When you start an online newsletter you have the opportunity to collect opt-in email addresses to build your subscription base and establish creditability with your subscribers so that they may want to purchase products from you, a trusting source.
The best part about an online newsletter is that it is free to start up. With an online newsletter you can offer your subscribers juicy daily or weekly information and they will love it. It will slowly build up their curiosity and they may purchase a monthly membership or products from you because they love receiving the information you supply.
Now, if you send them junk, the complete opposite will occur, so having an online newsletter takes work, but you can always pay someone to do it for you. So, with all this work put into it should you consider charging for subscription. That depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want to attract visitors and entice them to your main product. Or are you only offering an online newsletter with no products. How often do you send out autoresponders and how in depth and valuable is your newsletter. Is this information easily found free somewhere else on the Internet.
Free newsletters are much easier because you can get a lot of people opt-in and you can sell them a subscription in the future. Everyone loves free stuff. Occasionally, at the end of the email you may want to offer special subscriber only promotions or notify your subscribers of new products or services. You could even offer special subscriber only bonuses with a purchase.
By the way, if you send your subscribers what begins to look like sales letters, they will opt out quicker than you can say wait! Be careful because this is your potential customer crowd and it is like gold to you.