How TLDR's lean team scaled effortlessly more than 8x with minimal cost

Sponsy's enhanced features drive sales focus, efficiency, and exponential growth

Hours saved every week
Publications managed
Happy advertisers

TLDR is a collective of tech newsletters with an extensive reach.

The TLDR ecosystem comprises more than 4.5 million subscribers and no fewer than eight specialist news channels covering specialisms including: crypto, UX/UI design, and more. But it did not always look like that or work easily, according to TLDR CEO Dan Ni, who recalls the business' early administrative struggles when TLDR employed a team of two and was about to launch its second newsletter.

The problem with Google Sheets

Every TLDR newsletter is supported by multiple sponsors - making it crucial for TLDR to manage and track customer relationships.

At the time we were using separate Google Sheets to help us coordinate activities with each individual sponsors.

It was a complete nightmare.

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

With so much back and forth with sponsors, Dan and his colleague spent a significant amount of time each week working on the shared documents.

As the business was set to launch its second newsletter the following month, its founder wondered if there was an easier way to manage and grow its sponsorship opportunities.

Why TLDR chose Sponsy

In May 2022 TLDR first learned about Sponsy.

Sponsy is a SaaS streamlining ad operations for media companies. Designed to help small teams scale easily, Sponsy is suitable for managing a range of publications: from newsletters to podcasts and social media.

With its powerful capabilities, Sponsy simplifies every step of the way for publishers, from booking ads right through to go-live.

We took a look at other solutions, Sponsy seemed to be the best designed for our use case.

We are huge fans!

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

Effortless migration

Once TLDR decided on Sponsy, they were able to start using it quite quickly, according to Dan.

It was actually super easy since we were doing a new Google Sheet for each sponsor.

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

Since going live with Sponsy on that day in June 2022 TLDR has not looked back.

Time-saving features

Over the past year, Dan and his colleagues at TLDR have gotten to grips with Sponsy's capabilities.

When asked about his favourite features, Dan struggles to choose just one.

"I think we're using pretty much everything" he responds enthusiastically.

Working with Sponsy's features - designed to help media companies to grow - has let TLDR do just that by streamlining day-to-day processes.

Customer portal

With 250 clients (and rising) on their books, Dan cannot imagine how this would have been possible with Google Sheets (and 250 individual documents to navigate).

Dan is particularly impressed with the way Sponsy's customer portal has transformed his interactions with advertisers.

Collect assets and communicate with advertiser with Sponsy's customer portal.
Collect assets and communicate with advertiser with Sponsy's customer portal.

During TLDR's initial migration, advertisers told Dan how much they loved the new ad flow via the customer portal.

The customer portal is super slick and fits in with our workflow really nicely.

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

The Customer Portal serves as the central point for client communications at TLDR. As well as providing a place to collect and curate assets, it provides TLDR with a simple way for its clients to engage with and approve sponsorship content. (without an email needing to be created...)

It's so much easier now. We just send each sponsor a Sponsy link and with that they can edit anything in their portal, click accept and it's done.

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

On its own, this feature has proven to be a significant time-saver for TLDR.

It's easily saved tens of hours per week - probably replacing an entire virtual assistant's amount of work for us.

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

Multi-slot management made easy

Sponsy understands the needs of media publishers - whether they are working across one publication or twenty.

Its inventory management system is engineered to make booking as easy as it can be. Through the platform, Dan and his team can perform a range of activities, including:

  • Managing ad slots
  • Track fill rates
  • Swap dates
  • Review customer assets

For TLDR, the biggest benefit of Sponsy lies in its powerful management capabilities.

Being able to book multiple slots at once is really great!

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

This feature, together with streamlined approval processing and automations, keep TLDR and its sponsors on-track for success.

Send reminders, maximize inventory, update statuses, and much more with Sponsy's automations.
Send reminders, maximize inventory, update statuses, and much more with Sponsy's automations.

Once approved, the status of an advertisement automatically changes, thanks to Sponsy's customizable automations designed to keep TLDR's operations running smoothly and efficiently across the team.

Deep insights

As a solution built around the needs of media publishers, Sponsy pairs advertisers with the advertisements they have booked previously - ensuring clients and sales are always in the know.

This is particularly useful when considering new engagements. Sales representatives, for example, can see the booking history of each advertiser and make informed decisions about pricing.

Make data-based decisions to maximixe ad revenue with Sponsy's metrics.
Make data-based decisions to maximixe ad revenue with Sponsy's metrics.

Deep details like this help TLDR to transform its pricing strategy for maximum returns. Instead of being restricted to fixed ad slots, Dan and his team are now able to move advertisers towards budget ranges and campaigns incorporating multiple newsletter channels and editions.


Within 12 months of working in partnership with Sponsy, TLDR's operations have transformed in many ways, including:

  • Expanding from one to eight daily newsletters
  • Increasing readership from 300k to 4.5m
  • Engagement with more than 250 advertisers
  • Growing the TLDR team from 2 to 4

Above all else, this partnership has strengthened TLDR's relationship with its growing base of advertisers and increased its ability to expand its readership and portfolio of publications - while maintaining a lean team.

Sponsy replaced dozens of Google Sheets for us and several sponsors have already commented on how much they appreciate our new streamlined sponsorship process.

I can't imagine running a sponsorship-based business without it!

Dan Ni
Dan Ni Founder

Ready to explore what Sponsy can do for you? Book a demo today.