Recently, I read an article that talked about how companies from news organizations, non-profits, start-up solo-preneurs, and larger publishing companies were launching new businesses that were based on an email newsletter. The article even stated that so many new email newsletters are being created today that it is the “New” business model.
I found this fascinating for several reasons!
The article went on to talk about things like how to get started creating an email newsletter, types of newsletters, growing the email list, monetizing the list and then how to measure success.
What I found so interesting about this article and this “New” newsletter business model is:
- I have been advocating for email newsletters for almost a decade.
- How something that has been around since at least the early 2000s is all of sudden the newest fad business model.
- Almost every client that I work with today, I help them either start or improve on an email newsletter.
What makes email newsletters so effective?
1) Email Newsletters Are Easy to Plan.
With many of the email platforms today, it is so easy to plan an email newsletter. You need to decide on your audience, what content you are going to include and how often are you going to send the newsletter. That’s basically it!
2) Low Startup Cost
Think about a magazine and the expenses involved. You need writers to create content or at the very least a source for re-publishing content. Then there is the cost of printing and distribution (mailing the magazine). Often there needs to be at least one person selling advertising. There is an editor and then someone to design graphics and the layout of the magazine.
With email newsletters, there is a lot less content to create than a magazine. Content still requires time, but it is far less time than a magazine. Plus, the distribution cost is far less to send an email than snail mailing a magazine.
3) The Simplest Publishing Product to Create.
If you think about how much time, effort and energy it takes to create a book, often it can take months to complete and publish. Completing an email newsletter only takes a few hours of time. Plus, you can create a template and reuse the template each week. This reduces the time and expedites the formation of the newsletter.
4) Easy to Maintain and Create Content
One of the biggest benefits of an email newsletter is a lot of the content can be re-published from other sources. For instance, a blog post can be re-used as the primary content in the newsletter. Other pieces of content can be gathered to finish the newsletter. Even if someone creates content, the amount of time to write, gather and organize the content of each email is often only a couple of hours.
Plus, as the content is collected, it can be saved in a Google document. This makes putting the newsletter together simple by cutting and pasting the content into an email template.
5) Builds Trust With Subscribers Like Few Products Can.
The biggest advantage with the email newsletter is it builds relationships with the people on your list. As you share relevant information, products, content, and stories about your life, people start to get to know you on a personal level. People getting to know you and then relating to you, builds the know, like and trust factor.
The key to building relationships with email newsletters is to send them consistently at least once per week. Consistently showing up in the inbox and providing value is what builds trust. I like to think of email newsletters as building relationships on scale. The more people on your email list then the more lives you can impact.
6) Highly & Quickly Scalable
If we go back to the magazine example, magazines built a subscriber list by getting people to pay to receive the magazine that was delivered to their home via the mail.
With email newsletters, all you need is a way to get someone to join your email list. This is much easier than requiring someone to pay to subscribe to a magazine.
Plus, think about this. I often think the number of subscribers on the email list is comparable to fans visiting a sports stadium. If there are 5,000 people on an email list, then this is comparable to a local AAA baseball stadium. Fifteen thousand people on an email list is like a college basketball stadium. Fifty thousand people on an email list is like communicating with a college football stadium. Seventy-five thousand people on an email list is like emailing an entire professional football stadium.
The size of the email list is one of the most scalable aspects of any publishing business today. Plus, as the size of the list grows, if you continue to maintain and build a relationship with the list then revenue should increase also.
7) Multiple Ways to Monetize the List
One of my favorite aspects of email newsletters and growing the list is there are so many ways to monetize the list. I have personally come up with 17 different ways to generate revenue from email newsletters. Here are a few of my favorite monetization methods.
a) Selling products – Selling products can be anything from books, online courses, or other physical products that are delivered to the customer’s home.
b) Affiliate products– affiliate products are products that you promote in your newsletter that are sold by another company. Normally you earn a commission on the number of products you sell. The other nice thing about affiliate products is that you do not have to fulfill the product. You just to your email list about the product in your newsletter.
c) Sponsorships – with sponsorships you are paid by a company to promote their product to your email list. Sponsorships can be banner ads, text ads, or an entire email that promotes the product.
Sponsorships are normally sold on a flat rate or on a per thousand people on the list. For instance, if you have an email list of 10,000 subscribers, you may choose to offer a banner ad in your email newsletter for a flat fee of $125.
Once your email list hits 20,000 subscribers you may choose to switch the fee you charge to a per thousand email subscribers. Now imagine you charge $15/1000 subscribers for the same banner ad. Therefore, the fee for the banner ad to your email list of 20,000 subscribers would be $300 instead of $125.
It took the same amount of time to insert the banner ad in the email that is going to the 20,000 people as it did in the email going to 10,000 subscribers. The difference is you earned more than twice the revenue for the same banner ad. This is how an email newsletter provides compounding revenue as the size of the list grows.
There you have 7 reasons why I love email newsletters and why they are my favorite business model. Email newsletters are one of the easiest businesses to start, are highly scalable and create compounding revenue as the email list grows.