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Jul 23, 2001
How To

How Consultant Jim Sterne Grows His Name with a Fun Email Newsletter

SUMMARY: Seems like everybody on this planet is launching an email newsletter these days to promote themselves to marketers. With so much competition in the in-box, how can you make your agency or consultancy newsletter stand out?

We contacted interactive marketing consultant Jim Sterne whose "Full Sterne Ahead" newsletter is one of the few that's both fun and educational -- a guaranteed opener.
Sterne's been publishing this 8+ page "mostly monthly" since 1998. In every issue, he lambasts an eretailer or other Internet marketer for truly dumb customer service and marketing mistakes. Then he lets his readers share their own stories (and the spotlight) too.

At the very end, after you've enjoyed the horror stories, Sterne drops in his own "Shameless Plug", an itinerary listing his upcoming speaking gigs and, indirectly, his consulting services.

Sterne says, "I'm a one-man company. I live my brand. It's one thing to curse the darkness, and another to light a small candle. In my newsletter I can do both at the same time." Sterne's grown his circulation to 4,300 opt-ins by briefly mentioning the newsletter when he speaks at events such as Internet World, and through reader pass-alongs.

While he can't directly say the newsletter has helped him land a specific account, Sterne does say he's had many people come up to him at shows and say, "I like your newsletter" which is definitely a relationship starter. He adds, "While I like having fans, it also keeps me visible."

BTW: Sterne agrees with other professional speakers in the emarketing industry -- the paid speaking world is slow right now. He says, "It was really easy six months ago. Now there are not as many dollars chasing consultants." His advice to wanna-bes? "Don't start now unless you've got a really good idea. There's always room for good ideas." He adds, "You have to be outgoing, energetic, happy to talk to strangers, and have an inflated opinion of yourself."
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