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Christopher Knight

Celebrating Our Third Anniversary
By Christopher Knight

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Hi Loyal Ezine-Tips Members,

Last month, we had our third anniversary. This issue contains the strategies and successes that have changed over the past three years in the email list publishing business, along with a personal note from yours truly. But first, a big thank you for being a member of Ezine-Tips and an even higher appreciation if you were one of the original List-Tips list members who started with me back in June of 1998!

Top Email Publishing Flops Over the Last Three Years:
  • Many email list publishers closed up shop because they didn't or couldn't sell enough advertising to support their business model.
  • Easy-to-come-by huge ad deals and sponsorships from bloated VC-backed dotcom bombs ended in the NASDAQ correction of late 2000.
  • A year ago, many folks who paid $1 or more per email subscriber regretted it deeply when the value shot down to 7 to 20 cents per subscriber in the last 6 months.
  • Some email publishers thought they could buy their way into the market by buying tens or hundreds of thousand of subscribers in order to have an instant list membership -- only to discover that prebuilt list memberships produce only a fraction of what a homegrown list (such as produces for advertising.
  • Email discussion lists (I love these) have not come into their time or day yet. It was thought that email discussion lists would take over when newsletter click through rates would decline, but that never happened.

Email Publishing Strategies and Successes Over the Past Three Years:

  • Email publishers had to grow up and become business men and women in order to survive.
  • Email publishers diversified income to not only include advertising revenue, but paid subscription revenue, trade shows and/or conferences, research reports and many other new and creative solutions.
  • Co-Registration is the rage. We called this back in 1998, with the power of the "Thank You" page that came after a new web sign up visitor joined your newsletter.
  • The List-Universe Network has survived (had to throw that one in there :-).

Weird Things in Email Publishing Over the Past Three Years:

  • The paid subscriptions model has proven itself to be a successful model for a select few, but has flopped for a great many.
  • OneList was bought by eGroups which was bought by Yahoo for $425 Million in stock, which only later become a small fraction of that value when Yahoo's stock price dumped with the NASDAQ correction.
  • Netcreations was sold, then rescinded, then resold to an Italian firm nobody knew.

For nostalgic reasons, here are some of our past anniversary issues:

  • List-Tips 1 Year Anniversary (1999)
  • Ezine-Tips Year 2000 in Review (1999)
  • Ezine-Tips 1 Year Anniversary (1999)
  • List-Tips 2 Year Anniversary (2000)

Personal Note from Sparky:

There is an old saying that says if you go out of your niche, you end up in the ditch. This is very true. But, in addition, I've found that real profits can be found by narrowing your focus vs. being spread out all over. If there's one thing that has lead me to my current position and success today, it has been keeping a narrow focus. This is troubling at times because there are so many familiar roads that can be traveled, such as my previous career in the ISP industry. But, in the end, narrowing my focused equaled increased profits. (Side note: It helps to surround yourself with an excellent staff that is smarter than you are.)

I'm considered more in the email publishing field right now, but this year is a turning point for me and my career, as I point both companies ( and into the email marketing arena in addition to the email publishing industry. The way I see it, businesses will always have a buck to spend to retain existing clients or to increase their sales from existing clients -- more so than spending money on advertising to attract new business. Thus, the focus on email marketing.

But enough business talk.

I'm 31 years old and on a "fitness behavioral kick" to change some of my old habits. I'd like to achieve a 14% body fat for the first time in my life (currently at 18.5%). I figure since the past doesn't equal the future, that each day is a new day to take another shot at my body sculpting goals (that often eluded me). So far, I think the program (which is like 12 weeks) makes the most sense for me. If you've done this and did the before and after pictures, snap me a private email:

The best nutritional habit I was able to change was converting my desire for snickers and 3 Musketeer bars into a craving for Power Health Bars (iced oatmeal and chocolate peanut butter are my favorite). I've also replaced Pepsi with SoBe Adrenaline Rush. Speaking of energy drinks, Red Bull and Vodka is a new cool combination, but for my social drinking, I still prefer strawberry margaritas with half a jar of cherries blended in.

Other new personal interests in the last year include yoga, digital photography (gotta love Tivo, bought three of them) and dance music (love the dance channel on Direct TV). I would also like to buy Sonic Foundries new loop music maker software (like I have time). Other personal interests that fall into the "not pursued yet" category (but will soon) include becoming scuba certified, picking up a drum set and learning how to play, and buying my first Harley Davidson and Yamaha crotch rocket (why limit oneself to only one motorcycle? If I could only convince Mrs. Sparky to understand my possibility-based thinking ;-).

I also re-enrolled in college (Phoenix University) to complete my formal academic education so I can put a PHD behind my name on my next book. Internet-based education is very cool.

What's really weird about life is that while I refer to myself as coming from the X-Generation (although I'm 31) I really feel more like an X-Generation person than a 30-something guy. It seems like the 20-somethings are smarter than we were at that age, but their drive and determination are lower. If you're 20-something and your drive is set to consistently exceed your programming, I salute you. However, if you're 20-something and comfortable with how much you are earning, please do not apply at my companies. :-)

For those in the USA who are gearing up to celebrate our freedom on the 4th of July, I wish you good holiday. For those in the rest of the world, I wish you happiness, freedom, peace and prosperity in your life, business and email lists.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for July 03, 2001

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