Delivering Value For A Value: Pricing A Paid-Subscription Newsletter

I started “Hungry for Gumbo,” a paid letter.ly newsletter last month, mostly as an experiment. Now that I’ve produced a handful of newsletters for a small group of family and friends, I’m starting to enjoy the format and the weekly, versus hourly, pace.

I only charge $1.00 month. I might raise the price at some point, but I like the iTunes-influenced price point because there’s zero price-based resistance to it. An interested reader might balk at the sign up process, but the price isn’t going to put anyone off.

Of course, other letter.ly authors have a different model that makes sense to them. Chris Brogan charges $9.97/month. Gwen Bell charges $20/month. And Ev Bogue charges $25/month.

Here’s Ev Bogue’s rationale for his price point:

Many people charge $1.99 – $3.99 for their Letter.lys. My fellow-collective-buddy and augmented human @rosshill and I had a big discussion about how we could price our Letter.lys at a point where the people who received them felt like they were getting value from them. $25 seemed to be the right price point.

I’m teaching people how to create second selves that take care of them, essentially letting them earn a living without having to be tethered to a screen all day. The value return can be, when applied, many to the power of many times what the small group of people who subscribe are paying for.

When pricing a letter.ly, the biggest concern I had with extremely low price points is simply that it will just seem like an inconvenience to sign up. What is the difference between free and $1.99? Not much, it’s simply a barrier of entry. I think if you’re going to charge, you might as well charge a real amount.

Maybe Bogue, Bell and Brogan are right and I’m still giving content away for almost free. When will I learn? I don’t know. The discussion I had when pricing “Hungry for Gumbo” went like this…”Is it easier to get 1000 people to pay a dollar? Or 100 people to pay 10 dollars?”

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInRedditStumbleUponEmailDiggShare
About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.