Starting an Online Business PART 3


Next step in the Blueprint is email marketing.

We looked at how we start to collect emails in the last Part by using a lead magnet.

Now we are looking at how we use these emails to start growing our business.

Let’s get started:

Effortless Email List Growth

Right now newsletters are the hawtness.

Newsletters give you something that social media does not: control of your own list.

With social media like X or Instagram an algorithm change or (worse!) account shut down can wipe your business out.

It’s imperative that you get your audience’s direct contact details. In today’s day and age that’s an email address.

And once you have that email address we need to keep the prospect warm. We can’t just ignore them until we are ready to sell them something.

Instead we need to reward their trust by providing value. A newsletter is an amazing way to do this, building trust and moving people towards making a purchase from you.

Here’s my newsletter (the one you are reading!) over the last 12 months:

Launch was mid-year, around July where you can see the horizontal line slightly nudge up. Then months of grind and slow growth.

Followed by working out the “secret sauce” that I’m now teaching you this week. You can probably spot where that realisation was made!

In this issue I’ll outline the model.

First things first though you need a solid newsletter.

I’ve written a whole Prompt Playbook on this elsewhere which goes into depth. I’ll also be running an Accelerator on the topic in a few week’s time – waitlist here.

Today though here’s a prompt to get you started:

My business is [copy/paste business idea]

Customers signed up for the following lead magnet: [lead magnet description]

Based on this work backwards to generate an avatar of my customer along with their specific problems and questions. 

Next generate ideas for a weekly newsletter that I could send them that would solve their problems and answer their questions. 

If we run this prompt with the business idea from the previous Part and the following. lead magnet :

AI Myths vs. Reality PDF: A document that dispels common myths about AI in business, especially in your targeted industries. It provides factual information and clears up misconceptions, helping businesses understand what AI can and cannot do.

then we get the following outputs:

First up ChatGPT works backwards to generate an avatar.

Question here – shouldn’t we have worked out the avatar first?

No – we are basing our avatar on which lead magnet actually worked! Once we have a strong reaction to a particular lead magnet then we know we’ve hit upon something. We let the market lead us rather than assume we know better than the market.

This avatar is obviously a starting point. You’ll need to actually talk to your audience and customers (via polls, surveys and interviews) to get the full picture.

The prompt also uses this basic avatar to generate some newsletter ideas:

Anyone of these could be its own newsletter. Or sections within a newsletter. Again the actual content of the newsletter is beyond this single email.

I want to instead give you the rest of the setup so you understand how a newsletter fits in context.

Our newsletter is ultimately our sales platform – for whatever service or product you will be creating (in the next 2 Parts).

My newsletter goes to 50,000 people.

40% open each day.

That’s 5 issues a week x 50,000 people x 40%

For 100,000 weekly impressions.

That attention can be monetised. Either by sponsorship, affiliate links, guest articles or your own products and services.

Personally I recommend focusing on your own products and services.

Each issue I’ll add Call to Actions (CTAs) – you’ll notice them at the bottom of the email in particular. Go ahead and check I’ll wait here!

Your newsletter will do the same thing – you provide valuable information in the newsletter itself. This makes it a valuable resource and builds trust and authority. You then pepper the newsletter with CTAs and focus on building your audience so that enough people are clicking through and making purchases.

That’s the basic engine we’re building here. And using a newsletter rather than social media because you control access to the audience rather than the social media platform.

How do we get rocket growth like the chart above?

2 main tactics.

The first I covered yesterday – the DM giveway Notion document behind a Gumroad email gate. Make sure that those emails go into your newsletter. Nice and easy. That allows me to add ~200-300 emails per day.

The second tactic is adverts. Specifically self liquidating adverts.

Right now I run advertising and pay $0.80 to gain a subscriber from the US or UK.

But for each subscriber I gain through advertising I make $1.20 or more.

So I actually make money whilst growing my newsletter list.

Huh, what?

The mechanism here is that when someone signs up for my email newsletter they get shown this screen:

This screen gives them the option to sign up for additional newsletters that I recommend.

Each newsletter they sign up for pays me around $1-3 per qualifying subscriber.

You can see how this is going now eh?

As long as I keep my cost per subscriber low enough and the recommendations pay higher than that amount I make profit whilst building my email list.

Very very powerful.

I personally use (and highly recommend) beehiiv, which comes with built in monetisation tools like this.

Alternatively you can use Sparkloop which works independently of your email sending platform.

Here’s a quick recap of everything covered as it’s a lot today:

  • Build a newsletter based off the success of your lead magnet, focusing on providing regular value to your subscribers and future customers
  • Use beehiiv as your newsletter platform
  • Use the newsletter to sell your products and services via CTAs
  • Grow your newsletter for “free” using advertising that costs you less than the revenue generated by Boosts.

Sounds simple but there are obviously lots of complexities involved! I’ll talk more about this in the Accelerator as it’s a big topic! Waitlist here.

Premium Prompt – Swipe my Newsletter Ads

Pulling it together

Lots covered today.

But a newsletter is its own topic – make sure to check out my Prompt Playbook on Amazon for a full overview.

Or alternatively join us on the 6 weeks live Accelerators starting soon. Waitlist here.

A reminder of what we’ll be covering this week:

Part 1: Discover your profitable business niche

Part 2: Captivate the market with your lead magnet

Part 3: Effortless email list growth

Part 4: Deep dive into customer needs

Part 5: Save the world with your creations

Until then, keep PROMPTING!


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