Six Books That Have Shaped Church Fuel

Here are six books that have really shaped the launch and operation of Church Fuel.

You’ll find them here…

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Book Notes: The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow

515f+NYUYXL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_The Automatic Customer, by John Warrillow is one of the five culture-shaping books at Church Fuel.  Though we were already heading in that direction, it solidified the direction for our membership program – Church Fuel One.

The book gives lots of examples of subscription businesses and some best practices for starting or running one.

Here are my notes…

“Recurring revenue makes your business a lot more valuable, and it also makes your company less stressful to run.”

Examples of Subscription Businesses

  • Content: European Map Makers in the 1500s, Newspapers and Magazines
  • Entertainment: Netflix
  • Software: Adobe Creative Suite, Quickbooks
  • eCommerce: Amazon Prime
  • Services: Car Wash, Mosquito Squad, H.bloom.

Seven reasons a subscriber is better than a customer.

  1. Subscribers drive up the value of your company.
  2. Subscriptions increase customer lifetime value. The average Prime member spends $1,224 on Amazon purchases each year, compared with $505 for non-Prime customers.
  3. Subscriptions smooth out demand. bloom provides weekly flower delivery to hotels.
  4. Subscriptions provide market research.
  5. Subscriptions are automatic payments
  6. Subscribers are sticky customers.
  7. Subscribers buy more.

The foundation of a subscription business is built on four numbers:

  • monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
  • customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • churn (MMR at the beginning of month divided by MMR at the end of the month)

Two Challenges

How can we be essential? “The most profitable membership websites are usually business-to-business companies that solve a real problem, offering ‘must have’ information and maintaining constantly evolving forums that require that a subscriber stay loyal over the long term.”

What quick wins can we give people? “Like surfing, part of getting people to adopt your subscription product or service in the first 90 days is to give them a quick win that provides the motivation for them to learn more.” 

Three Best Practices

  1. Free Trial: A free trial should not get someone to buy the product, it should get them to use the product.
  2. Ultimatum: Make certain things only available to subscribers. You can’t buy a single movie from Netflix.
  3. Delight: Drop happiness bombs to surprise your subscribers.

Every type of business can benefit from the subscription model.  Pick up a copy of the book…you won’t regret it.

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Read and Save Simplified Articles with Evernote

One of the reasons I love Evernote is the free tool makes it easy to read and save simplified articles.  In just a couple of clicks, I can strip out popups, ads, and sidebars and save the real content to my computer for later.  Here’s

Here’s a 80-second screencast on how it works.

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The Simple Key To Getting More Done Is…

It seems like my blog feed, Twitter feed and even Facebook feed is filled with advice on how to get more done.

The promise of productivity.

Hacks for busy people.

10 Apps to save you time and money.

I’m waiting for an article on the most productive way to read productivity books.


I’m no efficiency expert, but I’ve learned one simple thing about getting stuff done. It’s not complicated.  It’s not expensive.  And you don’t need a new app.

The key to getting more done is removing the tasks that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

It’s ruthlessly evaluating your task list and deciding what to delete and where to wait.

See, when I look at 10 things I need to do, only 2 or 3 of them are truly important.  I don’t need to get more done…I need to get the right things done.

Here are three questions to help you evaluate your tasks.

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What would really happen if I didn’t do it?
  • Who asked me to do this?

Don’t worry about doing all twenty things today.

Do the few things that really matter.

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These Kind of Emails Get Responses

Do you send email?

Would you like to get a better response?

If so, Boomerang for Gmail has some data and insights for you. I’ve been using this powerful Gmail plugin in for several months now and I love it.  It lets me write and schedule an email to send later.  And I can request a ping if my message doesn’t get a response.

Boomerang is on the front line of knowing what kind of emails get response and what kind of messages don’t.  In fact, they just released an article with data and insights based on more than 40 million messages.

Here’s what they found.

#1 – Emotional messages are better.

Messages that are positive or negative beat messages that are neutral.  Whether it’s customer service feedback or checking in on a friend, they recommend adding a little emotion (but not too much). If you’re an angry elf, your message is going to be ignored. But if you’re too passive, people won’t think you care.

#2 – The ideal message contains 50-125 words.  

Boomerang says emails in this range got a response 50% of the time.  Just like the emotion thing, you want your message to be short, but not too short.  25-word messages and 2,000-word messages produced the same response rate.  “If you need to send War and Peace, you might want to send it as an attachment,” they say.

#3 – The ideal subject length is 3-4 words.

Based on their look at 40 million emails and what got response, Boomerang says this is the subject line sweet spot. If it’s longer, it might come across spammy. If it’s shorter, it looks like you put zero thought into it.

#4 – Use simple words.

They say the third-grade level is best. That kind of reading level will get you a 36% better response than a message written with your college vocabulary.

#5 – Ask questions.

Emails with questions more likely to get a response. So if you want a response, ask for it.

Read more here.

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