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Monetizing your emails with ConvertKit Ads
Monetizing your emails with ConvertKit Ads

Get an overview of ConvertKit's programmatic email ads feature.

Updated over a week ago

ConvertKit Ads is a closed beta feature and only users who receive an invite can join the beta. Join the waitlist here.

Earn additional revenue with programmatic ads in your emails 💰

Use our built-in ConvertKit Ads feature to place programmatic ads in your emails and generate ad revenue from them.

Here are all the details on what programmatic ads are, how ConvertKit Ads differs from ConvertKit Sponsorships (previously called the Sponsor Network program), and how you can get started with ads.

What are programmatic ads?

Programmatic ads are smart, automated ads that target the right person at the right time on autopilot for you.

This means after you insert an ad slot into your emails, we have the technology to automatically display ads that are most relevant to your subscribers and that bring you the most revenue.

You'll be able to choose the specific brands or categories you want (or don't want) to run ads for in your emails beforehand, but not the specific ads themselves.

Why run programmatic ads in your emails?

People often think that they need a large email list before they can start making money from it. With ConvertKit, you can start monetizing much earlier.

If you're a new creator, running ads lets you monetize your emails even if you have a small list or don't have products to sell yet.

Seeing the ad revenue trickle in can be a huge motivation booster to keep going with your creator business—even if it's just a handful of dollars at first. Plus, it ends up being a motivator to stay consistent with your email sends.

What's more, once you've set up your ConvertKit account to run ads, doing so is as simple as adding ad slots to your emails. We'll also automatically pay out your ad revenue following a predictable schedule.

Making your first dollar from email just got simpler.

If you're an established creator, running ads opens up another revenue stream from email. Use it to complement your existing revenue sources as you grow your creator business!

NOTE: Apart from running ads, creators with at least 10,000 subscribers may also be eligible to enable ConvertKit Sponsorships, where we'll partner you with brands interested in sponsoring your newsletter. More on it below!

How much revenue can you potentially make?

The amount of ad revenue you can potentially make depends on factors like:

  • The number of US-based subscribers you're emailing

  • The number of emails you send every month

  • Your average open rate

  • Your average ad click rate

  • The average ad cost per click

It is also important to note that the more consistent you are with your email sends, the more optimized the ads will be for your subscribers, which will increase the overall ad performance.

So, in general, the larger your email list and the more often you send emails, the more you can potentially make! 🤑

Please note that we charge a fee of 23.5% of total ad revenue for running and maintaining this advertising service.

We've built an ad revenue calculator to help you estimate the potential amount you can make from ads. Give it a try here (only available for beta users).

Programmatic ads vs. sponsored content: what's the difference?

Apart from programmatic ads, we also have ConvertKit Sponsorships (previously known as the Sponsor Network) where we'll secure newsletter sponsorships from brands for you.

With these sponsorships, we’ll handle all the negotiations, logistics, and payments involved in the brand partnership on your behalf in exchange for a commission and processing fee.

Unlike with programmatic ads, you’ll have full control over the brands you work with and will approve every brand we secure for you. You will also have control and more involvement over the sponsored content that you'll feature in your newsletter.

ConvertKit Sponsorships is available to creators who have at least 10,000 email subscribers and send emails at least once a week. Learn more about ConvertKit Sponsorships here.

Should you have programmatic ads or sponsored content in your emails?

If you are already using ConvertKit Sponsorships (previously known as the Sponsor Network), you can use both!

For emails that don’t have a secured content sponsorship, you can have it fall back to running programmatic ads, so you never leave money on the table.

NOTE: It is not possible to show sponsored content from both ConvertKit Sponsorships and programmatic ads in the same email. More info on this here.

If you aren’t yet eligible to use ConvertKit Sponsorships, you can set up ads to start earning money from your emails!

Learn more about ConvertKit Ads

If you're ready to start placing ads in your emails, check out these articles below!


What are the requirements for running programmatic ads?

This is currently a closed beta feature. If you’ve been invited to the beta, you can set up your account for running ads.

Excited about this feature? Join the waitlist here.

When can I expect my payouts?

We automatically release payouts 45 days from the end of the month since the ad was run.

For example, if you ran your ad some time in August, we’ll pay you the revenue for it around October 15.

The payout will be made to your Stripe account. (If you haven't already done so, you'll connect ConvertKit with Stripe when setting up ConvertKit Ads.)

There is no minimum threshold to start receiving payouts.

Can I feature both programmatic ads and sponsored content in the same email?

This is not possible. If you add sponsored content from ConvertKit Sponsorships to an email, programmatic ads inserted into that email won’t be displayed, as we’ve found doing so tends to negatively impact the performance of the sponsored content.

However, you can have emails that don’t have a secured content sponsorship fall back to running programmatic ads, so you never leave money on the table.

What if I want to temporarily disable email ads?

If you don’t want ads to appear in an email, simply do not include ad slots in it. Even if ads are enabled, no ads will be displayed if there are no ad slots in your emails.

You can also use the Ads switch at the top right of the Ads dashboard to enable or disable ads anytime. This will stop ads from being displayed in any ad slots in your email drafts when you send them. More details on disabling ads here.

What if I don't want certain brands to advertise in my emails?

When setting up your account for ads, you'll be able to blocklist brands (or entire categories of brands) whose ads you don't want to feature in your emails.

You'll also be able to manage your allowlist of brands in your Ads dashboard any time after that.

How can I communicate my decision to run ads with my audience?

If you're worried about subscribers unsubscribing from your emails after seeing your ads, you could explain that these ads help keep your content free for them.

You can also offer subscribers ad-free access to your newsletter content via a paid subscription. Learn how to create a paid newsletter here.

How many Ad Slots should I include in my emails?

You can include up to three Ad Slots per email. Although more ads means more revenue opportunity, it’s best to match the number of ads to the length of your email. For example, shorter emails (fewer than 200 words) should contain only one Ad Slot to maintain content balance.

Where should I place the Ad Slots in my emails?

For the first Ad Slot, we recommend placing it near the top of the email within the content. If you’re adding a second ad, it’s best positioned near the bottom. And if you want to add a third Ad Slot, place that one above the header.

How does the Ad Slot personalization work?

Each Ad Slot is customized for each individual subscriber. The first time you run Ads, our algorithm will pick out a brand that is related to your subscriber’s general interests and demographics. As you run more ads, the system will take into account any engagement (or lack of engagement) with the brands in order to serve more relevant Ads to your subscribers.

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