On Jan. 25, 2022, Newsletter Pro will celebrate its 11th anniversary. We’re thrilled to be acknowledging this milestone with our staff, customers, and readers this month. So, we wanted to share some of the things we have learned during this incredible journey. Here are 11 things we have learned in the last 11 years.
1. Print Is Powerful.
When Newsletter Pro was founded in 2011, we thought we had a pretty good idea on our hands. But we weren’t prepared for exactly how dramatic the impact would be on the businesses we serviced. Soon after starting, we got reports that our clients were seeing sky-high retention rates and referral rates. Plus, their ROI had soared after starting their newsletter. This confirmed what we had already suspected — print isn’t dead, it’s powerful. It can help you stand out from the competition in a digital world. You’ll make more meaningful, lasting connections with your clients, which leads us into our next lesson.
2. Retention Comes From Relationships.
Over the years, Newsletter Pro has had a lot of repeat customers. Sometimes these customers use our services for years, sometimes even through the lifetime of their business. Why? Well, we have a secret sauce when it comes to business: building relationships. We don’t just offer a product or service to our customers — we offer them a relationship. We want to know how they are even if it doesn’t have anything to do with newsletters. If they’re in trouble, we will do our best to help because that’s what being a good friend is all about. Many of our clients find themselves forming relationships with their writers and teams. Some even cross the boundaries from professional contacts to friends, and we think that’s really special.
3. Content Is King.
You can’t have a great newsletter without great content. While this may seem obvious, it’s really not. Lots of clients come to us wanting us to write articles about tooth decay, stain removal, or legal minutiae, etc. These subjects just aren’t going to give their newsletter the pizazz it needs to retain readers. We tell these clients the same thing: “A boring newsletter isn’t going to do your business any favors.” Creating a great newsletter is all about crafting engaging, captivating content that readers will love. It’s all about making a personal connection and sharing stories that mean something to people. That’s why our writers spend so much time creating bombshell content that can work for any industry — because it works.
4. Delegation Is Key.
Learning to delegate is all about appreciating the talents of your team and using human capital to its fullest. This was one of the harder lessons to learn. There’s always a temptation for the ground-floor team of any organization to micromanage newcomers. While the intention might be maintaining good quality control, this strategy does more harm than good. Nobody can be an expert in everything — that’s why we hire great people. These folks bring their own unique expertise to the table and are masters at their craft. Letting them do what they do best and trusting their judgment is part of what makes our organization better.
5. Great Company Culture Is Built On Great People.
When it comes to building a company culture, we’re not afraid to brag about our success. Our teams are more than just teams — they are families. We go out of our way to hire compassionate, conscientious, and motivated team players. And they make our company an exciting place to work. We’re very proud of having a “no jerks” policy and believe office politics and gossip just slow progress and lower retention. That’s why we’re so pleased to have built up such a successful organization focused on working together. That leads us to our next point.
6. Great Managers Inspire Others.
Every team needs a leader, but not all leaders are created equal. In fact, poor leadership has been shown to cause everything from poor team performance to low employee retention rates. Employees with “bad bosses” are even more likely to suffer from health problems! That’s why Newsletter Pro believes in hiring managers who support our staff and bring out the best in their teams. We don’t tolerate unkind, demeaning, or bullying behavior from any of our staff, including the management. We want our employees to feel comfortable expressing themselves and collaborating with their management teams. This philosophy has helped us to maintain steady growth, retain employees for many years, and attract great like-minded people.
7. Adapting Is Essential.
The world has changed a lot since 2011, and sadly, not every company has flourished like Newsletter Pro. Lots of brick-and-mortar-based companies like Blockbuster and RadioShack have closed their doors for good. And many follow in their footsteps every year. This is evidence of more than just tragic misfortune; it’s a harsher business reality. Businesses that don’t adapt don’t succeed in an ever-changing world. That’s why at Newsletter Pro, we have kept ourselves open to change and have listened to our customers and employees over the years. We’ve made major improvements to various elements of the business. These include the software we use, the systems we have in place, our marketing strategies, and our company structure. And we continue to do so every year, which leads us into our next business lesson.
8. Remote Work Does Work.
When Newsletter Pro became a remote company in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were a bit nervous about the shift. Our office culture had flowed smoothly for years, and we were worried about losing that. It also required some pretty hefty spending for new equipment and software. But after a lot of thought and consideration, we decided this was the best possible next step for our business. We’re glad to say we are thrilled with our choice! The shift made working more accessible and flexible for our employees than ever before. Plus, it’s opened up the ability to hire fantastic people from around the country. We have team members that hail from coast to coast — and bring their diverse experiences with them. This has helped us build even stronger teams than they ever were before.
9. We Can Make A Difference.
Our teams at Newsletter Pro are committed to more than just our business; they’re committed to our charity efforts as well. Every year, Newsletter Pro participates in several efforts for local nonprofits and our own nonprofit, Fostering Christmas. Founded by Shaun Buck, the nonprofit brings Christmas presents to foster children who do not qualify for other programs. Our 2021 drive was a massive success, and we served our highest volume of kids ever with 300+ wish lists fulfilled. This effort would not have been possible without the sacrifices of our staff. They sponsored lists and volunteered hundreds of hours of their free time to make sure presents were sorted in time. We’re incredibly grateful for our amazing employees and the difference they make in the community.
10. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is key in any organization, but especially in a remote organization as fast-paced as Newsletter Pro. Every month, we rely on our staff to interview, write, edit, print, and ship over 400,000 newsletters. We absolutely could not do it without open (and frequent) communication between different departments. That’s why we rely on programs like Slack, Asana, and Zoom to keep in touch with each other and stay on track.
11. If It’s Not Broken, Fix It Anyway
While many business owners treat the saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” as an axiom, we at Newsletter Pro have a different philosophy. We believe optimization is the key to scaling any effort and we should always look for ways to improve processes. We encourage our staff to come to us with any new ideas about how to make workflows smoother. We also want them to share concerns about systems that aren’t working as well as they could. It’s about making sure things aren’t just being done the “right way.” We want them done in the “best way possible.”
We hope this advice was helpful to you wherever you are in your business journey. As we celebrate our birthday, we want to give a special “thank you” to all of our loyal customers and readers. We know we wouldn’t be where we are today without you. Here’s to another great decade of growth!