We Need to Talk
By Ken Magill
Okay folks, we need to talk about the viability of this newsletter for 2015, or lack thereof.
The Magill Report’s current business model is not working. As I see it, there are multiple problems with it.
For one thing, I’m admittedly a better writer than a sales rep. The other problem is behaviorally targeted advertising. I can’t compete with it.
Kind of ironic, huh? I’ve been a vocal supporter of behaviorally targeted ads and now they’re killing my newsletter.
The original intent with this newsletter was to build an email list of the top executives in permission-based email marketing and sell access to them. I’ve built the list. Everybody who is anybody in email subscribes to this newsletter.
However, advertisers aren’t willing to pay a premium to get in front of them. And, frankly, I don’t blame them when they can reach qualified prospects for pennies.
Every time I see an email service provider advertising on my Facebook feed, every time I see an email data-services provider advertising next to “15 Stars Who Have Dogs Who Look Just Like Them” or some such other click bait, I realize I can’t compete with that.
My agreement with Return Path ends on Dec. 31. My agreement with FreshAddress ended this summer. My agreement with Silverpop ended a long time ago
So if I’m going to make a change, January is the time to do it.
There are several possibilities going forward.
One is to remain ad supported by letting vendors bid on the slots. The stipulation for the ad model to remain viable would be that everyone would have to agree to be locked in for a year.
Advertising in the Magill Report works by position. For example, the lead advertiser gets the top ad in the upper right of the Magill Report newsletter and home page and the top banner under the first article.
The lead advertiser also gets a 300X600 junior page ad served with the lead article of the Magill Report each week. Rate card for the lead spot in the Magill Report is $1,500 a month.
The second and third positions work the same way.
I welcome anyone interested in any of the three ad slots to submit a bid. Under the ad-supported model, I would continue to make the following services available:
White Papers: Twenty-five-hundred-word white paper explores a topic of the client’s choosing in depth.
Price would include a Thursday stand alone send to The Magill Report’s 1,700 subscribers and at least one tweet to @Kmagill’s 2,700 Twitter followers.
Webinar moderation and promotion: Price includes webinar moderation, two promotional Thursday email campaigns and at least one promotional Tweet.
Case studies: These are great marketing tools, but difficult to pull off because they involve getting the client’s customers’ participation.
I interview the client’s customer, write their story in 500 to 600 words, send the case study to the Magill Report’s subscribers in a Thursday standalone email campaign.
Sponsored Thursday standalone features: Editorial features—clearly labeled as sponsored—covering topics of client’s choosing and my approval.
Standalone Thursday Campaigns: Content supplied by client
*Price includes one rewrite. If my byline is to be included, I approve and have the right to reject any edits. If my byline is not on the content, it can say anything the client wishes. Upon completion, the client owns the content and can disseminate and publish it any way it deems desirable. However, if my byline is on it, it does not get edited without my approval.
I am also willing to put together combination packages of any of the above.
Another possibility for the Magill Report to remain viable is to go paid subscription. If a third of Magill Report readers would convert to $99 a year, that would be enough to keep it sustainable.
Another possibility is I sign on as a full- or part-time copywriter with some company on a contract basis and keep the Magill Report going with fewer weekly posts.
If anyone out there can use the services of the best copywriter in this business on a contract basis, let me know.
I’ve got two months to figure this out. I welcome any and all input.