3 min read

Sell newsletter ads with an auction on Twitter

Selling newsletter ads on Twitter

A technique I've found useful for finding sponsors for your newsletter or website recently has been auctions on Twitter.

It's dead simple: you make an enticing Tweet announcing the auction and then hopefully the bids start to roll in.

In your first tweet you want to make sure you have an appealing offer so here's some things to mention:

  • subscriber numbers
  • open rates
  • click rate
  • what type of advert (text or image?)
  • how long the advert text will be
  • what type of subscribers you have (will they be a good fit for the potential advertiser?)
  • when the auction ends (it's best to make it the same day so you maintain peoples' attention)
  • the minimum bid e.g. $10

As with most marketing tweets, it's good to use bullet points and emojis so your tweet stands out and gets attention.

Here's one I wrote today, for example:


Make it appealing

As I talk about in my Monetize Your Newsletter course, it's best to write any sales message in terms of what you can offer someone and not what they can offer to you.

Of course you want to sell an advert but no-one wakes up and thinks "I want to buy a newsletter advert today!"

They think "I want to sell more of my product today".

So instead of asking people to buy an advert, first ask them if they want to reach your audience.

Manage your auction

Phil from 4dayweek is good at stimulating auctions throughout the day with funny tweets that reply to the first message. (Phil is also where I got the auction idea from)

You want to keep momentum going and keep everything in one thread. You also want it to be easy for people to see the current bid so make sure it's clear and not buried in the replies from other people.

It's also a good idea to pin your auction to your profile so for the rest of the day it will be the first thing people see when they come to your profile.

(It's always smart to have an up-to-date pinned tweet, by the way.)

Don't over-do it

One danger of auctioning off ads is that it lowers their value. If people think they can get an advert for $50 when you usually charge $100, well they won't want to pay top dollar so much.

An easy way to avoid this is to make the auctions infrequent and to mention honestly that there won't be an auction for a while. My last auction was 5 months ago so people know they are rare, which motivates bids more.


Newsletter ad auctions on Twitter are a fun way to sell more ad spots. Make it clear what the value proposition is and keep replying to the people who bid and thank them, even if they don't bid so much. An auction once in a while is a great way to find ad buyers, just don't over do it.

I go over lots of other sales tips in my Monetize Your Newsletter course.

And of course, if you want to reach 8,000 developers with an advert of your product, reply on Twitter 😀