As a writer, a newsletter is among the most powerful resources you’ll have.
It’s platform-independent and gives you a convenient way to directly talk to your most loyal readers. You have full control over what you publish and don’t have to depend on an algorithm for delivery as your readers will receive your newsletters straight in their inboxes.
On top of it all, a newsletter can also be optimized to become one of your most reliable income streams. With Swapstack launching Plug & Play, you never have to publish a newsletter without a sponsor again.
Control, monetization, what about audience growth?
There are several ways of getting more email subscribers, but one of the least talked-about ones is newsletter swaps. This post contains everything you need to know about newsletter swaps: one of the most underrated, yet highly effective strategies to grow your newsletter audience.
What is a Newsletter Swap
A newsletter swap is when you and another writer swap content and links to include in your respective newsletters. By performing a “swap,” your readers learn about another newsletter they might like, and vice versa. This will typically result in both newsletters doubling awareness & gaining subscribers.
A swap is not only a fun way to reach new audiences for free but is also a smart strategy for building your email list.
Some points to keep in mind
When you swap, you don’t have direct access to the other writer’s subscribers. You’re only swapping the content to send to your respective lists. Here are some other points to note:
- The writer you swap with should have an audience with overlapping interests to yours. If you write a technology-based newsletter, there’s no point swapping with someone who writes about psychology, and so on.
- You both have a similar follower count. If you have 1000 followers and you ask someone with 50,000+ followers to swap with you, there’s very little chance they might agree.
Where to find writers to swap with
Swapstack, the premier newsletter advertising marketplace, is also a community of creators. They have an active Slack channel (you’ll get an invite to join when you list your newsletter on Swapstack) where creators with overlapping audience interests can swap newsletter introductions with each other.
In 7 Things I Learned Growing My Newsletter to 2987 Subscribers, Eva Keiffenheim writes about how her newsletter The Learn Letter leveraged the Swapstack community and got 54 new subscribers in a single day. This happened when Jeremy Caplan gave her a shout-out in his newsletter Wonder Tools.
How to do a newsletter swap
Once you’ve identified a writer you want to do a swap with, all you need to do is set up the content for success. Provide the other writer with a 2–3 line introduction of your newsletter, along with a CTA and a trackable link (so you can measure results!). Then, ask them for the same and you can add their introduction to your newsletter.
Screenshot from Be Your Best Friend with Anangsha
And here’s how she gave me a shout-out on her newsletter:
Screenshot from Niharikaa’s Newsletter
Alternative: Newsletter takeovers
Another way to swap is to have a writer do a “takeover,” or a guest post. In a takeover, another writer actually writes the whole article under your newsletters domain, as a “sample” of what to expect from their newsletter. Including a CTA will allow your readers to subscribe to that writers’ newsletter if they’d like. By swapping takeovers, both writers are able to build a strong rapport with a whole new audience.
This is an effective way to get more people with similar interests to know you without spending tons of money or indulging in aggressive marketing.
Some writers worry that adding the links to another newsletter might dilute their audience, but if you consistently write valuable content, you don’t have to worry about your subscribers leaving you and following another writer. Readers always love new creators to follow, and if you recommend them writers they’ll love, you’re only building their trust in you.
Besides the obvious benefit of getting more eyeballs on your content, swapping newsletters is a great way of connecting with like-minded creators and building your tribe where you can grow faster together.
If you’ve tried newsletter swaps or are considering doing it soon, let me know in the comments.