So..you know those newsletters you get in your inbox?
Yeah..you know the ones I’m talking about.
How could you not!
I’m sure if you’re a human being with any sort of email, you get bombarded on the daily with tons of content.
But, as a business owner the email newsletter is crucial to building your business.
You see, when you have a newsletter you can stay in contact with your readers, build relationships, share upcoming valuable content, and even promote your products.
I’m sure you know all of that though.
But, the big question remains…how can you create the perfect newsletter that people will actually read!? Especially when emails are so, so, so ubiquitous (yeah..I had to pull out my fancy lingo for this post!)
The Newsletter as the Basis of Your Business
So…what is a newsletter? Let’s start with the basics shall we..
I love basics because people oftentimes feel like they have to do something that everyone and their mama is doing. And, that’s not necessarily the case.
Yeah..there are some guidelines like – send a newsletter. But, there are TONS of ways you can make it uniquely you.
So a newsletter is a way for you to stay in contact with people who subscribe to your email list. (I’m currently using and loving ActiveCampaign to send my newsletters!)
Newsletters can take many forms – it can be a plain text email or one that includes lots of graphics.
My newsletters fall in the middle range. I like a cute header, with text, and a few fancy images sprinkled in between of my personal photos or worksheets that I provide my readers.
Now, imagine….one day..you’re at home..chillin’ on your sofa when you hear a knock at the door.
You think that’s strange because it’s a Thursday night and you’re watching How to Get Away With Murder. Most importantly, you’re not expecting anyone.
When you slowly open the door, it’s your long lost cousin who you haven’t heard from in FOREVER asking you for money.
You would be totally put off by this. Wouldn’t you??
Well, that’s the same with an email newsletter. The point of a newsletter is to build a relationship with your readers AND stay in consistent contact with them so that they are aware of you when you do have something valuable to share (such as your kick booty digital products 😉
We don’t like wishy washy cousins OR wishy washy newsletters, now do we?!
Does Your Newsletter Have a Point?
When you send out a newsletter, always remember that there’s another human being sitting on the other side of that computer who will read your content.
She has a life. She has feelings. She has things going on just like you. And, she’ll be reading your content.
Your newsletter takes up valuable space in her inbox and in her life!
I’m always thankful for the readers on my email newsletter because I know how precious time and energy is.
Before you set out to create (or if you’re looking to re-imagine your newsletter)..think about your goals for having one in the first place.
What’s the point of staying in contact with your readers? What do you want to offer them? What will make it worth their time to open your emails?
When setting goals for your newsletter, think about these ideas. Is it to…
- Provide value
- Provide humor
- Promote (Hopefully not all of the time!!)
- Share a story
- A combo of the above
Spend some time thinking about what you want to provide in your newsletter.
So..say you’re a fitness instructor. You may want to inspire your readers to kick start a healthy lifestyle by providing facts about your personal journey. You may also want to provide value in the form of workout and nutrition tips. You could even add in a little dose of humor about working out to make it a more light-hearted topic!
Think about your readers and what would be the most helpful for them. And, then think about your strengths and what you can bring to the table.
In my newsletters, I’m very personable as if I’m chatting with a good ‘ol friend. If you’ve been around the block for a while, you know that I love talking about my boyfriend, my travels, and sometimes my greyhound, Majic.
Sage, is also a good example..she shares personal information, freebie downloads, and client success stories!
The sky’s the limit, my friend!
How to WOW Inside of Your Newsletter
When you dive into the newsletter game (or business game for that matter), it’s super easy to get caught up in what other people are doing.
It’s all about designing a killer business that serves people AND one that you love. One that shows your uniqueness and plays to your strengths. Period. And, when I say love..I mean designing something you enjoy and have fun at. And, that includes your email newsletter.
So..here are some basics to include in your newsletter. Think of them as guidelines..let your creative juices flow in terms of how you want to make that a reality in your business.
- Design: Do you want a plain text newsletter or one with a snazzy design and look? Think about the look and feel of your newsletter. My newsletters are about a 5 on the snazzy scale. I love a basic header (use Canva to design an easy peasy header), and I’ll oftentimes add an image of myself and my freebie worksheets that I include in my newsletter.
- Content: Email includes content..duh! It’s a matter of what type of content you want to include. You see, this is where your goals come in handy. Think about the purpose of your newsletter and design your content around that. I love how Jenny Shih provides a snippet of her blog post and then links to the remainder of her post on her blog.
- Subject Line: You can have the most kick-booty content in the world in your newsletter, but it may not get read if your subject line doesn’t stand out in the crowd. Would you rather open an email that read: Awesome stuff here OR How to Create and Sell Digital Products That Build Your Business. One is more specific and provides a benefit. The other is wishy washy. Remember…w want to avoid that, right?! Use subject lines that intrigue, show benefit, and make people want to open that email!
- Your Voice: So…just so we’re on the same page. I want to remind you that you ABSOLUTELY have value to share. And, you have value to share in your own unique way. So..your voice is all about presenting your words in a way that’s unique to you. I’ve received many emails from people who love my tone and think that I’m writing specifically to them! It’s all from the style of writing. Not sure what your style is? When you sit to write your newsletter, first of all – think as if you’re writing to one person (not an entire list of people!). And, not just any ‘ol person like your ex-boyfriend who you can’t stand. Write as if you’re writing to a really good friend who lives far away. Write how you’d communicate with her. This is how you’ll come across as YOU in your emails!
Here’s a sample of Jenny’s awesome email newsletter:
What Day is the Best Day
Yup, we’ve come to the big question! How often do I need to send my newsletter?
Well..if you’ve been with me this far, you know you should avoid the “sometimey cousin” technique, which would be to email your peeps once or maybe twice a year.
You want to be a presence so that people know who you are, get to know your amazing value, and want to hear from you.
Not too long ago, life got in the way, and I was slacking on my newsletters. I skipped a few Wednesdays in a row, and one of my readers reached out to me and basically was like “What’s up?! I haven’t heard from you in awhile. Don’t you send your newsletter on Wednesdays?” What a way to get called out!
And, if you’re consistent your readers will begin to recognize your name and associate it with your specific topic.
Now that we have that extreme covered..let’s cover the other extreme….daily emails. This may work for some people’s businesses, but I bet not most.
I have two rules of thumb when it comes to emails:
- Be consistent. So set a schedule and try to stick to it. I generally email on Wednesdays. Actually, in my welcome email..I let people know it’s actually Wednesday-ish. I give myself some leeway because I might actually hit your inbox on Thursday (or if I’m feeling really bold…a Tuesday.) My point…pick a day that allows you to stay in consistent contact without being too much of a pest.
- Stay in Frequent Contact. This may mean something totally different to people. Frequency is how often you show up in people’s email box. Weekly? Twice a Month? Once a month? Pick a frequency that works for you and allows you to stay in your reader’s minds.
So..you’ve got a snazzy newsletter. Check.
You’ve got your schedule down. Double Check.
You have your goals and the basics of what you want to include. Triple Check.
Now..it’s all about getting people onto that email list so you can share some kick-booty content with them.
See..I’m a mind reader. I knew you were thinking about that next.
And, no worries. I’ve got you completely covered. Check out the video training, How to Create Kick-Butt Freebies that Grow Your Email list. You’ll dive into the types of freebies, creating freebies, and promoting freebies. It’s going to be a freebie festival! 😉
Woohoo. In the comment section below, let us know what your newsletter goal is. And, let us know one other tip you have about the email newsletter (this can be what you do OR what you like from reading other people’s newsletters!)