If you search the Internet for information about how to come up with a good and effective newsletter, you'll probably be mindblown by the number of articles found. Advice aplenty, left and right, about making it valuable, adding compelling calls to action, etc.
But - at least in my 5-minute quick search - I could not find something relatable about how to make sure you can produce regular newsletters that matter to your audience, and you make sure it happens consistently and in line with your brand message and value proposition.
You see, being an entrepreneur means you must find ways to instil your ideas and quality control into the team working with you. That's not always an easy task, especially if your business model is slightly different (i.e., a market disruptor).
Then, how do you go about having a regular newsletter that means something for the readers, bringing them value to the point they accept it and want it or look forward to it?
Here's my shortlist of how you can achieve it:
- Link your newsletter to the publishing dates of every new blog article on the website. This way, you can insert the new blog's excerpt and add some exciting content to the newsletter. In addition, all the interested readers will have one more reason to visit the website.
- Create a publishing schedule for the blog and newsletter. Add columns for the topics for the blog, as well as for the newsletter sections. The issues must be taken from your value proposition and buyer's journey and aligned with your brand voice.
- Come up with inciting subjects for the blogs in advance. These will become headings in your newsletters (and social media posts, for that matter), so if they fail, the newsletter will too.
- Set the blog and newsletter dates to be achievable, especially if you're working on it yourself.
- Include some newsletter blocks with helpful advice. The easiest way is to choose content from your website, with a heading and a short message. The assumption here is that your website contains helpful bits of knowledge; otherwise, you should address a deeper problem.
- Add some relevant information from the marketplace - which is easy to come by; you can use any news app on your smartphone to display a filtered stream of industry or topic-based news. Then, all you need is to open the app every morning and save the relevant ones.
- Set the newsletter to impersonate yourself if possible or to be sent "from" a member of your team. A personal touch can change the perspective and give it a better chance to be read.
- Come up with an automated mechanism to allow people to subscribe to your newsletter. Adding emails and names to your mailing lists not only may breach some privacy laws but deeply affect the quality of your reader base. It's no point forcing emails into people who ignore them - it leads to low statistics, and it may be depressing to look at the reports :)
Use a mailing platform that allows you to configure the broadcast going through your email system. The problem with the big mailing platforms is they get abused by spammers too much (free tiers curse). I know spam filters that give bad scores to any email coming from Mailchimp or Sendgrid by default. Some email providers also have automated categorisation of emails based on server origin, which means your newsletter gets piled up with 100 more.
Last but not least: think about the purpose of your newsletter and avoid trying to sell through it. At the very best, you can advertise an upcoming event or promotional campaign. Otherwise, keep it short and sweet, provide some help and insights the readers may not have. Everybody will love you, and your brand will gain a good reputation as trustworthy.