Is This Media Really Dead?

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 15th, 2014 10 Comments

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”—Mark Twain

There’s a lot of B.S. out there about newsletters. The declaration by several bloggers that “Newsletters are Dead,” is not only a huge misguidance, but an expensive piece of advice to follow.

Considering that 50%-70% of my private clients have grown out of my newsletter base—deciding to follow this advice and give up my print newsletter would cost me a substantial fortune.

Tell this to the many GKIC members who currently use newsletters to attract their ideal customers, clients and patients and you’ll find many of them will tell you that their newsletter readers are WAY more likely to hire them than someone who reads their blog or engages with them on social media.

You’re also likely to hear that newsletter subscribers are much more loyal and way, way, way less fickle than online only audiences.

Shaun Buck whose company mails more than 1.5 million newsletters for diverse businesses annually has a 98% retention rate and has grown his business by 4000%. He has used newsletters to extend the life of active customers and boost retention rates in a big way.

Let’s not forget the list you build with a print newsletter or the fact that print newsletters have a much longer shelf life. It’s not uncommon for me to hear from someone months after I send a newsletter who is just getting around to reading it. When is the last time you heard from someone about an email or blog post that was from months or even weeks before?

Sadly, many read these articles—usually written by bloggers with a good following and certain amount of authority—and justify not doing a print newsletter based on these bloggers’ advice and claims that print newsletters are a waste of time.

Entrepreneurs may further justify not doing a newsletter because “no one” in their industry is doing one.

I’ve long preached that if everyone in your industry is doing the same thing, you should realize there is opportunity there to stand out and capitalize by doing something different. Renegade Millionaires get rich by looking at what everyone else is doing and then doing the opposite. (Tweet this!) Based on feedback from clients and members, I wouldn’t be surprised if very few, if any of your competitors are using print newsletters for self-promotion, which puts you at an advantage.

Let this be a further cue. An idea certainly worth testing for yourself. And when I say testing, you can’t do this for a month or two and give up saying it isn’t working. You must give a real go of it.

The premise given as to why “newsletters are dead” is usually that newsletters are outdated, boring and have no personality. That blogs allow readers to read previous archives while newsletters don’t. That you should instead concentrate your efforts elsewhere.

I know that newsletters are not something people want to do—even writers are often pained about doing them.  But newsletters offer a great deal to your business…

A good newsletter increases retention because a newsletter builds relationships, especially when you are careful to build in personality.

An ad or postcard promotes your business, but instantly raises your reader’s guard because he knows you are trying to sell him something. Include useful tips, hints and ideas that also demonstrate your knowledge in your newsletter and it acts as self-promotion without putting your readers guard up.

You can also use your newsletter to tastefully name-drop when you associate with a celebrity or influential person—especially if they are a client of yours and one that your readers look up to. This will not only raise your credibility, but will also recognizing and promote your customers, which can lead to referrals.

Archived newsletters can be arranged into a book or collection, providing a useful resource for customers and a further source of income for you.

Will Rogers said, “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.” Now that you have the other side of the story, what’s your alibi for not doing a newsletter?

If you aren’t sending out a monthly newsletter for your business, you are leaving a pile of cash on the table and missing out on a way to build a strong community of members (not just “customers,”) and create a loyal long-term “top of mind” bond of trust with your readers.

P.S.– Get “The 10 Rules to Transforming Your Small Business into an Infinitely More Powerful Direct Response Marketing Business” for FREE. Click here to claim your customer-getting, sales-boosting tactics.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. Moe Nawaz says:

    So True, as you keep hammering in to us all. Over the years what I learned about my client retention has been by using Newsletters. I remember about five years ago we stopped sending out Newsletters and our retention rate dropped you told told me it would. Within months we re-activated the Newsletters.

  2. craig sangster says:

    I am assuming you are talking about print/hard copy mailed newsletters, not email/electronic. am I correct?

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Craig – Do both, but yes we’re talking about printed newsletters.

  3. Murray Suid says:

    I don’t know a single person who enjoys reading a printed newsletter–and my friends cover the full age spectrum, from teens to octogenarians. In my world, people talk about what they read on Facebook, Linkedin, and Salon. People read texts on their computers and mobile devices. They especially like the interactive nature of e-communications, where the commenters enrich the original text with a multitude of perspectives and often with a wealth of facts omitted by the article’s author. Perhaps I’m living on another planet, but I see no evidence that newsletters have value. I’m an avid reader, but I avoid newsletters. Even our local nonprofit community organization, which for decades published a beloved newsletter, is going online–and the average age of the readers is 65+.
    P.S. The argument that newsletters last longer doesn’t persuade me. For one thing, on my computer I download many articles, which I keep for years and can easily locate. Moreover, online archiving is increasing. I’ve found articles from years ago, in some cases, decades.

    • Mike Stodola Admin says:

      Murray – While I respect your opinion there are countless companies that make millions a year providing printed newsletters. Besides GKIC you’ll find giants like Boardroom Inc and Agora publications among them. There are a lot of great benefits to online communication as well. I’d ask how much money you pay each month to facebook, linkedin or salon or other online articles? People expect online content to be free and even if you don’t charge for your newsletter, people value a hard copy of an item more than a digital version. The book Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz is free online, yet people still pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to get a hard copy of this book. Good luck.

  4. Thanks for this awesome post and reminder. I have never sent out a print newsletter and learning here about its importance is an eye opener. I have not received any print newsletters in years, so there is certainly an opportunity to test and refine this strategy. Thank you!

  5. ioan pongrat says:

    Dear sir Dan Kennedy .. may by know my situation here , is diferent , with all shame write , not have experience .. forgive my please .. with all respect

  6. David Hunter says:

    I love newsletters! They can be 2 pages front and back jam packed with info. They don’t need to be very large to have a great impact.

  7. Shaun Buck says:

    Hey, thanks for the mention Dan!
    It’s true, newsletters really aren’t dead. And you really do have to make them interesting. Direct mail and newsletters can be bad news – if you approach them wrong.

  8. Dia Rister says:

    Glad to be able to share my thanks for this thought provoking read.

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