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EXECUTION Figuring Out Paid Email Newsletters

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Andy Black

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Facebook would be the last place where I would launch a newsletter,
Oh, agreed.

Facebook getting in on the game tells us newsletters will be a gold rush, if it’s not already.
 

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I've been following you on twitter for sometime now, and I'd have to say I have to sit down with a pen and paper to take notes from your tweets :D I tried replying to comments for a month on reddit, maybe I should start getting on quora as well.
P.S: Thanks for all the value you provide Andy, much appreciated.

Oh wow. Thanks for that feedback.

Every bit of positive feedback helps. Hence why I recommend platforms with short feedback loops.

Curious what tweets are resonating the most, and what type of notes you’re taking.


This is a good book. I’m halfway through:B922DDBB-55F3-492D-824F-194544113C38.jpeg
 

Andy Black

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Awesome post, thank you!
Thanks @MTF.

Are you on any platforms building up a following? You’ve already got infinite material and content to build a following.

I know you value your privacy. I didn’t realise until a couple of months into Twitter that there were big anon accounts. Some are massive.
 

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Nicolas Cole (the author of the book I listed above) was the number one author on Quora for views one particular year. He knows his stuff.

I loved how one of his tweets succinctly put into words what I was struggling to say for a while:

“Building an audience isn’t a goal. It’s a by-product.”
 

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Nicolas Cole (the author of the book I listed above) was the number one author on Quora for views one particular year. He knows his stuff.

I loved how one of his tweets succinctly put into words what I was struggling to say for a while:

“Building an audience isn’t a goal. It’s a by-product.”
I'm currently on one of Cole's courses "Ship 30 for 30".

It's essentially a 30 day daily writing challenge.

I managed two weeks before cocking up. Bank holiday weekend

Anyways, it's getting me closer to where I need to be.

I've really enjoyed reading through this thread and seeing your journey of ~3 years.

Can you possibly give an update on your current tech stack as well as numbers?
 

Andy Black

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I'm currently on one of Cole's courses "Ship 30 for 30".

It's essentially a 30 day daily writing challenge.

I managed two weeks before cocking up. Bank holiday weekend

Anyways, it's getting me closer to where I need to be.

I've really enjoyed reading through this thread and seeing your journey of ~3 years.

Can you possibly give an update on your current tech stack as well as numbers?
Oh interesting. I see the #ship30for30 stuff in my timeline. I swear I ignore those tweets where I have to click the essay to open up 250 words in an image and try to zoom in on my phone. If you're doing those then I think you'll be better going native and creating a thread. Before you create threads I suggest getting good at single tweets.

Current tech stack: I'm still using Substack for my personal journal growing my business. It's still a $5/mth newsletter, and like a private progress thread of me journaling whatever I'm currently figuring out (mostly updates on Twitter at the moment).

A few people have unsubscribed as they're not interested in Twitter, but that's ok.

There's probably only a dozen people on that newsletter, and some are people in my team. Rather than spam Basecamp with update about my external activities I added them.

You'd think only a dozen people on it would make it a waste of time. But it's amazing the motivation you have knowing even one person is paying monthly for your updates.

I've not tried to scale it. I rarely tell anyone about it, and it's only when I've been in DM for a while.

...

I've just started a new free Mailchimp newsletter that's linked to my Twitter account. I picked Mailchimp because it is used waaay more than any other email service provider. And it's free up to 2k subscribers.

I'll figure out how to get people onto the free email newsletter, and one of the offers will likely be to upgrade to a low priced paid email newsletter. I'll figure it out as I go along (and document it in my current paid email newsletter!).
 

Andy Black

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A forum member just subscribed to my Substack. How cool. New members sign up so rarely I’m able to get into an email convo.
 

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I'm curious. In your experience what is generally the best ratio between free articles and member-only paid articles?

Obviously you want to lure people in with your free articles but also make your paid subscribers feel like they're getting a great deal.

Also....are there any other threads on the forum of people doing similar that you're aware of? Would love to follow.
 

Andy Black

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I'm curious. In your experience what is generally the best ratio between free articles and member-only paid articles?

Obviously you want to lure people in with your free articles but also make your paid subscribers feel like they're getting a great deal.

Also....are there any other threads on the forum of people doing similar that you're aware of? Would love to follow.
I don’t know if anyone else in the forum is dabbling with paid email newsletters.

I made my Substack newsletter paid only. I like that I don’t send emails to get people to upgrade to the paid plan. I just send emails knowing they’re all for paid subscribers.

I have a new Mailchimp newsletter that people join from Twitter. That one’s free only. Again, it simplified things for me to know all issues will be free.
 

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Saw this and it really troubled me.

Made me wonder about switching to a platform like Ghost.
 

Andy Black

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Saw this and it really troubled me.

Made me wonder about switching to a platform like Ghost.
It doesn’t trouble me. I like these tools to get started quickly, but wouldn’t (just) grow on a platform that could pull the plug.

I spent way too much time at the start of this progress thread humming and haaing about what platform to use. Just pick something and figure it out as you go.

I did look at ghost but will likely just use Wordpress and Mailchimp.
 

Andy Black

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Thanks for sharing @GSF.

The salespage is great. Seems a bit like someone’s personal project and I’d worry they get bored and stop supporting it.
 

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Andy Black

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Selling information is difficult these days with all the free internet information but if someone could find me information on who would buy what they literally could get rich quick.
The opportunity is that there’s too much information. Some people will pay if you save their time trawling through it all and can summarise it for them.
 

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The opportunity is that there’s too much information. Some people will pay if you save their time trawling through it all and can summarise it for them.
I think this is more true than ever. I will gladly pay money to skip having to sit through an 8-hour course that could have been done in 1 hour.

By the way Andy, do you get a lot of replies and conversations from the people on your email list?
I'm doing a side-hustle thing with another person and we have an email list (giving free valuable information). We get a fairly high open rate on the emails, but almost never anyone replies or ask us anything about the information they are learning from us.
We do ask questions in the emails to encourage some conversations with anyone on our list.

Of course, it could just be that our information isn't good enough for anyone to care.
 

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I like newsletters. There's things in there that you don't get from books and they talk about things that are happening nowm

I was signed up to Dan Kennedy's and Perry Marshall's but then the pandemic stopped them from getting delivered on time or delivered at all.

I think I was paying $100 per month for both so it is a pretty good money maker.
 

Andy Black

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I like newsletters. There's things in there that you don't get from books and they talk about things that are happening nowm

I was signed up to Dan Kennedy's and Perry Marshall's but then the pandemic stopped them from getting delivered on time or delivered at all.

I think I was paying $100 per month for both so it is a pretty good money maker.
I like the one-to-many nature of email newsletters. I'm not sold on having and growing a community. A community is many-to-many and I feel I have to then manage that too. I think newsletters can scale easier.
 

Andy Black

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I think this is more true than ever. I will gladly pay money to skip having to sit through an 8-hour course that could have been done in 1 hour.
That's exactly why I made my Google Ads Jumpstart course an hour long. I know there's people who will pay more for a shorter course.

By the way Andy, do you get a lot of replies and conversations from the people on your email list?
I'm doing a side-hustle thing with another person and we have an email list (giving free valuable information). We get a fairly high open rate on the emails, but almost never anyone replies or ask us anything about the information they are learning from us.
We do ask questions in the emails to encourage some conversations with anyone on our list.

Of course, it could just be that our information isn't good enough for anyone to care.
My lists are tiny but have good open rates (60%+).

I don't ask many questions, but when I do I get a few replies. I'm only interested in answering questions from people motivated enough to reply anyway.
 

Andy Black

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I had a sudden realisation last night (@Bekit... you'll like this):
  • I'm using New Zenler to host the videos and lessons for my Google Ads courses.
  • People pay a monthly subscription to access those courses.
  • We can email people from within New Zenler, and it has pretty sophisticated segmentation.
  • With New Zenler we can email those paying a monthly subscription.
  • Which means we can use New Zenler as a paid email newsletter platform!
New Zenler could be better than Substack and other paid email newsletter solutions:
  • New Zenler hosts courses, lessons, quizzes, discussions.
  • Paid subscribers get immediate and continued access to the library as soon as they subscribe.
  • I can send emails to paid subscribers when new content is added to the library.
  • I can also send emails with news and other musings that people only get when they're subscribed (exactly like an email newsletter).
  • We pay a flat monthly fee for New Zenler, rather than the 10% fee Substack takes.
  • Substack is a platform where our account could get banned and removed. New Zenler is a platform we pay for where we host whatever courses and content we want (within reason I’m sure, but this gives us way more control).
What this could mean:
  • I currently have a few small free Mailchimp lists, a small paid Substack newsletter, and free and paid email subscribers on New Zenler.
  • I could combine them all onto New Zenler.
  • I’ll reduce my fees slightly as I’m already paying for New Zenler.
  • I’ll get much better at using one platform, rather than be spread across three.
  • My free and paid email subscribers can continue to get emails, and I could upload courses to New Zenler they can access!
 

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I didn’t realise Facebook had launched a newsletter offering a few weeks ago:
 

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I didn’t realise Facebook had launched a newsletter offering a few weeks ago:

Might be good for those just starting. Personally, I doubt I'll go near Facebook for anything other than ads ever again. They've already proven to censor whatever they don't like, even if it isn't illegal or even controversial. In other words, your entire business model here centers around your willingness to comply with Facebook's agenda.
 

Andy Black

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Might be good for those just starting. Personally, I doubt I'll go near Facebook for anything other than ads ever again. They've already proven to censor whatever they don't like, even if it isn't illegal or even controversial. In other words, your entire business model here centers around your willingness to comply with Facebook's agenda.
Yeah, I hear you. I wouldn’t build a business on it, but how could it fit into our own marketing system/stack?

Substack was a nice publishing platform, but there was no discoverability (and they take 10% of revenue).

I wonder how we could use Bulletin as a marketing channel?

Will our Bulletin articles get indexed by Google?

Would we have to join a content treadmill and publish constantly? Or would we be able to create little machines toast work for us daily - maybe by publishing articles and then running ads to them?

Lots of questions. Bet the search volume on Google and YouTube will shoot up exponentially.

Maybe work figuring out?
 

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New Zenler just rolled out functionality so that blog posts can be:
  1. Visible for everyone.
  2. Visible just for registered users of the site.
  3. Visible just for members of free or paid courses.

View: https://youtu.be/BqCu_43Jyto
 

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