Updated Nov, 26th 2012
Minerva is a digital lifestyle newsletter for woman aged 40 and over who live in the Chicago area. It's like Daily Candy for midlife women, with an emphasis on health, relationships, beauty and fun things to do in the city.
According to the 2010 census, there are 43 million women in the United States aged between 40 and 59. I don't see a lot out there that addresses the interests and concerns of women in this age group. Most of the women I know are very busy with jobs, spouses, children and elderly parents. They need information that is easy to access, useful and quick to read. I want Minerva to provide the advice you would get from a savvy friend. An example of an article would be -- "I am getting married in a couple of months and have started to see a few gray hairs appearing in my dark brown locks. I don't want to be a gray-haired bride. How soon before the wedding should I color my hair so it looks natural?" The answer is, try coloring it now to find out which color looks most natural on you and how long it lasts before fading. You don't want to experiment with color right before the big day.
I plan to follow the business model of similar lifestyle e-newsletters such as Daily Candy, Thrillist, and Urban Daddy.
Is this really solving a problem? Do women in this demographic feel their issues and interests aren't being addressed by other media?
Email inboxes are already very full. Why would a woman subscribe to receive yet another email?
Are advertisers interested in reaching this demographic? What are the other potential income streams?
Develop a pilot newsletter/website using Mailchimp and Wordpress. Send it to friends and other contacts to get feedback and find out whether there is real interest in this product.
Host focus groups with target subscribers to find out which topics they are most interested in reading about and how to make this a must-read email instead of spam.
The biggest cost at this point will be time developing pilot newsletters, developing an initial mailing list and hosting focus groups.
Metric: Reaching 100 subscribers in the Chicago area will indicate whether or not there is interest in the product.