Building a Newsletter Business: July 2024

Building a Newsletter Business: July 2024
Does this stock image illustrate a post about newsletters? I don't know, but it's kind of cool so I'm going with it. Photo by insung yoon / Unsplash

An early happy Independence Day to those of you who are reading in the U.S.A.

If you're new to Godspeed within the past six months or so, a quick explainer: Every once in awhile we break down progress on this experiment of building a newsletter business centered around providing tools and inspiration for those on a journey of social impact.

We entered the year with 150 members. We're now at 653 members. Most of this growth came because I decommissioned an older newsletter at my branding agency, Oliver Russell, and transitioned its subscribers to Godspeed, which added 375 members. So, this means we added 128 members organically, or about 20 a month.

Most of our organic readers come from LinkedIn, Google search, Ghost (the platform we use to publish Godspeed), and The Sample, a site that aggregates and curates newsletter articles.

And members come from all over, with an encouraging number coming internationally. (Shout-out to Alex from Indonesia!)

We added three new paid supporters – thank you Emma Mattson, Dave Krick, and Kara Odegard.

Engagement, measured by the percentage of people who open their email newsletters, dropped when I added the old Oliver Russell list, which had been dormant for awhile. It went from 70% to 40%, which means that more people overall are opening and reading the newsletter, just as a smaller percentage of the overall subscribers. Since we imported those new members the open-rate has climbed to about 45%.

Clicks for each issue are in the 4-5% range, which puts us right in line with the industry average of 4.65% for media and publishing newsletters. Our open rate is twice the industry average of 22.15%.

This spring I sent out a reader survey and learned a couple of things. First, people are swimming in subscriptions, so that makes it harder to justify paying for another one. According to respondents, the feature that might tempt them to become paying subscribers is adding a networking component to the offering. Something to explore, I guess.

Oh, and while I loved the impact trivia section, people told me it was their least favorite part of the website, so I ditched it – and haven't heard a peep from anyone about its absence so far. Always good to ask your readers for input, then listen, and finally – act!

My goal with this letter is to reach as many people as possible who are using their companies or forging careers based on creating social and environmental impact. The growth objective for the 2024 is to reach 1,000 subscribers, which will be tough based on performance thus far which would put it at about 800 subscribers. If you want to help us reach more creators of impact by sharing Godspeed with those you think would benefit from it.

Godspeed, friends.


πŸ’¬ Quote of the Week

"Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good." Thomas Paine

πŸ’₯ Quick Hits

β€’ Moo! – Denmark becomes the first country in the world to put a carbon tax on agriculture.

β€’ Your climate career begins here – Segue to the Most Meaningful Work section that follows, the American Climate Corps is up and running with 9,000 people working on climate projects around the country.

Find the Most Meaningful Work of Your Career

Our partner One Work has you covered with meaningful work that goes beyond a paycheck, a cubicle, or a weekly team Zoom call. You'll find purposeful jobs like those below, along with many more at the One Work job board.

β€’ Donors Choose - Raise your hand for an organization that puts teachers first by creating crowdfunding programs to inject much-needed resources into classrooms. Director, Marketing and Analytics, Hybrid in New York City or REMOTE.

β€’ Kickstarter - Keeping the crowdfunding thread going, here's a chance to kick start your career. Seriously. Manager, People Operations, REMOTE.

β€’ Coursera - Chart a new course by joining a B Corp that's a global leader in online education. Senior Product Marketing Manager, REMOTE.

 We love your feedback. Seriously! Send your thoughts and ideas just by replying to this email. See you next week.

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