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Email newsletters are an amazing tool that allow you to build a deeper bond with your readers. Plus, it gives you direct communication with them. If (heaven forbid) something terrible happens to your blog or social media accounts, you will always have your email newsletter to stay in touch with your followers while you rebuild.
How To Write An Email Newsletter That Gets Noticed
Lots of questions start circulating when newsletters come up because it’s hard to separate newsletter content from what you’d usually put on your blog.
Knowing the answers to the most frequently asked email newsletter questions will move you to the top of the class while making your blog even stronger.
My subscribers already get emails when there’s a new post. Wouldn’t another newsletter be overkill?
Every email newsletter should be opt-in. That means each person on your list has signed up to get your messages. Most blogs have an RSS feed subscription with an email option that alerts readers about new posts or sends them directly to the inbox. That’s pretty cool – but that’s not your email newsletter.
A true newsletter is a separate email that you put together with fresh content — content your subscribers won’t get on your blog. Since it’s bad form to import your RSS subscribers into your newsletter list, you’ll need to add a newsletter sign-up form to your sidebar.
I already struggle to come up with content for my blog. How could I keep up with a email newsletter, too?
Less is more! That actually might mean posting less often on your blog so you have time to work on your newsletter. It also might mean that you send your newsletter less regularly – whatever works for you and your audience. The important thing is that you send your newsletter regularly.
How often should I send out a newsletter?
There’s no hard and fast rule except that you have to send it regularly. The good news is there really isn’t a right or wrong way, just figure out a schedule you can keep up – whether that’s once a week or once a month (I wouldn’t go any less than that).
I don’t sell products or information. How could an email newsletter help my blog?
The goal of every email newsletter is to build a closer relationship with your readers and to remind them of your existence. It helps if you offer them some exclusive content while building a relationship with them.
If you run a movie review site – give your readers a backstage pass to your review process or a sneak peek into upcoming reviews. You could also run a contest to see what reviews they want to see next.
If you write a personal blog – create a series of emails telling one very long story. Remember when Pioneer Woman recounted how she met and married the Marlboro Man? She recounted the crazy circumstances over a period of several posts. It’s a hilarious, heart-warming saga that endeared me to her forever. You could do something similar, but send it through a weekly newsletter.
Be creative, there’s no wrong way to do it…just be your charming self. It also helps if you fill a need for your readers – whether it’s to laugh, cry, or just know they are not alone.
How do I get people to sign up for an email newsletter?
When you want your kids to do something and you don’t want to hear any objections, sometimes you bribe them with a cookie. Readers work the same way.
They are giving you personal information and access to their in-box. That’s awfully nice of them and it’s great if you offer something in return.
A free ebook or blogging ecourse is the favorite among the blog-based business crowd. If that’s not your cup of tea, then there is always free stuff, contests, or just a good old promise that you will deliver amazing, exclusive content.
What should I include in a newsletter?
Amazing, exclusive content. Ideas are everywhere! Sign up for email newsletters in your niche and join some that don’t have anything to do with your blog topic. Glean the best ideas from all over the web and put them in your email newsletter.
Some of my favorite newsletters have:
- Brief articles
- Links to the week’s posts
- A web-round up of the best content out there
- Interesting tweets, Facebook posts, and pins
Include a Call to Action
Lastly, always include a call to action. This is something simple you want your subscribers to do. This could include forwarding your email, posting about it on social media, commenting on your blog, or buying something from you. You’ll get the best results on these actions from your subscribers because they are your truest and biggest fans.
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Golda Smith says
Newsletters are absolutely awesome for building a relationship with your readers. Personally, I send one 2x a week and haven’t had any complaints or unsubscribers. It’s a basic ezine and the main article is also what’s published on my blog for that day. The reason I do that is because some people who read the ezine will NEVER come to my blog to read it. Why? People have the favorite delivery methods. The second reason is that it cuts down on finding content for both, I just add a few sections to the newsletter that don’t appear on my blog.
I’m interested to know what affordable newsletter services people are using. I see Mailchimp and AWeber are mentioned. Does anyone else have suggestions?
Anne Galivan says
You remark that your “newsletter” can include links to that week’s posts which seems to contradict the previous comment that says, “A true email newsletter is a separate email that you put together with fresh content — content your subscriber won’t get get on your blog..” This seems to be a contradiction, IMO.
My “newsletter” is what I send out to my subscribers to inform them of new content. There is a difference between subscribers who sign up via my e-mail sign-up and my RSS subscribers. RSS subscribers automatically see my posts in their reader, whatever reader that may be (I use Google Reader, for instance).
Those that sign up for my “newsletter” are usually not signed up for my RSS feed so the only way they will find out that there is new content on my blog is through my e-mail newsletter. I have found that is what most bloggers use their e-mail newsletter for. To let people know there is new content on their blog.
What I see as the real difference is whether or not the blogger sends out entire posts in their newsletter, or links back to their site. This is where the real conundrum begins…if you send out an entire post it is quite possible the subscriber will not actually visit your site. On the other hand, if you send only links, not everyone clicks through to your site. I have debated this in my mind but I prefer to simply send a synopsis of my post (as you do with SITS) with links to the content on my site. To me it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.
I use AWeber and have since I began blogging in May 2010. It’s a good system and easy to use. It actually has plenty of features that I don’t have the time to use (such as split-testing messages) so some may get more from it than others, but it works just fine for me.
I have a newsletter and a blog. My PR group/ web designers convinced me to do it – and keep telling me it’s worth it! I still haven’t figured out how to delineate the two quite yet, although I do post different content to each. I feel it’s a bunch more work though.
My PR team tells me that the blog is more personal and story-telling, and the newsletter should be like reading a magazine – with a bunch of fun stuff in it.
It’s turned out so far that the blog posts are longer (on fitness and wellness and mindfulness in that area) and the newsletter is a very short, little tidbit on how to stay fit. Sometimes I’ll put a link to my latest blog post in the side bar.
My newsletter came before my blog and it consists largely of people I’ve worked with in person. Where my blog consists largely of internet followers, so they’re not exactly the same group, although I do have some overlap. I also know that sometimes people don’t read all of their e-mail, especially if they don’t have time, so I’ve been tempted to copy and paste my latest blog post into my newsletter, just to reduce the work! But you say that’s not a good idea, so I’ll follow your lead. 🙂
Any more insights on how to make the two distinctly different, and valuable to the consumer, and a little less work on the producer, would be very appreciated!
Alison @CouponKitchen says
As a fairly new blogger this information is much appreciated. Thank you!
Kennedi Rose at Face and Fitness says
Oh a newsletter seems like so much extra work … but I guess its worth it!
Thanks for the follow-up on the newsletters. I’ll be getting creative. I need a new facelift to my newsletter.
Susan Silver says
After a lot of thought, I decided to make my newsletter community focused. I am going to launch it this month with a giveaway of one of my all time fav. business books. One that has helped me the most in getting organized. I also developed an ebook that users will get as a free download when they subscribe.
For me it is about engaging in the community and giving them something special for signing up. It is going to be a more personal way to connect, though I will publish less often.
I am actually trying to figure out Mailchimp so that I can send out a newsletter of all the things that I find that are free. I subscribe to a newsletter that is similar and I just know that some of those “freebies” are affiliates. Lol.
Glenda Childers says
I do not think that I am quite ready for creating a newsletter YET, but your great ideas here are milling in my head. As always, such practical teaching. Thank you so much.
Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Kimberly Gauthier Photography says
I just started a newsletter in August and I love it. It’s so much fun. Originally I was planning to send one out monthly, but now I’m up to twice a month. It’s a great way to get a message to my followers quickly!
Megan (Best of Fates) says
I admit, I LOVE newsletters. But I hesitate to start one, ’cause what if I’m the only one who subscribes? And then I’m just sending myself little inside jokes and gifts and it’ll be way creepier than my current method of communicating with myself (out loud) and might be the final push that gets my friends and relatives to have me committed.
So, you see the obvious drawbacks.
Glenda Childers says
This is hilarious. I would subscribe.
These are great tips. I think it’s always a good idea to have an opt-in on your blog even if you have no clue what your newsletter will be about yet. At least you’ll have a subscriber base ready when you are!