Me starting a monthly newsletter

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I retired in November and while I can still remember my business and don't forget stuff before I'm too old to remember what I had for lunch (or if I ate lunch) I figured I'd sell my industry experience by way of a monthly newsletter. It launches next month.

Not being too crazy about hustling any more (not that I was that crazy about it before either) but I've got a small email list mix of my blog subscribers from a few years ago and buyers of my previous products. I also have a Facebook group and I'm kind of known as a successful but contrary-to-the-typical type.

I'm trying it modeling somewhat after Ben Settle. One post/email a day, infotainment style, as that fits my personality and is about as much work as I care to do. Anything where I don't actually have to get up and get out works for me.

Anyone here try anything like this?
#monthly #newsletter #starting
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  • Profile picture of the author AdmanMrWoo
    You're smart to jump into the newsletter model.

    You might want to reach out to me.

    I've long had my big toe in the newsletter universe.

    ... two of my favorite marketing books:

    HOW TO MAKE $25,000 A YEAR PUBLISHING NEWSLETTERS. by Brian Sheehan, from way back...1971.
    and..
    SUCCESS IN NEWSLETTER PUBLISHING, A PRACTICAL GUIDE, by Fred Goss, 1988.

    The model has not changed much, even though we have internet delivery.

    Settle is making use of it nicely.

    But most folks don't know much about this model. It's actually the most profitable business model around, one outfit pulled in about a million bucks a year per employee in newsletters.

    Now... mind you... as I see the world, every successful business from Sears to Trader Joe's to IN AND OUT Burger, uses elements of "newslettering" to both get and keep business.

    When you go in to IN AND OUT BURGER, the paper place-mats are filled with story-appeal, about the burger joint. Trader Joe's has an instore catalog that must have 1,000 per per page. And the Sears Catalog use to be jammed packed with ad copy (essentially a huge newsletter). Sears went to hell when they stopped using "newslettering" to sell.

    Feel free to reach out to me and we'll yak about things.

    You'll find my number somewhere around here.

    Linwood
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    Linwood Austin, Direct Response Copywriter,
    http://theadmansdiary.com/ .. Phone: 801-895-9598

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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by misterme View Post

    I retired in November and while I can still remember my business and don't forget stuff before I'm too old to remember what I had for lunch (or if I ate lunch) I figured I'd sell my industry experience by way of a monthly newsletter. It launches next month.

    Not being too crazy about hustling any more (not that I was that crazy about it before either) but I've got a small email list mix of my blog subscribers from a few years ago and buyers of my previous products. I also have a Facebook group and I'm kind of known as a successful but contrary-to-the-typical type.

    I'm trying it modeling somewhat after Ben Settle. One post/email a day, infotainment style, as that fits my personality and is about as much work as I care to do. Anything where I don't actually have to get up and get out works for me.

    Anyone here try anything like this?
    For 4 years I had a paid newsletter that went out once a month. I charged $39.95 a month. It was between 16 and 24 pages. Marketing, sales, and advertising stuff. I wrote it all.

    I sold my first 50 subscriptions at a trade show, and then sold it at the back of my books for a few years.

    I used the Dan Kennedy model of $5.95 total for the first 3 months, and then an automatic charge. I also forced continuity of the newsletter with all my information products.

    I averaged 8 months per subscription. But once they hit the fourth month, that jumped to 17 months on average.

    Ben Settle is a great model. There is no "Honeymoon period", just $99 a month for a letter.

    By the way, my blog, and e-mail list would get weekly snippets of articles I was going to include in the newsletter....of course suggesting they get the full thing by subscribing.

    Speaking to groups gave me the most volume of subscriptions, but the newsletter subscriptions from the back of my books lasted the longest.

    I'd love to see your sales letter, selling the subscription.

    Added later; I had between 120 and 220 subscribers. Frankly, if I hadn't tired of doing it...it would have made a nice retirement project and income.

    How much will you charge, and how long will it be? Will it be online or print?
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by misterme View Post

    I retired in November and while I can
    Good luck with that.
    I don't think it sticks with people like us.
    I've tried twice and somehow just wind up doing more then ever.

    P.S.
    ...and Claude's probably going to retire every year for the next 15 years.
    I think he's the type of person who will always have "one more" book in them.
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    Selling Ain't for Sissies
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

    Good luck with that.
    I don't think it sticks with people like us.
    I've tried twice and somehow just wind up doing more then ever.
    Yeah well, here I am about three months retired and taking on a new project.
    The Girlfriend is like, "As soon as you retired, I knew you wouldn't."

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


    How much will you charge, and how long will it be? Will it be online or print?
    Thanks for the info! Right now it's online, it's $99 month, I launched it this past weekend and have two subscribers so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    What's the letter about?
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      What's the letter about?
      An offline industry I was in. I prefer keeping identifying details private only because it allows me then to speak freely here.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        An offline industry I was in. I prefer keeping identifying details private only because it allows me then to speak freely here.
        What are your plans to get subscribers?

        A friend wants to know.
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        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          I have an email list of sign ups who were interested in learning business stuff from me. I also have an email list of people who bought education products from me. I also have a nice size Facebook group and that grows from members inviting others in as well as Facebook suggests my group to other professionals in my industry. All told right now the total count for everything is about 1500 people.

          I'm not really too ambitious than that these days and I don't need it to pay the bills so right now it's limited to that kind of organic growth just to see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    Take it for what its worth....

    Considering your situation I would limit this to the first 100 subscribers. You are limiting this information to few people in order that the information doesn't get out into the market and watered down.

    Your subscribers will be 1 of only 100 people who have access to these strategies, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      Take it for what its worth....

      Considering your situation I would limit this to the first 100 subscribers. You are limiting this information to few people in order that the information doesn't get out into the market and watered down.

      Your subscribers will be 1 of only 100 people who have access to these strategies, etc.
      Possible this will be useful.

      Most of my subscribers were in the retail vacuum cleaner business (maybe 70%)

      The industry had 5,000 active dealers that would attend the annual convention, where I sold my newsletter.

      The first 50 subscriptions were almost automatic. The next 50 were pretty easy. I struggled to get the next 100 subscribers.

      And I think getting 300 subscribers from that industry was going to be a monumental task. Even though I spoke at every convention, wrote a monthly column in the trade journal, and sold the subscriptions as an automatic addition to all my product sales (advertising and marketing courses)

      Years before I did my newsletter, a well known guy in the industry did his own newsletter specific to the same industry. I think he charged $100 a year in the early 1990s.

      He told me that his subscriber base was about 110-140, and that stayed pretty even for the 2 years he had the newsletter.

      I've also found out that I have managed to cut out about 30-50 business owners in my industry as continuous buyers of my information, and attendees of industry bootcamps.

      My friend, Howard Anderson put on 3 annual bootcamps for the vacuum industry, heavily promoted both events to the industry...and ended up with 50 attendees each paying $1,500 to attend a 3 day event.

      The industry has now shrunk to about 2,000 attendees at the trade show, Of course, these core 50 people are doing very well.

      But I think trying to get more than 2 or 3% of an industry to invest in paid training of any kind is a pipe dream. On percent will buy anything within reason...cutting edge respondents... Maybe another 1 or 2% are swayed.....the rest are the masses.

      The difference here is that Misterme has a list of people who are used to giving him money.

      Anyway, I hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdmanMrWoo
    The nice thing about the newsletter model, is that, it begs to be back end heavy. And most businesses make all their real profits on the back end.
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    Linwood Austin, Direct Response Copywriter,
    http://theadmansdiary.com/ .. Phone: 801-895-9598

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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Limiting the subscribers to 100 or granting exclusive territory or anything that puts a limit on the list would correspondingly mean I need to increase the subscription rate 600 percent, or work for a lot less and never realize what the potential would've been. You never know what potential your potential has until after you've hit your potential.

    It also means that if I say "limited to 100" and then should I show subscriptions are available say, a year from now, that can send the signal that the newsletter isn't in demand or that there's obviously no urgency to sign up...
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