Choosing the right field in which to publish.
Today many business newsletter publishers complain, "Our renewals remain pretty strong, but we just aren't getting new subs." One factor in this has to be the acquisitions and consolidations that have been rife rife
adj. rif·er, rif·est
1. In widespread existence, practice, or use; increasingly prevalent.
2. Abundant or numerous. in many industries. In many fields where there were once 10 or more major players today there may only be four. What can you do when there are just fewer widget Pronounced "wih-jit," for decades, the term has been a popular word for a generic "thing" when there is no real name for it. It is often used to describe examples of made-up products along with other fictitious names; for example, "10 widgets, 5 frabbits and 2 dingits. manufacturers out there to market to?
"Get there first with the most men" (as N.B. Forrest CSA (1) (Canadian Standards Association, Toronto, Ontario, www.csa.ca) A standards-defining organization founded in 1919. It is involved in many industries, including electronics, communications and information technology. said). Being the first or one of the first in an emerging field is theoretically an excellent newsletter publishing strategy, but this of course is sometimes more difficult than it looks.
Over the years I've seen publishers rush into fields like solar energy solar energy, any form of energy radiated by the sun, including light, radio waves, and X rays, although the term usually refers to the visible light of the sun. and super conductors only to find they were there ahead of the market. Larry Alexander of Alexander Communications Group once suggested that one good place to find new subject ideas might be to look back at the ideas you had a few years back; their time might have come.
"Look for competition"
"Look for competition" is a newsletter publishing bromide bromide, any of a group of compounds that contain bromine and a more electropositive element or radical. Bromides are formed by the reaction of bromine or a bromide with another substance; they are widely distributed in nature. . As the late Al Goodloe liked to say, "I assume that I'm not smart enough to think of anything that has never occurred to anyone else, so if I can't find any potential competitors, it may be a sign that the market isn't out there."
Recently some publishers have felt that entering a new field through acquisition was a more attractive strategy than launching from scratch. This also is not a foolproof method. Joel Whitaker, who has made any number of acquisitions, cautions, "Beware of the potential seller who explains that 'we just haven't had the time or money to market this newsletter very much.' What he may mean is 'We've marketed it as much as we could, we just haven't found many people who will buy it.'"
But even publishing to well-established fields can be difficult as well. UCG UCG United Church of God
UCG Underground Coal Gasification
UCG University College Galway
UCG Unified Communications Group (Microsoft)
UCG Universal Command Guide for Operating Systems (Guy Lotgering book) publishes Car Dealer Insider and Funeral Service funeral service n → misa de cuerpo presente
funeral service n → service m funèbre
funeral service funeral n Insider, both successful, mature titles. One can safely assume dealers will always sell cars and people will continue to well, you know ... but people are now buying cars on eBay and chains are gobbling up independent funeral homes in smaller towns across the country.
Narrow the focus
Sometimes a tighter, narrower focus can be effective. Hospital Administration Report spins off Hospital Computerization com·put·er·ize
tr.v. com·put·er·ized, com·put·er·iz·ing, com·put·er·iz·es
1. To furnish with a computer or computer system.
2. To enter, process, or store (information) in a computer or system of computers. Report or Hospital Benefits Analysis. (The reverse, going from a narrow focus to a broader one, seldom works.)
When the field is expanding or at least holding steady, conferences and special reports and other ancillaries can be an important asset to maintaining profitability but probably won't prop up a newsletter in a steadily consolidating market.
Nothing is certain to be "forever." Plus, in established fields, there tends to be strong competition from trade associations, magazines, and controlled circulation tabloids.
Switch to ad-supported trade mags
Over the past several years I've also heard publishers talking about moving into the ad-supported trade magazine business. That can be a profitable operation but, as the newsletter association has reiterated for years, it is a very different business from newsletter publishing.
Or, as decorated dec·o·rate
tr.v. dec·o·rat·ed, dec·o·rat·ing, dec·o·rates
1. To furnish, provide, or adorn with something ornamental; embellish.
2. newsletter-industry veteran Frank Joseph put it, when discussing the failure of his venture to publish a controlled circulation newspaper in the Washington, D.C. area, "If you are going to publish an ad-supported publication, you probably ought to know something about the ad business."
Is this the truth?
Historically newsletters were often thought of as being somewhat ephemeral--niche publications that emerged to provide hard-to-get intelligence about newer or specialized areas. Perhaps, like one of Christie Brinkley's marriages, they have an almost predictable shelf-life, destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be replaced by more traditional media.
Here's an example. In the early '80s I told Tom Phillips that I didn't see much opportunity in the staid staid
1. Characterized by sedate dignity and often a strait-laced sense of propriety; sober. See Synonyms at serious.
2. telephone industry already served by a couple of established newsletters, three trade magazines, and several associations.
He went forward anyway, and, in the exploding marketplace of the newly competitive phone industry, by 1988 he was publishing 11 titles. By 1993, that figure had doubled. But times change. In 2000 the division was sold, and Access Intelligence now publishes only seven telecommunications titles and only two or three appear to be direct descendants DESCENDANTS. Those who have issued from an individual, and include his children, grandchildren, and their children to the remotest degree. Ambl. 327 2 Bro. C. C. 30; Id. 230 3 Bro. C. C. 367; 1 Rop. Leg. 115; 2 Bouv. n. 1956.
2. of the original Phillips newsletters.