Creating a newsletter you won't mind keeping up withJun 08, 2022
Last week I received an email from someone who reads my weekly newsletter. It was an email that included a variety of topics, but the major thrust of the message was his desire to let me know about a project he was working on. The project was directly related to content he was hoping to create, and he wanted me to know that the content I have been creating and sending to him was helping to inspire these ideas.
That email encouraged me, but I wouldn't have received it if I didn't have a system in place to send a weekly newsletter to my audience.
The importance of email lists
For years, I have been hearing people insist that having an email list was vital for anyone who wants to develop a healthy online platform, but for some reason, the thought of building one intimidated me. I'm not exactly sure why. Writing books and recording podcasts never seemed to intimidate me, but developing an email list did. I think that's possibly because I didn't understand how simple they are to create (as long as you have the right pieces of your platform in place).
How to build an email list
If you're going to build an email list, it makes sense to have a website. When people visit your site, give them multiple ways to give you their email address. I have forms all over my websites that encourage people to subscribe to my newsletter, and many do.
In addition to that, it's also wise to have one or more "lead magnets." A lead magnet is usually some form of digital content that you're willing to give away for free in exchange for an email address. I have given away free ebooks, presentation slides, videos, and other things as lead magnets. Each has been effective in encouraging visitors to my websites to give me their email address.
Use your list
Once you have an email list in place, it's a good idea to start using it. I mention this because I know people that have done a good job building their list, but a poor job sending messages to it. I know one person who has several thousand email addresses on her list, but she never sends them messages because she's afraid they'll unsubscribe.
Truthfully, people will unsubscribe from your list, but that's no big deal if you're constantly adding more addresses to your list than you're losing in unsubscribers. If on an average week you're getting two unsubscribers, but adding almost ten email addresses, it's no big deal.
It's starts with my blog
I'm convinced that most platforms can be developed with just one piece of written content that gets created each week and shared via a blog. That's how I'm developing content for my platforms. I write a weekly blog post and then use that post in multiple ways. The content of that post becomes a newsletter, training video, YouTube video, and podcast. I'll also probably use the blog content to create chapters in future books.
When it comes to creating my weekly newsletter, I don't start typing from scratch. In fact, most weeks, it takes me less than three minutes to create and send my newsletter. Let me explain how that's done.
Use the blog title as the subject headline
I put a lot of thought into how I title a blog post. I try to think about what someone might be searching for online, then I give my post a title that reflects that search. Titles that teach people how to solve a problem tend to work rather well.
I also use that same title as the subject of the newsletter. My goal is to make it interesting or catchy enough for someone to consider opening the email when it reaches their inbox.
Deliver the first three paragraphs
When creating the body of the newsletter, I don't start from scratch. I simply cut and past the first several paragraphs of my most recent blog post into the body of the email.
Include a "READ MORE" link that brings people back to your blog post
After the third or fourth paragraph, I invite readers to click on a "READ MORE" link that takes them back to my website where they can read the full article. It's my belief that your newsletter should be driving people back to your website where your content, products, and services are located. That will help you monetize your platform which will also help fund the process of building and maintaining your platform over the long haul.
When to send it?
There is no perfect time to send a newsletter, but I like to send my emails mid-week around 9:30am. I think it's a mistake to send it too early in the morning or too early in the week. My inbox gets flooded on Mondays, and I find it very easy to lose messages that are sent to me then. I suspect I'm not the only one that doesn't enjoy opening my inbox on Mondays because of that deluge of emails. My rationale for sending it during the early part of the day in the middle of the week is that it feels more likely to get read.
A few other things...
If you use this system, you won't be struggling to come up with newsletter content each week. Your newsletter can be an extension of your blog.
Most weeks, I send one email to my list that functions just like this, but on occasion, I may send a second email if I have a new product, service, or special event I want to announce.
So if you've been struggling to come up with fresh content for your newsletter, or if you've built an email list that you aren't utilizing, this is the approach I would recommend. In my opinion, this is a very simple and effective way to create a weekly newsletter that you won't mind keeping up with.
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