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, an email marketing tool (e.g. Mailchimp, Convertkit), and Zapier.

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

  1. Sign up for an established email marketing tool like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.
  2. Create and setup 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 setup 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 on 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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