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Another AHBBO Article
Profit Is Not a Dirty Word!

© 2000-2017 Elena Fawkner

       I hope I don't disillusion you but I don't run my website
       or publish this newsletter out of the goodness of my heart.
       I do it because, like many of you who have a full-time job,
       I would one day like to work for myself out of my home.
       To do this, I have to find an alternative source of income.
       Ergo, I have a profit motive in bringing this newsletter to
       you.

       I haven't been in this business very long.  I only started
       this past July, in fact.  I started out small and, slowly
       but surely, my business is growing.  I am now able to
       supplement my salary with several hundred dollars a month
       from my online business.  There is no secret to making
       money in this business.  Like anything else, it takes hard
       work and commitment.  Like many of you, I make my money by
       promoting affiliate programs and charging for paid
       advertising in this newsletter.

       The past few months since I started AHBBO have been a great
       learning experience.  Like anyone, I have made mistakes
       along the way but I also got some things right too.  In this
       article, I would like to share with you my greatest lesson
       from 2013.  It is this ... profit is not a dirty word.

       From time to time since starting this newsletter, I would be
       approached by advertisers asking me to send out an exclusive
       mailing.  This is a mailing sent out, BY ME (of course I
       don't make my subscriber database available to ANYONE else),
       containing a single advertisement.  I am paid by the
       advertiser for sending this message to you.  Initially I was
       in two minds about exclusive mailings.  I received my fair
       share of them because I am subscribed to a lot of other
       newsletters.  Most of the time I didn't read them and they
       went straight into the trash bin without being opened.  "I
       didn't sign up for this newsletter to get THAT", I would
       sometimes think to myself.  So, not wanting to generate
       unsubscribe requests to my own newsletter, I resisted these
       approaches.

       Over time, as I started receiving more and more of these
       requests from advertisers, I began to realize that exclusive
       mailings obviously worked.  If they didn't, people wouldn't
       want to pay me good money to have their message reach you.
       That meant that many subscribers obviously read them and
       some bought what was being offered.  But the one thought that
       would always stop me was that I may alienate some of my
       subscribers and they may leave me as a result.

       But then I realized that although an exclusive mailing would
       sometimes prompt me to unsubscribe to a newsletter that I
       didn't particularly enjoy, it NEVER prompted me to
       unsubscribe from a newsletter I DID enjoy.

       So, I decided to try an experiment.  A few weeks back I sent
       out an exclusive mailing for a paying advertiser.  I coded
       the unsubscribe instructions in the special mailing so I
       could tell which unsubscribes came from the special mailing
       and which were just natural attrition.  I received, I think,
       19 unsubscribe requests as a direct result.  Out of a total
       database of something like 1600 back then, that was, in
       retrospect, a very small number.

       I also received a couple of very irate unsubscribe emails
       from people who expressed their "disappointment" in me for
       having the temerity to be seeking to make a profit from my
       business!  How dare I!  These individuals obviously thought
       that I was putting in all this work and all these hours for
       purely altruistic reasons and for their personal benefit
       alone.

       So, I concluded that my experiment was a failure and put it
       down to the vagaries of human nature, bemoaning to myself
       how people would take whatever you had to offer so long as
       it was free ...

       I made this point in a disgruntled email to an online friend
       of mine, muttering that never again would I send out an
       exclusive mailing.  That friend did me a great service.  She
       told me to rethink that decision and pointed me to a
       wonderful article on exactly this point.  I've lost her note
       to me now so I can't pass it on to you but the gist of the
       article she referred me to was that the author, a newsletter
       publisher, actually welcomed the unsubscribe requests that
       followed his exclusive mailings because exclusive mailings
       were his way of weeding out, as he called them, the "freebie-
       seeking tire kickers".

       These were people who signed up for his newsletter only
       because it was free and he figured losing these subscribers
       was no loss at all.  He preferred to retain only those
       subscribers who valued the information he provided to them
       enough to be willing to accept an occasional exclusive
       mailing from one of his advertisers or, on occasion, himself.
       The people who unsubscribed on the strength of one exclusive
       mailing were, he reasoned, never going to do business with
       him anyway.

       I thought about this.  Then I thought about it some more.
       He's right! I finally thought to myself.  I should WELCOME
       losing those subscribers who leave just because they receive
       an exclusive mailing from me.  This is not a hobby, it is
       a business.  I am in this business to make money ...
       correction ... a PROFIT.  Why should I apologize for that?
       I am doing so by honest means.  I am doing so by way of hard
       work and by giving value to my subscribers.

       So I began to think of exclusive mailings as a way of
       culling the "freebie seeking tire kickers".  THEN I began to
       think of exclusive mailings as a way of actually CLEANSING
       my subscriber database.  Why, I should send out exclusive
       mailings on principle!  Why should advertisers spend money
       sending advertising to people who have no intention of
       buying from ANYONE?  And why should I apologize for trying
       to make a profit out of my own business?  I shouldn't and I
       don't!  Because profit is NOT a dirty word!

       With every exclusive mailing I send, I receive a small
       number of unsubscribe requests as a direct result.  As the
       man in the article I referred to earlier said, "And that's
       the way I like it."

_________________________

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