I had this idea the other day for a little side business and was wondering what ya’ll thought of it.
We all get those little ad/coupon books in the mail, I usually go through them and rip out one or two. They almost always have the same companies that advertise over and over again.
I had this idea to create something similar but simply put it in an email newsletter instead. The idea is to get subscribers who are all local, with adverts from local businesses. The difference is that this won’t be for “advertisements” per se, but for actual deals, coupons, specials, promotions, discounts, etc.
The attraction for a subscriber is that the deals are curated and unique to the newsletter. I would literally have to get local businesses to create deals just for my subscribers, for limited time frames.
The attraction for businesses is that it will be far cheaper than designing and printing and buying mailers. It should be cheaper by a long shot. And a newsletter like this is more targeted in that members actually want to get local deals, where mailers are sent at random and is less targeted.
The details of the business are not thought out yet. I imagine I would send just a few emails a month. Businesses would buy in for the entire month, or essentially buy a certain number of mailings. Like if they want to be in the next 3 emails (which are on a scheduled time frame) they would pay $X per email. Maybe I’d have a bulk qty discount.
Each email would contain maybe 10 to 20 deals.
Profit is low for this idea, because let’s say it costs just $5 to get in one mailing, and if I have 20 deals that all buy 3 mailings, that’s only about $300 for the month.
Labor involved is relatively low, because any deal which repeats is left alone, any new deal coming in, I should have the copy given to me so it shouldn’t take long to stuff into the template. I would have a simple database or even just a spreadsheet for tracking the ads and businesses.
The most labor intensive part, I think, is the sales part, and prospecting and cold calling and trying to get businesses to sign on. The other intensive part is trying to build the list, and what kind of advertising I have to pay for to get subscribers (Facebook ads seem the best bet for local list building).
There are fees for the newsletter service, and processing payments, recurring payments even. The rest of the design work, website, email design, database and tracking, I can do myself.
I could potentially build some kind of affiliate system so that members who sign up other members get something in return. Or businesses who sign up other businesses get a free listing. Or whatever.
So what do you think? It’s a relatively low labor, simple side business which could bring in $200 to $500 a month depending on pricing structure and other variables, and require maybe only 4 or 5 hours of work a month to maintain.
Also, having a large membership of local area residents also makes it easy to slip in my own affiliate ads, like say AAA membership, insurance companies, gym memberships, Costco, I don’t know, whatever I can find, which can increase income a little too.
I could have a section at the bottom of the email like a “cool thing of the month” affiliate link, books, audible affiliate, those sorts of things.
What are your critiques? Challenges? Thoughts? How would you solve the chicken/egg situation (if no members, businesses wouldn’t sign up; if no businesses, customers wouldn’t sign up).