How to Build a Premium Newsletter with Webflow


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Kevin Richer

This post will cover everything from building a Premium Newsletter with a template as well as tips and strategies to optimizing your Premium Newsletter with Webflow and Memberstack.

How to Build a Premium Newsletter

Newsletters stand as a pivotal communication tool for businesses, creators, and communities alike. A premium newsletter elevates this communication by offering exclusive content, deeper insights, and more personalized experiences through paid subscriptions. Building a premium newsletter involves a blend of strategic planning, engaging content, and the right tech stack. Here, we deep dive into what makes a great premium newsletter and how to build one.

Why Build a Premium Newsletter?

Motivations for building a premium newsletter vary. They may develop naturally out of an entirely free newsletter, be designed to monetize an existing content base, or be motivated by a desire for an additional revenue stream. Regardless of the motivation, we see four main benefits across most premium newsletters.

1. Enhanced Engagement

Premium content encourages higher subscriber engagement by offering value that goes beyond what's freely available. Your paid readers also perceive a sunk cost that makes them more likely to engage with your newsletter.

2. Revenue Generation 

There are multiple paths to revenue through a premium newsletter. The most obvious is direct revenue through subscriptions, but there are also opportunities in advertising or funnel building for your other products and services.

3. Brand Loyalty 

Regularly delivering high-value content builds trust and familiarizes readers with your brand. These readers will be more likely to recognize, remember, and choose you over other, less trusted brands.

4. Segmented Marketing

Premium newsletters provide a direct route to paying customers’ inboxes, and personalized information on their preferences. This allows for more targeted marketing efforts, reaching those most interested in your high-value content, products, and services.

Before the Build: Key Considerations

You may be tempted to jump in and start building your newsletter, but wait a second! Newsletters are long-running streams of content, and you may find yourself dealing with initial mistakes years into the future. Every newsletter shares a common set of decisions that need to be made.

1. Picking Your Niche

Identifying your niche is crucial for a premium newsletter. Your niche should reflect your expertise or unique value proposition, attracting a dedicated subscriber base interested in your specific content.

Clearly defining your niche will help focus your writing and value proposition. It will also allow you to write clearer writing guidelines to use as you streamline your writing process.

2. Choosing Your Features

Every premium newsletter requires a core set of features to work. These features allow readers to discover, subscribe to, and read your newsletter.

Marketing: Prospects generally need to be nurtured before they’re willing to pay for your newsletter. They need to know who you are, what you’re offering, and why they should care. Methods for educating your potential readers range from a basic marketing site to a free newsletter tier that puts them through a nurture sequence.

Account Management and Payments: After a lead has been convinced of your newsletter’s value, they need to be able to pay you for their subscription. There are many ways to collect payments, such as with Stripe. Generally, there’s an associated account that links your readers to their payments and other information specific to their subscription. We actually created Memberstack to solve this problem!

Newsletter Delivery: Fulfillment is a critical part of your newsletter’s lifecycle. Failure to deliver on your value proposition will lead to unhappy readers and an unsustainable churn rate. You need to decide how your newsletter will be written and sent to your subscribers. Most newsletters integrate with a specialized service like Mailchimp, which streamlines email design and scheduling.

Monitoring: Measuring your newsletter’s performance allows you to make more informed decisions about your content and build a case for higher ad valuations. Ideally, you’ll monitor signup data and how readers interact with your newsletter. Some basic metrics include total subscriber count, the click-through rate on ads and other links, and subscriber churn. Allowing readers to submit feedback also allows you to discover where there’s room for improvement or issues not obvious from your metrics.

3. Deciding on Your Content Type

Your content type is the style you use to deliver your content, and pairs with your niche to form your unique value proposition. A newsletter may have more than one type of content, but with multiple content types, it’s generally best to organize your content by type. This helps your readers find the types of content they’re most interested in. An example of a newsletter that does this really well is TLDR.

Type Purpose Example
Educational Offers in-depth tutorials, courses, and expert insights in a specific field. The Pragmatic Engineer
News To provide expert analysis, trends, and news within a specific area, industry, or topic. The Ankler
Lifestyle Cover topics related to personal interests, hobbies, and lifestyle choices. These might include health and wellness, fashion, travel, or food, offering tips, recommendations, and inspiration. Jack’s Flight Club

4. Selecting a Platform

You’ll need to host your newsletter content and marketing materials to make them available to readers. Coding a custom application to host and deliver a newsletter is generally overkill – no-code tools are easier and faster to get up and running.

Popular no-code tools in the newsletter space include Substack and Webflow. We prefer Webflow over Substack for at least a few reasons:

  1. Scalability: Substack charges a 10% fee in addition to payment processing fees, which quickly becomes more expensive than Webflow’s $23 per month flat fee for their CMS plan.
  2. Integrations and Automations: Webflow offers direct integration with e-commerce, CRM, and social media. It also offers indirect integration with most other things through Zapier. We find Substack’s direct integrations to be relatively limited, and indirect integration non-existent since it lacks available APIs or webhooks.
  3. Customizability: Webflow benefits from a rich ecosystem of templates, with every template detail being customizable. Substack only offers a single template to users with limited customization options.

Building a Premium Newsletter with Webflow - Starting with a Template

While it’s possible to build a premium newsletter from scratch, using a template offers several compelling advantages, particularly for users looking to streamline the development process without compromising on quality or flexibility. Templates provide a professionally designed framework that ensures your website is visually appealing and user-friendly right from the start, saving you considerable time and effort that would otherwise be spent on layout design, responsiveness testing, and basic functionality setup. 

This head start is invaluable for businesses, freelancers, and creators who need to quickly launch their online presence while still maintaining the ability to customize and scale their site as needed. This section discusses how to speed up your newsletter development with Webflow templates, using our premium newsletter template as an example. 

Setting up Webflow with a Template

When creating a new site from your Webflow dashboard, you can choose to use templates offered through the marketplace. Memberstack’s premium newsletter template is offered off-marketplace, and is transferred directly to your Webflow workspace within one business day of purchasing it.

Customizing Design

Tailor the design to match your brand identity. Webflow's visual editor allows you to adjust layouts, fonts, colors, and more, ensuring your newsletter resonates with your audience. Our premium newsletter template follows Client-First, allowing any Webflow developer to jump in and make changes easily.

Setting up Your Features

Next, we’ll need to implement each of the features we discussed earlier. Fortunately, Memberstack offers most of these features out of the box. The features that Memberstack doesn’t provide can be found through easy, direct integrations with Mailchimp.

Marketing: Memberstack’s premium newsletter template comes with a marketing site that includes primary landing and pricing pages. Configure the content on these pages to show off what makes your newsletter stand out and your different subscription options.

Account Management and Payments: When using our premium template, your readers can manage their own accounts and payments from day one! All you need to do is connect the template to your Memberstack account and connect your Stripe account.

Newsletter Delivery: Most newsletters rely on specialized tools to handle their email scheduling and delivery. Many email marketing and automation tools can be integrated with the template. Most publish APIs that allow for integration through Zapier. We recommend using our predefined Mailchimp workflows to quickly set up email delivery.

Monitoring: Once you have your Memberstack account set up, there’s no additional setup required to monitor active users and signups using Memberstack’s member metrics. If you’ve decided to integrate with Mailchimp, you can monitor the performance of your sent newsletter using Mailchimp’s custom report metrics.

Optimizing Your Premium Newsletter

Broadly speaking, you can optimize your newsletter by conducting experiments informed by your monitoring. For example, if you have a low click-through rate you might consider running experiments with different anchor text on links you’d like to drive traffic to. The topic of optimizing your premium newsletter is complex, involving best practices in SEO, funnel design, and writing. If you’d like more information, we’ve written an entire article on how to grow your premium newsletter!

Let’s Get Started!

Building a premium newsletter offers a unique opportunity to engage deeply with your audience while generating revenue. In this article, we covered how to overcome the most common challenges you’ll face when creating your newsletter. By making a plan before you start, using technology to your advantage, and continuously optimizing, you can create a premium newsletter that stands out in the crowded digital space.

Using Memberstack and Webflow, you can spend less time developing your newsletter and more time turning it into a profitable, recurring revenue stream. You can get started by signing up for Memberstack and purchasing our premium newsletter template