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Organic newsletter growth strategies, revenue streams, and sponsorship pricing

Organic newsletter growth strategies, revenue streams, and sponsorship pricing

Kevin Indig is all about organic growth. He’s led SEO and growth at companies like Shopify and Snapchat, and shares case studies and strategies with his audience. His newsletter, Growth Memo, has over 8.8k subscribers and he has a Twitter and LinkedIn following of over 30k.

We sat down with Kevin to talk about growth strategies, revenue streams, and sponsorship pricing in this creator spotlight.

Growth principles

Organic growth is a combination of search engine optimization SEO, conversion rate optimization CRO and email marketing. Search engine optimisation alone is no longer enough. “The traffic needs to do something: people come onto your site, and they need to convert in some sort of way”. This could be buying a product, signing up for your newsletter, or even just exploring your site.

But there’s also the concept of growth. “A lot of people think growth is just good marketing, but it involves lots of experiments, hypotheses, measuring input and output metrics, and finding systems that you can repeat”

One popular growth principle for companies is product-market fit and this is something creators can adopt too.  “You want to measure whether what you’re putting out there is something that resonates with your audience”. So how do you do this?

  • Look at engagement metrics like likes and comments.
  • Pay attention to personal feedback and testimonials from your audience.
  • Determine how much input is needed for growth or whether you’re growing by word-of-mouth
  • Measure retention metrics, such as the number of newsletter subscribers who open each email.


You can't underestimate the importance of high-quality content. “There are millions of creators who consistently create content. It's very rare to not have any competition so you need to set the bar for content quality extremely high”. Kevin spends 4-10 hours, sometimes even up to 30 hours, on his newsletter for this reason. As he says, “the content you create, whether it's a LinkedIn post or newsletter, is a product. And to build a really good product, you need to put in the time and effort to make it outstanding.”

Besides focusing on quality, Kevin shares his more effective strategies for newsletter growth:

  • Collaborate and cross-promote with other newsletters that have a strong topic fit.
  • Optimize your landing page with compelling copy and a strong call-to-action (CTA).
  • Leverage LinkedIn posts and Twitter threads for promotion.
  • Establish credibility with social proof e.g. showcase the number of subscribers you already have
  • Collaborate with other creators on content so that they’ll share it with their audience.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your audience to share your content if they contact you with good feedback
  • Repurpose your newsletter content into articles for SEO purposes.

If you create podcasts or YouTube videos, Kevin believes search engine optimization (SEO) is key. “Extract specific parts of your video or podcast that provide valuable answers to users' questions and include timestamps. By doing this, Google can display those moments as key moments in search results”. Kevin has also taken inspiration from Andrew Huberman’s podcast: “he creates small snippets of the podcast that address specific questions or topics, like ‘what supplements should I take?’, and this increases visibility on Google and YouTube”.

Kevin also uses platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to redirect his audience to other platforms. For social media platforms, Kevin stresses that this is a long game.  “As somebody who's been dealing with algorithms for the last 15 years, these change on an ongoing basis. So part of the game is knowing what works right now and then adapting quickly when something changes”.

Analyse what’s working

One thing that Kevin feels creators don’t do enough is analysing their data. “I look at all the stats from LinkedIn, Twitter, and my newsletter to get as much feedback as possible.”

Kevin is adamant about checking whether people click the top ad in his newsletters. “It's basically a quality proxy for whether that ad is relevant to my audience or not. That helps me to understand if I’m collaborating with the right companies”.

He also looks at engagement: one part of this is opening the email, but how many subscribers take any sort of action after opening the email?”

Likes and comments are also a simple way to analyse what topics are resonating with your audience.

Revenue streams

Kevin’s biggest revenue steam is sponsorships, with 30% coming from social posts and 70% from his newsletter. Most sponsors find Kevin through sponsored content that has performed well. “They see that when I post something on LinkedIn, for example, I get 40,000 impressions or 100 comments. This makes it easy for them to want to work with me”. For this reason, it's crucial to create exceptional content for sponsored posts and newsletter ads so they don't feel overly promotional and perform well. This helps to attract sponsors and create long-term partnerships.

As well as high quality content, Kevin brings it back to product-market fit. “There’s a cost to running sponsored posts that aren’t a good fit for the audience: people will begin to tune out of your content. And so for me it’s much more important to have an advertiser who really fits my audience, and who I can create informative and educational content for”.


Kevin uses sponsored social media posts as a low-risk way of exploring long-term partnerships. “Most companies start with a sponsored social media post and if it resonates with my audience, it shows it’s a great fit for both of us and usually results in a newsletter ad”

When it comes to negotiating fees for newsletter ads, some brands prefer a cost per mile (CPM) model e.g. they pay between $20 for every thousand subscribers. However, Kevin believes not all subscribers are equal. “My audience consists of partners at venture capital firms, executives at big Saas start ups, and junior marketers. so there might be other newsletters who have more subscribers than me but their audience might be more entry level, whereas mine contains more decision makers”.  As a result, Kevin has been able to focus on supply and demand when it comes to negotiating. “I'm fortunate that my newsletter is often booked 6 months in advance, which allows me to choose the most suitable sponsors and price based on value”.

Managing sponsorships

With sponsorship slots booked up for 6 months, Kevin has a lot of contacts, creative briefs, and copy to keep on top of.

He previously managed everything with spreadsheets, email communication, and Google Docs, but as you can imagine, it was overwhelming.

“That’s why I’m now an excited user of Passionfroot. I love that you can go through different stages of the workflow: request, negotiations, sending a proposal, running the ad, and asking for payment. All these steps on one place means I know where to go, I know what to prioritise, and I know what to do. I don’t have to wonder if I’m forgetting something because it's all on one platform.”

If you want to streamline your workflow like Kevin, sign up for early access to Passionfroot.