I am a UK national living in the Gers department of south-west France, where I have lived for the past 20 years.
We provide practical advice and information about living in France and French property ownership. Our newsletter covers a range of topics – taxation, buying property, letting property, building and construction, visas, health, consumer and public services.
I felt there was a gap in the market for a serious journal that offered less hype and more analysis about France. We do not have advertisers, so we are not beholden to them. We are funded entirely by subscriptions.
We went for [low price/high membership] really because of the marketing advantages of having a large number of readers who could spread the word.
We spent ages considering the price point, veering between a high price/low membership strategy or low price/high membership. We went for the latter really because of the marketing advantages of having a large number of readers who could spread the word.
We arrived at €20 because it was about half the price of the regular English newspaper in France that offered far more stories and because we had a low cost base so we knew it would still produce good revenues and margin, provided we could get people to sign up.
I think we got it about right, although there are thousands on our unpaids list who still seem to want something for nothing and that advertisers should pay for their reading.
We had no wish to develop our own newsletter system, so with colleagues we trawled the market to see what was available. In reviewing the different offers we opted to go for Buttondown as it had a good reputation and appeared relatively easy to use.
The most outstanding benefit has been the service provided by Justin, the founder of Buttondown. He has been a partner in the development of the business.
The most outstanding benefit has been the service provided by Justin, the founder of Buttondown. He has been a partner in the development of the business. We did not expect that when we signed up and it has been the outstanding feature of our development.
I would certainly like to see a more substantial operating guide and one that was user friendly to those of us who are not tech savvy. Also updates sent out on new developments, so that we are aware of them and know how to use them.
Establish in the first instance that there is demand for the product you are going to offer and work in collaboration with partners who are able to assist you publicise and grown your member base.
We were fortunate enough in having previously published a free newsletter which had establish a substantial database of readers. So we were able to convert a percentage of the free subscribers onto the new newsletter, based on the reputation that had been established by the old one.
We also made sure we were offering a distinct product rather than trying to copy an already crowded marketplace.