Q&A / 

Ads and Promotions in AsktheBuilder.com Newsletters

DEAR TIM: I love your newsletter, but why are there ads in it for your products? You also send additional emails during a promotion to remind subscribers a promotion is about to end. I find these ads and extra emails bothersome. - Dan Rybicki

DEAR DAN: Thanks so much for writing to me. I can understand your frustration about extra emails in your Inbox, as all of us seem to be getting overloaded with messages. However, I'm hoping that you'll give me a hall pass because of the give and take of the situation. Let's look at the dynamic of my newsletter and what really happens.

Each time a newsletter goes out, you get hundreds, or possibly thousands, of dollars of tips for free. You get information about the best products for your home. You get suggestions on the best tools to buy. You get announcements about product problems and recalls. The most amazing thing of all, you pay nothing for my newsletter that contains all of this.

But look at it from my side of the fence. I have to spend a tremendous amount of money to actually send the newsletter. The service I use to host the list and send the emails does not do it for free.

My list is over 100,000 subscribers, so project what you think I spend each month to host and send the newsletter. I'll give you a clue: it could make a mortgage payment on a sizable home!

Add to that the lost opportunity cost. Instead of investing all the time testing and reviewing tools and products, writing the newsletter, etc., I could be writing columns and doing videos that make money. I'm like you; I have to support my family and pay my bills. If I didn't want to work on the newsletter, I could spend that time with my family, doing a recreational activity, reading a book or just relaxing.

With this in mind, I would think that you could tolerate promotions within newsletters for my products and reminder emails for those who want to buy them at a reduced price, but procrastinate and put off the transaction until the last moment. The money made for doing this is my reward for spending time producing the newsletter.

Add to this, I would think that you would welcome the opportunity to save money from time to time, instead of having to pay full price for my products. But perhaps I'm mistaken and you prefer to pay full retail all of the time.

You could always subscribe to an ad-free version. Would you prefer that?


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