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EXECUTION [Progress] Paid email newsletters

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Andy Black

Andy Black

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BTW... here's the first and only automated email that's sent to my paid email newsletter subscribers. (It's the welcome email, but I thought I'd add value in it.)

Hi,

Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter!

I look forward to sending you updates of what I'm doing (and why), and the learnings I pick up along the way.

I'm figuring this out as I go along, so expect insights as they come to me, as well as the usual ups and downs you get when your ship leaves the harbor.

I hope it inspires you to leave your own harbor and find your own blue ocean.


The first thing I want to talk about is paid email newsletters.

Years ago I was on a course given by Blaise Brosnan here in Ireland. He dropped a wee nugget on us that the most important formula in business is R+R=Profit, where R+R is Repeat Business plus Referrals.

That formula stuck with me and I've been obsessed ever since with building revenue streams based on repeat business.

Repeat business is amazing. Get someone to buy from you, keep adding value so they continue to buy from you, and then get more people to do the same. It's a great way to grow your business because it can snowball over time.


Subscription businesses are an excellent way to get repeat business, and the simplest subscription business I can think of is a paid email newsletter.

The beauty of a paid email newsletter is you don't have to create any content or products until someone subscribes. Sure, you can create a welcome email like this one that goes out immediately someone subscribes, but I've joined a paid email newsletter where the owner didn’t start creating content until after people unexpectedly subscribed to a list he wasn’t even promoting.

Paid email newsletters are super simple to setup and put in front of people to see if they're willing to regularly put their hand in their pocket.

And finding out asap whether people will pay regularly for something is super important if you want to create any type of subscription business.

In fact, I think this might be the most important reason to try out paid email newsletters!


Let me explain...

I have a neighbour who cycled in the Olympics for Ireland. He told me he wanted to create a subscription box or a training app for cyclists.

He runs a small business creating cycling accessories to sell to retailers here in Ireland. It's in his blood to build things, so naturally he wants to immediately start building the subscription box or the training app.

But building either of these will cost time and money, so he was looking at ways to get grants or investment.

I explained that my preference is to get money from customers rather than investors. That I prefer to figure out how to get customers to part with their cash, rather than how to get investors to part with their cash.

Partly because I don't want to spend my time courting local enterprise offices or investors when I think I should be courting potential customers.

But mostly because I want to find out asap if anyone will hand over their money, and do so regularly.

If my friend built the first subscription box, or an MVP for the app, he'd then need to get his offer in front of people interested in buying.

My suggestion to him was to see if he could get people onto a free email list first, maybe for a 7 day email series, or even just the usual eBook "lead magnet" delivered by email.

Then see if he could convince some to subscribe to a paid email list of tips, tricks, stories, and insights from his many years of cycling and competing.

Heck, maybe there are people who already know him and would subscribe on the spot if he only setup a shopping cart and let them know it was available! (That's always my first recommendation by the way - start with the people who already know, like, and trust you.)


See how different this is from building the product first and then trying to find out if anyone will buy?

See how different this is from asking people if they'd pay for something monthly?

Slapping a price on it helps filter out the people who say they’d buy just so they don’t offend your feelings.


So here we are. I thought I'd better put my money where my mouth is and create a paid email list before bending my friend’s ear again.

And here you are too, hopefully getting value already as you consider how R+R=Profit could be implemented in your own business, whether you should consider creating a subscription business, and what type of paid email newsletter could possibly get you started sooner rather than later.

I hope this helps and you're having a great day wherever you are in the world.

Until next time!
Andy B
 

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Andy Black

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How cool. Thrivecart now integrates directly with Mailchimp. I’ll create a paid email newsletter for Google Ads. I might create a free one too, not sure.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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Hmmm... if I'm to have a free newsletter and a paid newsletter then I think Active Campaign would be better because people get added to one list and then tagged accordingly. If I was to do this in Mailchimp then I need to put people into two different lists since Thrivecart doesn’t allow tagging in Mailchimp. I’d then be unable to email something to the free and paid subscribers without someone getting it twice if they're on both lists.

I already upgraded to $14.99/mth for Mailchimp so I can have more than one list (audience). The lowest Active Campaign plan is $15/mth too, but the ability of Thrivecart to tag Active Campaign subscribers is worth me switching to Active Campaign. I'm not wedded to any email service provider at the moment. I like Mailchimp because it's so well used, but I think the lack of ability of Thrivecart to tag subscribers in Mailchimp is a show-stopper.
 
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Andy Black

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This evening I setup the Thrivecart automations so people who pay will get tagged in ActiveCampaign, and people who stop paying get untagged. What an elegant way of having free and paid subscribers. Thanks @Lex DeVille for being a sounding board on this (Lex has his paid email newsletter setup as Thrivecart and ActiveCampaign).

I also setup a simple welcome email, initial automation, and simple signup form in ActiveCampaign.

Now to get the form my developer created amended so that people end up on the ActiveCampaign list instead of the Mailchimp list I used in this thread:
> EXECUTION - Growing an email list with Google Ads


As soon as that’s done I’m restarting Google Ads campaigns to get free subscribers (except I’ll likely focus on first world countries and try to not get my account flagged again!).

If I get a signup I’ll send a personalised video welcome message. And then think about what tip to send them.

I’ll figure out how to get folks onto the paid email newsletter after that. I’ll test getting people straight onto the paid email newsletter straight away and by-passing the free newsletter altogether. Although I do see a benefit of having a free newsletter too.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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Spoke to a couple of people today about how they might start their paid email newsletters.

Here's what I told them:

"Substack is super easy to get started with. I'd recommend only having the monthly plan and removing the annual plan. You might have to message their support to get them to remove the annual plan from your sales page.

You can get your substack subdomain changed by support too, but try to pick something you can stick with."
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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@Suzanne Bazemore I think this thread would be good for you to read :)
Thanks @becks22. @Suzanne Bazemore, just ask if you have any queries.

Wow... I've just realised I started this progress thread two years ago TO THE DAY! I've been writing to my own paid email subscribers for nearly two years!? It's easy, and it's fun. I'm getting more into paid email newsletters. It's currently my main focus aside from client work.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

Dad, husband, entrepreneur.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
10,889
44,235
4,306
Ireland

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