The simple "secret" to publishing growth that's hiding in plain sight

Dear News or Magazine Publisher,

Publishers worldwide are realising that the answer to their biggest business problem is staring them in the face (and has been for some time).

It's a revelation, and something of a relief.

After years of pain as greedy Big Tech grabbed bigger slices of publishing revenue, it's become clear that there actually is a way to fight back.

No, it's not websites or digital editions riding to the rescue (those rather feeble horses haven't got the legs).

The unlikely saviour is actually a simple and commonly used technology that has never been in the limelight - email.

You'd be forgiven for questioning why email's true value is only now being appreciated.

After all it's only 50 years since Raymond Tomlinson sent the first one.

Email has endured by being boringly reliable, useful and quietly versatile.

These characteristics have contributed to making newsletters the undisputed champions of online engagement.

Now everyone is realising this, they are exploding.

Just look at the avalanche coming from established brands.

The Washington Post has a staggering 67 newsletters, The New York Times 50, The Guardian 45, The FT 43, CNN 38, and the weekly Economist 10.

Meanwhile, new online brands have emerged around newsletters including Morning Brew, The Hustle, Axios and City Cast in the US, and The Post and The Mill in the UK.

Newsletter platforms like Revue, Ghost (the one you're reading this on) are home for thousands of new individual newsletter authors. One of the first, Substack, collectively hosts 1m paying subscribers.

I could go on.

Suffice to say, newsletters are being launched daily as publishers use them to regain ground, and recapture attention lost to Big Tech.

It's welcome news for traditional media who see them as the saviour after desperate years of financial losses.

The Guardian now has 1m unique subscribers to 50 newsletters and regards them as a publishing asset more important than the print newspaper and website.

✅ Start-up newsletters are being snapped up by investors.  providers are building out profitable news services in major cities throughout the US using email newsletters. One of them, Axios, just sold for $525m (£433m).

✅ Morning Brew sold for

✅ The Hustle sold for

✅ Conde Naste says newsletters are key to its reinvention as an online media brand. The publisher's Vogue magazine used its US event, The Met Gala, to grab 100,000 email newsletter sign-ups, a massively valuable list.

Bloomberg has a new revenue stream after launching personality driven newsletters covering business and technology with free and paid versions.

Email newsletters are also delivering for publishers because they are an antidote to the lost focus, fractured concentration and negative overwhelm caused by the social media scroll.

Newsletters have a beginning and an end. You request them and they are delivered. If you change your mind you can opt out of seeing that content ever again by unsubscribing.

As marketing guru Ann Handley says: "Email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in charge."

For publishers and advertisers alike, the sacred space of the inbox is now a most desirable place to be.

Once you have been granted access you have the right to command attention on a regular basis. Most people check their email at least once a day, some people much more!

Engagement is exactly what publishers need right now for their fightback against Big Tech.

And established publishers are in an ideal position because they already have the skills of content management, production and workflow.‌             ‌

I'm describing a scene that I've been watching emerge over 25 years in journalism, subscription publishing and newsletters.

I should probably tell you more about myself.

I'm Andy Griffiths, a publishing consultant and the editor and publisher of Champion Newsletters, a weekly newsletter published every other Tuesday.

My newsletter is packed with actionable strategies and case studies that can transform your publishing business.

As you might have gathered, I'm a newsletter cheerleader.

I love reading and learning from the best, documenting what's working, and sharing best practice.

I'm a founder of three newsletter businesses and have launched more than 20 newsletter and magazine titles.

I've been developing Champion Newsletters to help publishers like you use newsletters to leverage your existing business whether you have print or online versions, or both.

As a subscriber I'll show you how to implement the very best tactics, wisdom and insight selected from the world's most successful newsletter operators.

This is a chance to shift gears, give your business a makeover, and start singing a different, more profitable tune. Newsletters can help you turn the tables on the draining trends in media caused by Big Tech.

Here's a taster of the Champion Newsletters editorial roster and what you can expect as a subscriber to the Premium service:

The "smart but simple" new editorial approach raising engagement levels in response to time poverty and shorter attention spans.

The multiple elements of personalisation that mean so much more than simply adding "Dear Andy " to the introduction.

How to serve a reader by "chunking down" to be unique in a crowded market.

The single most important “controllable component” of all successful newsletter marketing strategies that improves returns 300%.

Why "news you can use" - problem-solving ideas, practical advice, tips, tricks, tactics, guides, checklists and other useful resources - are essential to your audience.

How to deploy a genuine but underused “trick” (most publishers are either unaware or ignore this altogether) that has a 5x multiplier effect on newsletter sign-ups.

The highly-prized and trusted skill that has emerged with the commoditisation of news that you must employ in your newsletter.

The downright stupid mistake guaranteed to depress conversion rates that most newsletter publishers make when it comes to growing their list.

Sign-up marketing design decisions that seriously just aren’t worth bothering with.

How to decide the right pace for your newsletter.

The 12 Newsletter Types including Reporting, Practical, Hybrid, Engagement and Hero.

The unstoppable new approach to advertising being introduced by newsletter pioneers.

Ways to write compelling subject lines and conversion headlines to double open rates and sign-up rates.

Inside the popular automated referral schemes that are skyrocketing subscriber growth.

Newsletters can't solve everything publishers are wrestling with, like the difficult management decisions required to transition a business at the same time as income is falling.

But they can help to spearhead creation of multiple alternative revenue streams including subscriptions acquisition and retention, advertising and sponsorship, affiliate sales and e-commerce.

And they are one of the lowest cost ways for publishers to start their fight back.

I truly believe email newsletters are the most powerful publishing tool since the printing press, bringing personalised communication to mass markets.

Subscribe to Champion Newsletters and arm yourself with the tools to re-engage with your customers and transform your growth prospects: You'll get:

  • Unusual depth, no fluff
  • Relentless focus on actionable details
  • Distilled tools and tactics
  • Compelling, focused information
  • Simple language, no jargon

Thanks for reading. Now here's your opportunity to arm yourself with some valuable weaponry for the fight ahead - newsletter information and knowledge.

No other service covers the craft of creating profitable newsletters in such depth and exclusively for publishers. Take advantage of the limited time Founder Offer to subscribe to the Premium version of Champion Newsletters today.

Just hit that subscribe button.

Yours in newsletters,

P.S. Sign up as a Premium subscriber today and get an exclusive special report on the essentials of newsletter engagement (worth $49/£40) as part of your subscription.

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