While everyone else has a free e-newsletter or even a paid online newsletter, you might consider going in the opposite direction and having a PRINT newsletter.
You can use a mailing service to print and mail the newsletter for you, making it a hands-off operation once you send them your new issue and updated mailing list.
Formatting the issue is something you can hire out.
Even writing the articles can be outsourced if you don’t want to do it yourself.
But why would you want to do a print newsletter?
You can charge more because it has a higher perceived value than an online newsletter, regardless of your niche.
You have increased credibility. It might not be right, but the fact is a print newsletter is generally going to be viewed as more authoritative than an online newsletter, especially if your target market is older.
With a printed newsletter, you are in their real mailbox. You’re on their kitchen table. You’re on the coffee table in the living room or the nightstand in the bedroom. You are in your customer’s homes, and while I don’t know all the psychology behind this, I do know that when they can hold your product in their hands, your customers become much more bonded to you than if you’re simply words on a screen.
Refunds are lower or even non-existent. The act of having to mail the newsletter back to you (the publisher) to get a refund is more work than most people are willing to do. And I know of print newsletter publishers who charge anywhere from $47 a month to $299 a month and do not allow refunds once an issue ships.
How do you make money with a printed newsletter?
You can use any one of these methods or a combination.
1: Subscription Fees
Of course you can make money by charging for subscriptions. Determine what it costs to print and ship, what it costs to obtain a new customer and how long you expect the average subscriber will stay with you.
You can charge more for certain niches, such as highly specialized areas (think fields such as science and engineering) as well as almost any type of investing or how to make money niche. You can likely charge even more if your newsletter is for businesses rather than individuals.
Then again, you can also publish and mail your newsletter for free and still make plenty of money, as we’ll see in a bit.
2: Charging for ‘Ride-a-longs”
Since your newsletter will likely go out in an envelope, there’s no reason why you can’t add in some ride-a-longs. These are completely separate fliers, brochures and sales cards or sales letters from other businesses who want to target your customers.
When you build up sufficient subscribers in the right niche, you can make even more money from your ride-a-longs than you do from subscriptions.
3: Charging for Ads
Another option is to sell ads inside your newsletter. Again, you’ll want to have a sufficient number of subscribers to make it worthwhile for your advertisers. Anyone looking to target your prospects will be a good candidate, as long as they are not in direct competition with you.
It’s even possible to send out your newsletter for free and still make a hefty profit if you do some or all of the following: Target the right readers, charge for ads, charge for ride-a-longs and/or sell your own products via the newsletter.
4: Selling More Products
The added visibility and enhanced credibility a printed newsletter creates will naturally lead to more sales.
And it doesn’t hurt that when your customer is holding your newsletter in their hands, you have no online competition for their attention. Think about selling from a website – you are in direct competition with every other website on the internet for that person’s attention. At any moment they can click over to Facebook, YouTube, Reddit or whatever. But when they are reading the sales letter you included with your newsletter, they’re not clicking away. They’re reading the sales letter.
You can advertise your products in your newsletter and in your own ride-a-longs. You can also write newsletter articles that make it super easy to recommend your own solution.
Even when promoting a new launch online, who are your subscribers most likely to buy from? The person who sends them a newsletter in the mail each month, that’s who.
You might also create a special inner circle of your paid newsletter subscribers. This inner circle gets special offers and deals your other list members don’t get; just another perk of subscribing.
5: Get Offered More JV Deals and Publicity Opportunities
The enhanced visibility and credibility of a printed newsletter can also result in getting more offers from fellow marketers to do guest posting, be a guest on podcasts and even do profitable joint venture deals.
One printed, paid newsletter publisher I know tells the story of someone subscribing to his newsletter using an alias. This person was a paid subscriber for 7 months before revealing he was a high level online marketer (8 figures) and wanted to strike a JV deal. That one deal resulted in a very large payday for the newsletter publisher.
And when you approach others with JV deals, it’s much easier to get a yes when you can say you are the publisher of a newsletter.
6: Get More Clients
Do you perform a service of some type? Coaching perhaps? Consulting? Freelance marketing for non-internet businesses? Whatever it is, you can use your printed newsletter to gain more customers.
Credibility. Knowledge. Trust-worthiness. Being the expert. These are the perceptions your prospects will have of you because you are the author of the newsletter they read each month for help, tips, news and advice.
Place an invitation in each newsletter for them to contact you for a consultation. If you don’t hear from them after 3 or 4 issues, call them and remind them of who you are. “Oh yes, I get your newsletter!”
Tell them you’re calling to see how they’re doing and if you can help. They will be flattered. This isn’t a sales call because they know you and like you already.
Know, like and trust. Almost nothing can build that faster than continuous communication of awesome advice in your printed newsletter and an offer to help them. Find out what their current number one headache is and help them solve it, and you’ll have a client for life.