A lot of my web design clients have concerns about starting an email newsletter because they’re already busy enough with everything else on the plate. Sometimes they’re afraid that they won’t know what email newsletter content to send to their subscribers or that they won’t be able to find the time to create enough content to be sending out emails on a regular basis.
First of all, these are valid concerns and it’s smart to have considerations like these before jumping into a new business endeavor. With that out of the way let me explain why it’s so important to have an email list:
Give people a way to receive more value from you
When someone arrives on your website, you literally only have a few moments to capture their attention before they get distracted, leave and forget about you. Not to be harsh, but that is the reality of the internet!
It happens to me all the time – I’ll be taking a quick break from working to browse a blog post that seemed interesting or provided information I wanted to learn about. If I don’t have time to keep browsing the site but I like what they’re offering, I’ll usually sign up for their email newsletter. I do this because I actually want to be reminded about them later on. And I want to receive more of what they’re offering – without having to remember to go back to their website later.
If you don’t have a way for people subscribe to you, then they won’t! We’re talking about people who really do want to hear more from you. So don’t let them get away.
It’s also important to remember that when people subscribe to your list, it’s basically their way of saying, “Hey I like what you’re doing. Please send me more.” You should take that to heart and deliver on your promise of actually sending them emails!
Need a little more encouragement? Check out my blog post with tips for starting an email list and why you should start today. If you need an email marketing provider, I use and highly recommend ConvertKit
Ok, on to the good stuff…
Tips for Creating Great Email Newsletter Content
Blog post updates
When I talk to clients who are concerned about not having enough content to send out a regular email to their subscribers, the first thing I ask them is whether or not they have (or will have) a blog on their website. If so, then the answer is super easy – send an email to your list each time you write a new blog post with a quick summary of the post and link back to your blog. It’s good to let your subscribers know about new blog posts anyway, since not everyone will see your updates on social media or remember to check your website consistently. And since these are people who already like what you do, it’s safe to say they’ll help promote your new post if they benefit from the content.
Send out a weekly digest
If you don’t have a blog but you still want to email your list regularly, you could create a weekly email digest. It does not have to be all content created by you! For my newsletter, Creative Bits, I gather inspiration from around the web like blog posts, tools I love, quotes that helped me think in a new way. You could even gather memes or animated gifs related to your niche because…who doesn’t love those?
Ask for feedback
A great idea for engaging with your subscribers and getting to know them is to occasionally send out surveys or simple questions. Ask them what their currently struggling with or what they want to read or learn more about (then incorporate those things into your blog or content strategy). You could create an actual survey on a site like Survey Monkey or you could simply ask them to hit reply and email you back directly. My email marketing provider, ConvertKit, has an awesome automated feature where you can track people’s answers by simply having them click a link! That way, you can later send out emails with specific content to people who have already expressed interest in that topic.
Highlight a client or customer
Let your subscribers know what you’ve been working on by featuring a recent project or client who you’ve worked with. If you’re a products-based business, you could encourage people to submit their stories about why they love your products or even take a photo of them using it. You can then include these stories or photos in an email newsletter to give other potential clients and customers an idea of what it’s like to work with you and/or how awesome your products are. You can cut two carrots with one knife(compassionate idiom of the day) and repurpose these highlights on social media.
Share a personal story
Sometimes you want to share a thought or anecdote that’s been on your mind lately but maybe it’s not really something you want to write an entire blog post about. I love getting emails from the people I subscribe to that talk about their recent struggles, thoughts, lessons they’ve learn or even success and small wins.
I once got an email from a creative entrepreneur I subscribe to where she talked about meeting an Instagram follower at a coffee shop. It turned into a convo about how social media can turn into a super time-sucker and why the person eventually quit Instagram all together. She then went one to ask her readers what their distractions were and how they can re-focus their energy on what it is they actually want to be focused on.
These are the types of messages that really help me connect with those people on a more personal level and get me more invested in their brand story. I get some insight into what their life is like, the conversations they have and the questions that go through their head. I get that comfortable feeling of, “hey, me too!”
Are you excited to start your email newsletter now? I really hope that these ideas sparked some inspiration for you to get started with creating great content for your subscribers. If you don’t have a list yet, I highly recommend using ConvertKit because of their robust features and ease of use. I wrote an blog post about why I switched to ConvertKit from MailChimp.