How to create a paid members-only newsletter

Tools like Substack are a popular option for folks who want to publish member-only content via a paid newsletter.

A paid newsletter is an interesting business model that can free you from having to find advertisers and instead go directly to your customers to fund your business.

Unfortunately, most paid newsletter tools like Substack are missing important features:

  • Flexible website design (e.g. like you would get with Webflow, Squarespace, etc)
  • Integrations (e.g. affiliate functionality)
  • Segmentation (e.g. email people who haven't opened my last email)
  • Reasonable transaction fees (as high as 10%)

A simpler, more flexible, and reasonably priced option is to use a Member Plan and Member Messages. But if you want to use another email marketing tool (e.g. Mailchimp, Convertkit), you can connect it via Zapier and use that to send your newsletters.

You'll be able to send member-only email newsletters to a specific list of people who have paid you. Plus if you want, you can add the content from your newsletters to any pages on your website and protect those for members as well.

How to get started

Decide whether you'd like to craft and send your newsletters to members directly from MemberSpace via Member Messages or if you'd rather use a third-party email marketing tool. Then, follow the steps below that correspond with your desired workflow.

Member Messages

  1. In MemberSpace, click Member Plans > Create Member Plans, and set up a paid plan (One Time, Multiple, or Recurring Payment) that people will join to receive your newsletter. You can create as many different plans as you need.
  2. After you create your plan(s), you'll need to white-label your email address (if you haven't already) so you can use Member Messages.
  3. Once members have joined your plan(s), you can easily craft and send your newsletter to them directly from MemberSpace by going to Members > Message Members > Email Members.

    When sending newsletters via Member Messages, you can choose to only send the newsletter to members on a specific Member Plan. And if you need to send emails other than your newsletter, you can use Member Messages to do so.

    If you'd like to also add your newsletter content to a protected page on your website, you can easily do so with MemberSpace. Simply add the newsletter content to a page (or pages) on your website (like a blog). Then, protect the page(s) by adding them as Member Pages in MemberSpace, and be sure to select the plan(s) that should grant access to that protected content.

Other email marketing tool

  1. Sign up for an established email marketing tool like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.
  2. Create and set up an email list within your email marketing tool that will be used for members only. For example, let's say you create a list called "Premium Members List". This is the list where you'll be sending your member-only newsletters.
  3. In MemberSpace, click Member Plans > Create Member Plans, and set up a plan that people will pay for to get on your "Premium Members List". For example, let's say you created a plan called "Premium Plan" for $20/month.
  4. Sign up for a free account with Zapier.
  5. Create a Zap that triggers when a member joins your "Premium Plan" you created in Step 3. Have this Zap then add the member to your "Premium Members List". Here's a step-by-step guide for doing this with Mailchimp.
  6. Create another Zap that triggers when a member cancels your "Premium Plan". Have this Zap remove the member from your "Premium Members List".
  7. Now, whenever you have a new member join and pay for your "Premium Plan", they will be added to your "Premium Members List" in your email marketing tool (and automatically removed if they ever cancel).

    You can feel free to send an email campaign to this members-only list whenever you want!

    You may also want to have the email content replicated on your website which is super easy to do with MemberSpace.

    You'll just need to add the content to a page (or pages) on your website (like a blog). You'll then protect these pages by making them Member Pages which your "Premium Plan" will grant access to.
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