Want to bring my £7000 per month offline business online. Your expert advice please!

21 replies
Hi

This is my first post so I'd like to introduce myself.

My name is Bill and this forum was recommended as a place that might help me.

I currently produce an offline, printed newsletter for approx 700 retailers in the UK at a price £9.99 bringing in a revenue of around £7000 per month with sales from backend products.

This might sound impressive but bear in the mind the printing costs and postage etc. However, I still make a modest income.

I would like to reduce my costs and one of the ways I thought about doing this was to make the newsletter an electronic product instead.

I have just invested in Aweber which I heard was good and will do this for me.

However...and this is where I would really value your expertise, I would like to add an extra subscription based service for my customers by hosting a list building service for them in order to generate regular repeat business.

Scenario:
I produce a handout for them to give to their customers which encourages them join the retailers mailing list for exclusive special offers via an online list building form.

I will then send out a specified number of mailings for them each month for £25 (just an example).

However I don't know how to set this up.

Is there a program that would allow me to set up an opt-in list building form for each of my 700 clients where I would have full control and allow me to charge them a monthly fee?

I have done a Google search but I don't really know what I am asking for.

If any member currently does this or can recommend a service I would be most grateful.

Many thanks

Yours Bill

PS. If I have not explained myself clearly or if you are confused about what I am asking for, please say so and I will try to clarify it. I won't be offended if you don't have a clue what I am on about

PPS. If you have any further suggestions on where I could take this business to another level I would be appreciate it very much.
#advice #bring #business #expert #month #offline #online
  • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome
    I can do that for you at $10 per account x 700. Just kidding! You actually can set up an autoresponder in aweber for each if I am not mistaken. I think it includes unlimited autoresponders.
    Of course, each autoresponder would have to be set up manually in your own account. Then you make a form or the code for a form to give to them or place on a page for them.
    Now, aweber charges you based on how many subscribers you have. So, if those 700 people and you have lists in the thousands--you need to be sure to charge enough to cover the added expense plus some profit for you of course.

    I would seriously consider giving up on the printed version. Some folks tend to like to actually read the paper version. The online version may be an added bonus or even promoted to new subscribers as such. Once built and the retention rates hold--then maybe, maybe, switch the paper subscribers to completely online.

    Oh, welcome to the forum Bill.

    As far as expanding your current business model. You have a list of over 700 business clients. Why not start a local website directory or even another printed coupon magazine etc. I would imagine this would be a great upsell compared to the price of subscription to your newletter.
    The prices for an add in one of these is up to the thousands per ad.

    I think that is what you are asking about---hope that helps a little,
    Glenn
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    • Profile picture of the author justbill
      Hi Glenn

      Thank you very much for responding to my post.

      I just invested in Aweber and wasn't aware that I could do this for other accounts.

      So this would work using Aweber?:

      1) I create a single page opt-in page for my customer giving them a unique web address.

      2) Install an aweber form on it.

      3) send a message to their customers with an exclusive offer a couple of times per month from the Aweber control panel.

      If that is the case, thank you very much for letting me know. As I said I didn't know that I could do that with Aweber. All of this is very new to me.

      Thanks again

      Bill
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
        Hi Bill,
        Once the customer is on your list you can send a broadcast (one time hit to the list) and/or set-up a series of automated messages to go out within the perimeters you set (for instance daily, twice weekly, monthly etc.)

        Rich
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        • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome
          Answer is yes with this explanation below:

          I think you can broadcast to every list in your autoresponder (as noted above by Rich). This would be a generic message that could be beneficial to anyone. Could send this out to all 700 at the same time.

          I think that the problem or the work involved would come in if you have to send a special message for each customer. Say if you have on you list a beauty shop who wants a coupon sent out. Then you would have to go to that specific autoresponder and place the ad or coupon special to send out only to the beauty shop customers.

          You would have to do this 700 times (one for each customer) if they wanted special coupons sent out.
          Maybe someone could post a better way, but that is how I see it.
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        • Profile picture of the author justbill
          Rich

          Thanks very much.

          I have just been reading up on the Aweber site to see how easy this would be and think that even I could do it

          Just one thought, I would like to be able to put a coupon on the email and make the email unique to my client by having their company logo on etc. I guess that this would be using the html option?

          Thanks again.

          Really value your advice.

          Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author jan roos
          As stated above you can run and manage all of your customer's lists seperately on your Aweber account. All you do Is create the optin box from withing Aweber for each list and paste the code into whichever site you want it on. From there you have full access to all of your customer's lists right from your Aweber control panel, Which makes this a powerfull tool. I am in the process of doing the same thing by building a email list for offline businesses in order for them to follow up and promote to their target market more effectively.

          Cheers
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          • Profile picture of the author justbill
            Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

            As stated above you can run and manage all of your customer's lists seperately on your Aweber account. All you do Is create the optin box from withing Aweber for each list and paste the code into whichever site you want it on. From there you have full access to all of your customer's lists right from your Aweber control panel, Which makes this a powerfull tool. I am in the process of doing the same thing by building a email list for offline businesses in order for them to follow up and promote to their target market more effectively.

            Cheers
            Hi Jan

            Great minds think alike

            Thanks very much for your advice. Much appreciated.

            Good luck with your business.

            Bill
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              • Profile picture of the author justbill
                Hi Glenn

                Thanks again for your replies which raised a valid point.

                I would have to send out a seperate email for each of my clients as each of the posts would be unique to their business, complete with their company logo, retail address etc.

                It would be a lot of work but this would hopefully justify the monthly fee for doing this.

                The service would start off with 2 emails per month for a flat fee, with varying price stuctures for additional emails throughout the month.

                Thanks for pointing out the workload involved.

                Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome
          A way to cut down on having to go into each autoresponder so much would be when you sign up a customer, have them to give you one or two or any number of messages to send out each month for the year etc.

          When you are adding them to your autoresponder (manually) then you could add the messages to be sent out at a specified time for the whole year.

          An even better way would be to ask them to send you an email with the messages included. That way it would be a "copy and paste" operation.
          Glenn
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  • Profile picture of the author julesbrad
    What I have done with Aweber on my kitchen design site is attach a pdf to the messages I send out (I do not have a problem if you want to sign up for free kitchen design course simply to see what I mean)

    This would solve the problem if you want to send a newsletter out with images an logos within the newsletter. The are many free pieces of software which can easily turn your image rich pages into pdfs.
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    • Profile picture of the author justbill
      Originally Posted by julesbrad View Post

      What I have done with Aweber on my kitchen design site is attach a pdf to the messages I send out (I do not have a problem if you want to sign up for free kitchen design course simply to see what I mean)

      This would solve the problem if you want to send a newsletter out with images an logos within the newsletter. The are many free pieces of software which can easily turn your image rich pages into pdfs.
      Thanks very much.

      With your permission I signed up to your course to see how you did it as I would definitely want to include images etc in the newsletter.

      Thanks again
      Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author julesbrad
    Just seen your signup. Rather than you having to wait the 2 days for the first part of the course, I will email it over directly so you can instantly see how I have added 2D and 3D line drawings to my pdf files (along with photos on the first page of the course). Hope it shows you what you are looking for
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    • Profile picture of the author justbill
      Originally Posted by julesbrad View Post

      Just seen your signup. Rather than you having to wait the 2 days for the first part of the course, I will email it over directly so you can instantly see how I have added 2D and 3D line drawings to my pdf files (along with photos on the first page of the course). Hope it shows you what you are looking for
      That is really good of you. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you doing that for me.

      Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Bill,

    How large is the newsletter (how many pages) and how often do you send it?

    The reason I ask is that the Royal Mail have a number of marketing services and one, in particular, will allow you to create a 2 page letter (both sides of 1 page) online and mail it for 61p. (They print it and mail it... you only have to create it online).

    So, as an example, if you send 700 2-page letters once a month, that's only £427... leaving you with £6,573. They have a number of other services too. Unless you're sending people a big thick catalogue-type publication, I don't see any reason why it you couldn't have the Royal Mail printing AND posting the entire thing for less than £1,000... maybe £2000 at most, which still leaves you with £5,000 without having to do ANY of the grunt work.

    There is NOBODY that cannot receive and read a printed newsletter. If you go the e-mail route, how do you know that everyone will even have the technical capability to receive it?

    Of course, you could simply do both.

    Tommy.
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    • Profile picture of the author justbill
      Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

      Bill,

      How large is the newsletter (how many pages) and how often do you send it?

      The reason I ask is that the Royal Mail have a number of marketing services and one, in particular, will allow you to create a 2 page letter (both sides of 1 page) online and mail it for 61p. (They print it and mail it... you only have to create it online).

      So, as an example, if you send 700 2-page letters once a month, that's only £427... leaving you with £6,573. They have a number of other services too. Unless you're sending people a big thick catalogue-type publication, I don't see any reason why it you couldn't have the Royal Mail printing AND posting the entire thing for less than £1,000... maybe £2000 at most, which still leaves you with £5,000 without having to do ANY of the grunt work.

      There is NOBODY that cannot receive and read a printed newsletter. If you go the e-mail route, how do you know that everyone will even have the technical capability to receive it?

      Of course, you could simply do both.

      Tommy.
      Thomas

      Wow. Thanks for that information. I was not aware that the Royal Mail provided that sort of service and it is something that I will look into.

      My newsletter is 16 pages per month which is why it is so expensive for me to produce.

      Many thanks for the information.

      Bill
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        It seems the simplest way to do this without headaches would be to simply become an Aweber affiliate and sell your list members on the value of Aweber to build their lists.

        Also check out the video on the page in the first link of my signature.

        That might give you some more ideas on the kind of service and the value you can provide to the people on your list.

        One more thing.

        You may be able to deliver far more value by having a paid membership site that includes email as part of the training.

        You can deliver content in many more ways online including video, audio, pdf reports, images etc etc. and if your subscribers are paying for that content a paid membership site sounds like a more compelling model.

        It is also more likely to get your members excited about switching from the printed version of your newsletter to the digital version.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author justbill
          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          It seems the simplest way to do this without headaches would be to simply become an Aweber affiliate and sell your list members on the value of Aweber to build their lists.

          Also check out the video on the page in the first link of my signature.

          That might give you some more ideas on the kind of service and the value you can provide to the people on your list.

          One more thing.

          You may be able to deliver far more value by having a paid membership site that includes email as part of the training.

          You can deliver content in many more ways online including video, audio, pdf reports, images etc etc. and if your subscribers are paying for that content a paid membership site sounds like a more compelling model.

          It is also more likely to get your members excited about switching from the printed version of your newsletter to the digital version.

          Kindest regards,
          Andrew Cavanagh
          Hi Andrew

          Thank you very much for your detailed reply. You have certainly given me a lot to think about.

          I hadn't thought of the option that you recommended about becoming an Aweber affiliate instead. However, I would rather provide the email service myself because not only is this a very busy niche customer but it will give me a guaranteed recurring income and will be worth more than the affiliate commission I would receive.

          The membership site option is certainly a very exciting prospect, however I lack the technical skills required to provide such a service at this point in time but it is something that I definitely plan to add to my business plan 6 months down the road as I can see the potential of doing this.

          I will look into this further and do my research to see what would be the best way to go about this because, as I say, at this point in time I clueless about know where to even start.

          Thanks again for the terrific suggestions.

          Bill
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      • Profile picture of the author Thomas
        Originally Posted by justbill View Post

        Thomas

        Wow. Thanks for that information. I was not aware that the Royal Mail provided that sort of service and it is something that I will look into.

        My newsletter is 16 pages per month which is why it is so expensive for me to produce.

        Many thanks for the information.

        Bill
        No problem. Here's a link to start you off:

        http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/j...mediaId=400054

        Hope it works out!

        Tommy.
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        • Profile picture of the author justbill
          Tommy

          What a star!!

          Thank you VERY much

          Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author alanls
    Hi Bill,
    Full colour printing for 16 pages on A4 glossy should be less than £1000/ $1500 a month.
    alan
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