One of the most effective ways to connect with your audience is through your email newsletter. People subscribe to your list because they have found value in something you do, and they want to continue to see more. They are also more likely to check out something that is in their personal inbox than a blog post or article elsewhere online that they have to seek out.
Once you’ve started building a list, how do you know what to send them? The key is to develop your newsletter strategy. There are several approaches you can take, and you must decide what makes the most sense for your business, the goals you have for the newsletter, and how much time you can reasonable devote to writing and preparing it. Some of the most important things to consider when building your strategy include:
What purpose does your newsletter serve?
Your emails must provide value to the reader or else they may choose to unsubscribe or continually not open them. Your newsletter could serve as a way to announce new products or services if you are often launching these items. It could act as a way to keep in touch with potential clients so you stay top of mind when they need your services. It could also act as a way to drive more traffic to your website when you have new posts or portfolio items to share. Deciding what purpose it has will help you decide on what type of content to include.
What audience is it written for?
Knowing who you are writing to will also help determine what type of content your newsletter should have. Are you writing to past or potential clients as a way to market your services? Are you writing to peers in your field to share insights into how you run your business? Are you writing to your blog readers as a way to share even more content? It could be you decide to develop multiple lists for different audiences!
What type of newsletter is a good fit?
There are endless ways to create unique content, and finding the format that works for you as a writer will serve you the most effectively in creating one that gets opened. You don’t have to choose just one, but when you hone in on a certain style, you readers will know what to expect and begin to look forward to the next one. Some formats you could try:
- Letters or essays: connect on a deeper level by writing something inspiring, reflecting on a new method you found in your work, or commentary on your field.
- Quick tips or tutorials: give your readers a new skill by sharing a shortcut in Photoshop, a client management tip, a new app you found, or answering questions that you are frequently asked.
- Behind the scenes: provide some insight on how you work, how your business operates, or an interview with someone on your team. It will help your reader feel even more connected to what you’re doing.
- Bonus blog posts: If you love writing posts but struggle with newsletter content, think of it like another blog post! Find a topic that follows the type of format you use in your posts, and you’ll incentivize the reader to subscribe for the bonus content.
How does it connect back to your business?
Ultimately, your newsletter should serve as a tool to bring you more business or sales. Perhaps your newsletter establishes your expertise in your field, building trust and keeping in touch with your audience so that when they need your services, you come to mind right away. It could be a way to give a first look at your new products, courses, ebook, or whatever offering you launch so that you have an immediate audience base with each new release. It could even be a way to connect with fellow business owners so that they see your value and want to refer clients your way.
Be realistic about how often you have time to write.
You may strive to send something out once per week, but do you have the hours to dedicate to writing and scheduling it at that pace? You want each newsletter to be quality, and it won’t be if the preparation is rushed. Whether it’s weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly, make sure you stay consistent in your distribution. If you don’t send anything out for 10 months, your readers may not even remember subscribing.
My final tip is to stay true to your own business: following someone else’s model for newsletters will only make you seem stale and feel like more noise in someone’s inbox. Write about what you know and what will help your audience, and your newsletter will be a powerful tool in staying connected and growing your business.
We have a free worksheet that you can use when building your newsletter strategy. It includes a step by step evaluation of the ideas mentioned in the blog post.