Writing and publishing a successful newsletter is perhaps most competitive of all different areas of mail order and direct marketing.
Five years ago, 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 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 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 others are doing it. Attend as many workshops and seminars on your subject as possible. Learn from pros. Learn how 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 basic premise for its being, your editorial position, layout, art work, type styles, subscription price, distribution methods, and every other detail necessary to make it look, sound and feel like end result you have envisioned.
Lay out your start-up needs; detail 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 people are who will be interested in buying and reading your newsletter, and 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 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 personality you're trying to build for it. Make sure it reflects wants of your subscribers. Include your advertising promise within heading, on title page, and in 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 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 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 image you're trying to build. If you're starting a "Me-too" newsletter, never price it above competition. In most instances, 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 other newsletters on subject, you will do well to keep your prices in line with theirs.
One of best selling points of a newsletter is in degree of audience involvement - for instance, how much it talks about, and uses 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.