Going from 0 to $20k revenue in 3 months- a study of Newsletter OS by Janel

Hop on this time capsule to learn how Janel built in public and launched Newsletter OS.

18 Jan 2021 UPDATE: Thank you for all the sign-ups! I’ve officially moved from Substack to Ghost as I wanted greater control over the site, which will allow me to serve you with better content down the road. This first half of the original post is still available here; if you’ll like to read the full article, please head here.

After hearing about Janel’s success with Newsletter OS from Courtland Allen, I was very interested in doing a deep dive of the exact timeline of how Janel did this. This is the story of how Janel built in public and launched her product. If you’ll like to read about the timeline of Newsletter OS’ sales, please read this instead.

August 5 2020: Janel digs into '50+ newsletters' (note the number to build credibility) and creates a thread to discuss the lessons learnt. She also mentions that this is for a side project, which raises awareness of something she may be working on.

Each tweet in the thread is focused on a key message, with clear pointers for newsletter writers to consider.

September 1 2020: Janel tweeted about #buildinginpublic (note the hashtag) with @pabloheredia24 for @makerpad's challenge. While the project is http://Pheedback.co and not Newsletter OS, Janel is getting in the reps on how to build in public.

October 18 2020: Janel hints at building her new product using @NotionHQ and @gumroad. But instead of telling the audience directly what the product is, she invites her audience to take a guess.

Note that @JanelSGM also entices her audience to make a guess via offering a free copy for the first person who guesses right. This adds in the 2 elements of scarcity- volume (only 1 copy!) and time (first person who guesses right).

October 19 2020: Janel announces her purchase of a domain. Further preempts her audience by telling them that more details will be announced soon.

October 20 2020: Officially announces the pre-sales of Newsletter OS. Note the clear and concise structure of the tweet:

  • Headline (what is being launched?)

  • Who is this for?

  • What is the problem?

  • What is the solution?

In the same thread, she gives a quick peek into the product, such as objectives and key results page, email boilerplates. Note that these are just screenshots of Notion pages, which do not necessarily require much time!

She also introduces scarcity to pricing- $10 for the first 30 copies, then raised price to $15, then to $29 once $2k sales were crossed.

Want to continue reading? Just head here for the full article, it’s available for free!