration between Leaky Paywall and MailChimp has worked well for the Tracinski Letter, a thoughtful collection of analysis articles from the individualist perspective of writer/publisher Robert Tracinski.

Tracinski was managing his newsletter subscriptions manually. He wanted the same level of ease and automation offered to web-based publications.

Fortunately, ZEEN101 built the integration to allow for exactly that.

Now Leaky Paywall can monitor the paid subscriber lists in MailChimp. You can set it up to send out alerts when a subscription is about to expire or to cut off content access after expiration or if a credit card transaction bounces back.

Just like a regular digital magazine or issue.

Setup is a snap

All you need to do:

  1. Set up a new premium newsletter subscription level in Leaky Paywall
  2. Make sure your subscription uses a unique tag in Mailchimp, such as ‘paid newsletter’
  3. Build your full text email campaign in Mailchimp
  4. Recommended: Set up an RSS-to-Email campaign in Mailchimp. This will scan your website every day and automatically send out all new articles that have been published in your template layout
  5. Set up your Mailchimp template to send full text emails
  6. That’s it. When a subscriber cancels or their credit card fails they will be automatically unsubscribed from your premium newsletter and will need to re-subscribe for access

(A Footnote)

The Tracinski Letter also publishes at least some of its content on the web. This is a best option for visibility.

Search engines like Google don’t crawl through people’s inboxes, so if all of your content is squirreled away in emails, the internet has no way of knowing you even exist.

So even if you choose to explore the paid newsletter medium, be sure to establish a web presence of some kind.

Leaky Paywall protects your content from readers who don’t want to pay for the privilege. It allows Google to see and index your content, establishing your digital existence.

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