Is it worth spending time on creating an email newsletter in this age of social media? And what do you want to read when you receive one?
I created my blog initially to allow visitors to sign up to a newsletter, and for a little while I was pretty diligent with sending one out per week. Mind you, I only had a small amount of subscribers, but I felt having an email newsletter was crucial to a successful blog.
But life got in the way… I was back at work, lesson planning, marking papers… oh and taking care of 2 kids under 4. Then I got pregnant. So the email newsletter took a backburner. I even removed it as one of the “contact” options on the blog.
(Apologies in advance if you ARE a subscriber and haven’t received anything from me for a while! This will explain why.)
I found that I wasn’t sure what to include in the newsletter. Sure, I could include what I had written on the blog… but people would visit it anyway without the reminder in their email. When I remembered to send a newsletter, I found some had unsubscribed. What had I done wrong? So this made me wonder, is it still worth doing a newsletter?
The answer is YES.
Even though social media’s reach is HUGE, double tapping on a picture doesn’t necessarily lead to a purchase. It can also lack personalisation and a sense of relationship with the poster. However, when done right, email marketing can be really successful and really connects you with your subscribers.
Key to a great email marketing campaign? Personalisation.
It’s not just sending a blast email to all your subscribers – it can be as simple as addressing them by name, and most email marketing providers (like Campaign Monitor and Emma) have this capability. Talk to your subscribers – tell them what they want to hear. That’s why they subscribed in the first place. And I think this was what was missing in my email newsletters.
According to Emma, “marketing is 30% sales and 70% customer service. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” I see blogging and email newsletters in a similar way – if you have a great blog and email, you’ll have a regular reader. So what exactly makes a great email that subscribers will actually want to read and not simply check as “Mark as Read”?
Emma has a great list of examples of email newsletters that engage readers, but these are my personal favourites.
The Anna Edit: Anna has a really engaging voice, like she’s having a chat to you over a cup of tea. The newsletter design is clean and minimal, and she offers content in her newsletter that isn’t on her blog or social media.
Becoming Minimalist: I recently signed up to their “10 Ways to Simplify Your LIfe” emails and reading them is like doing yoga but in written form. Each email has questions that you ask yourself about your goals towards minimalism, and each day has a small but significant step towards achieving simplicity.
Mamamia: This is my guilty pleasure. It’s like reading those trashy tabloid magazines at the hairdresser’s but I haven’t been to a hairdresser in so long. They always put an enticing gossipy sounding subject title so chumps like me click on it, scroll 4 or 5 different stories before I actually get to the one I wanted to read, then realise after clicking on the full story on the website that I just wasted a good 2 minutes reading the story. #sorrynotsorry
Now I’m turning it over to you – if I were to start doing email newsletters again, what do YOU want to read in it? I appreciate people are time poor these days so would only want to create an email newsletter that’s worth your time (not Mamamia style!).