Newsletters – An example from history

I don’t know if any of you remember an info-preneur named Monique Harris. She came on the IM scene big-time in the late 80s and early 90s. She teamed up with the likes of Terry Dean to write a book on paperless (i.e., digital) newsletter publishing. But she didn’t just write about it. She practiced what she preached.

Monique operated a very successful newsletter that, twice a month, digitally delivered a wealth web links to sites that were gold-mine resources for authors trying to get their books noticed; newbie or experienced authors who needed guidance, support, direction…or publicity.

Now, I’m not talking about the ordinary flimsy little email most marketers send to their list when they want to engage you, ask your opinion … or sell you something. Of course, Monique definitely had an autoresponder but this newsletter of hers was actually a NEWSLETTER.

She kept her autoresponder email messages distinctly different from her PDF newsletter. And in doing so, she set the value bar high. There was something about turning page after page of an ink-and-paper style newsletter (even if I had to use MY ink and paper to print it) that set it aside from a flimsy little autoresponder email passing as a digital newsletter.

Not the same … by a long-shot.

Her newsletter was a 12-pager. Very professionally produced … like an ordinary ink-and-paper newsletter.

It was a PDF delivered via autoresponder but in every way, it was a professionally produced newsletter. Full of value.

Monique’s readers had the option to read their newsletter on their computer screen or print it out. So not having to print and store these newsletters each month made Monique rich.

Not basing its monthly price on the few pieces of paper that made up the letter but on the PREMIUM KNOWLEDGE on each page — is what made Monique rich.

But here’s the important thing …

Her newsletter consisted primarily of website links; so there was not as much to write each month.

She would choose a topic or theme for each monthly letter, did the research (or outsourced it), hand-picked a few relevant sites and did a little further research. I suppose she contacted the people behind the chosen sites to see what kinds of services they offered, conducted a brief phone or Skype or email “interview” with a few of them, or asked for links to any useful guides or other resources that she could share with her thousands of subscribers.

This research yielded the content for each issue. The newsletter featured a front-page “interview” that ended with a link to the resource for more information. If there were PDFs to be had, Monique listed those so her readers could grab them right away.

Her other content was column features with links to people who offered copywriting, copy editing, publicity, ghost-writing, etc.

By featuring these websites in her newsletters, she provided promotion which increased their visibility, visits, and potentially, sales.

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