How to Create a Money-Making Newsletter Success

Apr 20 21:00 2004 Patrick Baghestani Print This Article

Writing and ... a ... ... is perhaps the most ... of all the ... areas of mail order and direct ... years ago, there were 1500 ... ... in th

Writing and publishing a successful newsletter is perhaps the most competitive of all the different areas of mail order and direct marketing.

Five years ago,Guest Posting there were 1500 different newsletters in this country. Today there are well over 10,000, with new ones being started every day. It's also interesting to note that for every new one that's started, some disappear just as quickly as they are started - lack of operating capital and marketing know-how being the principal causes of failure.

To be successful with a newsletter, you have to specialize. Your best bet will be with new information on a subject not already covered by an established newsletter.

Regardless of the frustrations involved in launching your own newsletter, never forget this truth: There are people from all walks of life, in all parts of this country, many of them with no writing ability whatsoever, who are making incredible profits with simple two-, four-, and six-page newsletters!

Your first step should be to subscribe to as many different newsletters and mail order publications as you can afford. Analyze and study how the others are doing it. Attend as many workshops and seminars on your subject as possible. Learn from the pros. Learn how the successful newsletter publishers are doing it, and why they are making money. Adapt their success methods to your own newsletter, but determine to recognize where they are weak, and to make yours better in every way.

Plan your newsletter before launching it. Know the basic premise for its being, your editorial position, the layout, art work, type styles, subscription price, distribution methods, and every other detail necessary to make it look, sound and feel like the end result you have envisioned.

Lay out your start-up needs; detail the length of time it's going to take to become established, and what will be involved in becoming established. Set a date as a mile stone of accomplishment for each phase of your development: A date for breaking even, a date for attaining a certain paid subscription figure, and a monetary goal for each of your first five years in business. And all this must be done before publishing your first issue.

Market research is simply determining who the people are who will be interested in buying and reading your newsletter, and the kind of information these people want to see in your newsletter as a reason for continuing to buy it. You have to determine what it is they want from your newsletter.

Your market research must give you unbiased answers about your newsletter's capabilities of fulfilling your prospective buyer's need for information; how much he's willing to pay for it, and an overall profile of his status in life. The questions of why he
needs your information, and how he'll use it should be answered. Make sure you have the answers to these questions, publish your newsletter as a vehicle of fulfillment to these needs, and you're on your way!

You're going to be in trouble unless your newsletter has a real point of difference that can be easily perceived by your prospective buyer. The design and graphics of your newsletter, plus what you say and how you say it, will help in giving your newsletter this vital difference.

Be sure your newsletter works with the personality you're trying to build for it. Make sure it reflects the wants of your subscribers. Include your advertising promise within the heading, on the title page, and in the same words your advertising uses. And above all else, don't skim on design or graphics!

The name of your newsletter should also help to set it apart from similar news letters, and spell out its advertising promise. A good name reinforces your advertising. Choose a name that defines the direction and scope of your newsletter.

Opportunity Knocking, Money Making Magic, Extra Income Tip Sheet, and Mail Order Up-Date are primate examples of this type of philosophy - as opposed to the Johnson Report, The Association Newsletter, or Club-house Confidential.

Try to make your newsletter's name memorable - one that flows automatically. Don't pick a name that's so vague it could apply to almost anything. The name should identify your newsletter and its subject quickly and positively.

Pricing your newsletter should be consistent with the image you're trying to build. If you're starting a "Me-too" newsletter, never price it above the competition. In most instances, the consumer associates higher prices with quality, so if you give your readers better quality information in an expensive looking package, don't hesitate to ask for a premium price. However, if your information is gathered from most of the other newsletters on the subject, you will do well to keep your prices in line with theirs.

One of the best selling points of a newsletter is in the degree of audience involvement - for instance, how much it talks about, and uses the names of its readers.

People like to see things written about themselves. They resort to all kinds of things to get their names in print, and they pay big money to read what's been written about them. You should understand this facet of human nature, and decide if and how you want to capitalize upon it - then plan your newsletter accordingly.

Almost as important as names in your newsletter are pictures. The readers will generally accept a newsletter faster if the publisher's picture is presented or included as a part of the newsletter. Whether you use pictures of the people, events, locations or products you write about is a policy decision; but the use of pictures will set your publication apart from the others and give it an individual image, which is precisely what
you want.

The decision as to whether to carry paid advertising, and if so, how much, is another policy decision that should be made while your newsletter is still in the planning stages. Some purists feel that advertising corrupts the image of the newsletter and may
influence editorial policy. Most people accept advertising as a part of everyday life, and don't care one way or the other.

Many newsletter publishers, faced with rising production costs and viewing advertising as a means of offsetting those costs, welcome paid advertising. Generally the advertisers see the newsletter as a vehicle to a captive audience, and well worth the cost.

The only problem with accepting advertising in your newsletter would appear to be that as your circulation grows, so will your number of advertisers, until you'll have to increase the size of your newsletter to accommodate the advertisers. At this point, the basic premise or philosophy of the newsletter often changes from news and practical information to one of an advertiser's showcase.

Promoting your newsletter, finding prospective buyers and converting these prospects into loyal subscribers, will be the most difficult task of your entire undertaking. It takes detailed planning, persistence and patience.

You'll need a sales letter. Check the sales letter you receive in the mail; analyze how these are written and pattern yours along the same lines. You'll find all of them - all those worthy of being called sales letters - following the same formula: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action on the part of the reader - AIDA.

Jump right in at the beginning and tell the reader how he's going to benefit from your newsletter, and then keep emphasizing right on through your "PS", the many and different benefits he'll gain from subscribing to your newsletter. Elaborate on your listing of benefits with examples of what you have, or you intend to include, in your newsletter.

Follow these examples with endorsements or testimonials from reviewers and satisfied subscribers. Make the recipient of your sales letter feel that you're offering him the answer to all his problems on the subject of your newsletter.

You have to make your prospect feel that "this is the insider's secret" to the success he wants. Present it to him as his own personal key to success, and then tell him how far behind his contemporaries he is going to be if he doesn't act upon your offer immediately.

Always include a "PS" in your sales letter. This should quickly restate to the reader that he can start enjoying the benefits of your newsletter by acting immediately, and very subtly suggesting that he may not get another chance to get the kind of "success help" you're offering him with this sales letter.

Don't worry about the length of your sales letter - most are four pages or more; however, it must flow logically and smoothly. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, indented paragraphs, and lost of sub-heads for the people who will be "scanning through"
your sales letter.

In addition to the sales letter, your promotion package should include a return reply order card or coupon. This can be either a self-addressed business reply post card, or a separate coupon, in which case you'll have to include a self-addressed return reply envelope. In every mailing piece you send out, always include one or the other: either a self-addressed business reply postcard or a self-addressed return reply envelope for the recipient to use to send your order form and his remittance back to you.

Your best response will come from a business reply postcard on which you allow your prospect to charge the subscription to his credit card, request that you bill him, or send his payment with the subscription start order.

For make up of this subscription order card or coupon, simply start saving all the order cards and coupons you receive during the next month or so. Choose the one you like best, modify according to your needs, and have it typeset, pasted up and border fit.Then, there are several major catalog sales companies that sell subscriptions to school libraries, government agencies and large corporations. These people usually buy through these catalog sales companies rather than direct from the publisher. The publisher makes about 10% on each subscription sold for him by one of these agencies.

The best way of learning about and keeping up with this field of endeavor is by buying and reading books by the people who have succeeded in making money via the mails; by subscribing to several of the better periodic journals and aids to people in mail order, and by joining some of the mail order trade associations for a free exchange of ideas, advice and help.

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Patrick Baghestani
Patrick Baghestani

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