A smart digital entrepreneur generated $6,188 in 3 months with a single-page website that offered an email list for discovering cheap flights across the world. That’s exactly what Scott Keyes shared in his entrepreneurship success story via his Reditt AMA (Ask Me Anything) around 7 days ago.
Scott has a very simple business plan — send email newsletters with the best deals for flying ridiculously cheap across the globe.
“I run an email list that alerts people when there’s a really good deal on international flights. It’s only for really good fares, not just ho hum deals,” he says in his Reditt post.
According to Scott, he had been scouring the Internet for cheap airfares for years now. It all started in 2013 when he flew non-stop from New York to Milan in just $130 for the round trip. Anyone who got to know about the bargain deal wanted to be informed about future cheap airfare opportunities that popped up. Thus, the email mailing list was created with a free Mailchimp account.
Creating a Product
Around one-and-a-half year later, Scott was featured in Business Insider for his 13-country trip around the world using bargain airfare deals in April 2015. His email list grew tenfold from 300 to 3,000, bringing the burden of infrastructure cost for maintaining a big email list.
As a smart entrepreneur, he started with a freemium business model – a basic FREE product and a premium product with the right pricing. He started offering a premium email alert service with all the deals, including the best ones, for $2/month. Those who didn’t want to pay continued receiving the email alerts, but only for a limited number of deals.
“I’d never thought about charging to be on the list, but the hosting fees made it a necessity… I was just hoping to get ~35 people or so to sign up for (the) premium (alert service) so (that) it would cover my initial hosting costs,” he says in the Reditt post. “The premium list launched on August 23, 2015, and a few dozen people signed up during the pre-launch. Little by little, the number has continued to grow.”
According to Scott, the newsletter gets up to 50 new premium subscribers each week. The existing number of paying members for his airline deals newsletter is about 650, which makes a revenue of $1300 per month.
Smart (Freemium) Business Model
The freemium model has worked really well for the business. Each free news alert brings new paid customers through the advertised service to join the premium list for more exciting deals. He also ran a Black Friday discount promotion of $19/year valid only for 72 hours. By creating the scarcity, he was able to convert the fence-sitters into paid subscribers.
Respond quickly to people. The importance of nurturing your early adopters cannot be overstated. I don’t have exact numbers, but anecdotally, I’ve heard from lots of people who signed up for the list because their friends recommended it to them. ~ Scott Keyes,
The smart entrepreneur has even benefited from the Reddit post. According to a comment, the number of newsletter subscribers has increased by around 100 premium subscribers and 400 free ones. We wish him all the luck and success in his venture. Great example for the rest of us to emulate — smart thinking, passion and shrewd business strategies have the power to catapult us in the real of success.