Discover more from The Weekly S&P500 #ChartStorm
How Subscribers Rate the Weekly ChartStorm
I surveyed paid subscribers of the Weekly ChartStorm, here's what they said...
There’s something curious about running an email newsletter business…
You do the work, send it out, toil away, week after week and… for the most part it’s a bit of a mystery as to what people think about it.
You can get a rough sense for it based on renewals, open rates, comments, likes… but even when you get active feedback, it’s always going to be the vocal minority.
So it occurred to me that I should survey paid subscribers of the ChartStorm (given that it’s now a full 6 months into having taken the Weekly ChartStorm paid(!)) — what do they think of it? what prompted them to subscribe in the first place? what would they like to see more of?
The point of this article is to share some of the results with you because I think it will be helpful if you were ever wondering about upgrading to paid. But also it will probably be generally quite interesting (not to mention the point that writing = thinking, and it will help me process the results too!).
For a quick bit of context if you’re new here, see: The story behind the Weekly ChartStorm (which has been running for over 8 years now)
Before we dive into the details, if you were wondering, in terms of demographics, about 45% of paid subscribers are finance professionals (investment advisors, portfolio managers, analysts, etc), 30% are retirees (trying to maintain their nest egg and keep the brain active), and the remaining 25% are private investors (either in the accumulation phase, or full-time investors).
In my usual chart and fact-based style, here’s the results…
1. Paid Subscriber Satisfaction: This chart shows the results from the question “what do you think of it?” (from Very Bad to Very Good) and “how likely would you be to recommend it?” (from Very Unlikely to Very Likely). Basically the idea here is to get a high-level sense of client satisfaction. For reference, out of just over a thousand paying subscribers, 165 responded to the survey, so not small, not huge, but probably enough to have some confidence in the results.
Key Point: the overwhelming majority said it was either Good or Very Good, and would be very likely to recommend it. Note, you can read some specific comments and testimonials from the survey a little further down the page.
2. Reasons For Subscribing: In this one, respondents could tick multiple boxes as well as providing other written answers. The idea of this question is to see what paid subscribers value the most (useful for me so I can give them more of it, but also so that I can highlight those things to potential subscribers).
Key Point: Most people subscribed for the charts, naturally, but subscribers also appreciate the commentary, and how it helps make them think, identify ideas, and expand their knowledge base.
I color coded the chart basically on what I reckon are “features” i.e. what it is (the blue bars) vs “benefits” i.e. what it does (the black bars). Reading a little between the lines, I would say most people subscribe to get informed, get educated, and get onto new ideas. There’s certainly an intellectual stimulation and infotainment element to it, but going back to the demographics note before, ultimately they’re looking for help to achieve either their personal or professional goals as investors.
3. Changes? And when I asked what changes they’d like to see, and the majority basically said that it’s great and don’t go changing! This is good, because it effectively validates the current setup, and means that I am basically hitting the brief.
But in the comment responses and the other two categories I did identify a few opportunities to elevate it. I will be making a conscious effort to level-up the commentary in terms of explanation and education, perhaps even adding an educational supplement. On the more frequent updates, I am trialing a “Chart of the Day” series, but may also look to do more “Off-Topic ChartStorms”.
Overall though, the message for me on this one is to keep doing what I’m doing on the main thing, and work on making that the best version of what it can be.
Friendly reminder :-) Upgrade to paid to unlock the full ChartStorm experience…
4. UNSUBSCRIBED: For completeness, here’s what paid subscribers who unsubscribed had to say about the service (n.b. only 15 respondents here so far). Looking at feedback and the few survey responses, comments and reasons for unsubscribing were mixed, price was one standout (but only about 1/4 mentioned that), changes in circumstances or other reasons were the larger driver. Another key reason was the lack of actionable trade ideas, but that’s not really what this is about (on that note, I am working on a purpose statement article to clarify exactly what this is and what it is not, which should be helpful for everyone).
Key Point: Even those who ended up unsubscribing still rated it highly (over 70% said it was either good or very good).
NOTE, on pricing, see discounted rates for students, retirees, and hardship.
5. Testimonials: Aside from the charts and statistics, some of the best insights and points of feedback came in the long-answer feedback box and the ‘other’ category for the other questions.
Here’s a selection of what paid subscribers had to say about it (hint: mostly good things, and mostly recognizing and acknowledging what I am trying to do with the service in terms of acting as your filter on a noisy world, delivering insights in an efficient manner, provoking thought, and presenting ideas free of bias).
The most important reason I subscribe is that you are a great filter. There are so many charts and comments out there and I don't have enough time to read them all. You are a great filter, filtering out the noisy ones and providing the good ones for us.
I feel like your product is in a sweet spot of price and impact, particularly for those of us with an eye towards longer term investing and who want to understand the market better.
I think this is a very useful snapshot especially, because I do not follow markets tick for tick, but just trying to concentrate on the big picture. For that purpose a weekly chartstorm is very useful and the chosen charts are very often spot on in concentrating on the most important topics in the market.
Great resource & I can tell it is the product of much thought and experience. Thank you for the terrific newsletter!
What I like is that you post charts that are relevant, but with a different angle than most other content. Gives me ideas for new things to consider or look into further.
As I said previously; I always look forward to the weekly ChartStorm. For me it’s not just the charts, it’s a thinking piece that helps generate ideas.
It's not just charts, it's the charts that are selected and the reasons they are selected that brings additional value to this service
I like the thought that was put into selecting the charts. It's concise.
I really like the unbiased look at the markets across 10 charts.
Keep up the good work, it has been very helpful and useful to my investing strategy development!
Saves time, and it provides valuable insight.
Love the humor when you use it. Like your tone generally. Like the relative brevity. I don't have the time or patience to watch endless talking heads videos
I value a quick summary showing relevant themes. Saves hours of reading.
Good concise market data, whether it be macro or events of the day is hard to find. Your pack does a great job in summarising this and capturing the mood of the market at the time.
I love your charts! They are concise and packed with information! Thank you for your work!
Really enjoy your work! There are always at least 7 or 8 (relevant to me) thought provoking charts in your weekly round-up.
Love your work. I learn a lot and you provide great perspective.
Love the charts. I look forward to them every Sunday. Engrained in my routine.
Thoughts + Summary
Overall I am pleased with this survey in terms of all the positive feedback. I put in a lot of hard work and dedication and hold myself to a high standard as I churn the ChartStorm out every Sunday morning (and p.s. I’ve never missed a weekend in the 8+ years I’ve been doing it!). Regardless of the business aspect, it is gratifying to know that people value it.
But I’m also pleased in that they specifically acknowledged what I aim to do with the Weekly ChartStorm. And along with that, giving me numerous ideas to elevate it, do more of what works, keep on keeping on, and bring subscribers more value.
If you’re ready to join me on the ChartStorm journey, it would be an honor to have you join the growing community of paid subscribers to support and recognize my efforts and draw upon the consistent useful interesting insights each week.
But of course if you’re not quite ready yet to subscribe, you are most welcome to remain on the free list — and if you are able to recommend or share the Weekly ChartStorm that would mean a lot to me :-)
Founder & Editor of The Weekly ChartStorm
Topdown Charts Research Services: https://www.topdowncharts.com/subscribe