If you own your own business, you’ve probably been told that having a newsletter and an email list are essential for growing your business. If you’ve been resisting creating an email list, I have some bad news for you… they’re right.
But what about social media?
Even if you have plenty of followers, you still don’t own that platform. Facebook and Instagram can make changes at any time that could greatly impact your business… for better or for worse.
And just because they follow you doesn’t mean they’ll see your posts. If you’re on Facebook, you know. If you looked at every single post from every single person, page, and business you follow, you’d never have time to even go to the bathroom all day… unless you brought your phone with you I suppose… but you get my point.
The people that sign up for your email list want to hear from you. That’s what they told you when they signed up for your emails!
Okay, you’re convinced. But setting up a newsletter is one thing… and writing them is another.
What should I include in a newsletter?
You’ll develop a pattern over time and find out what you prefer to write about and share. You’ll start to learn what your subscribers respond to most and what they want to hear about! The important thing is to just start writing them.
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Who are you? What have you been up to? What are you excited about?
Letting your subscribers into your personal life a little allows them to connect with you on a deeper level. You go from someone that represents a business to someone that they can relate to. It’s one way to establish rapport without seeing your subscribers in person.
What happens when email subscribers connect with you and rapport is established? They’re more likely to come back to see you. They’re more likely to recommend you to family and friends. They’re more likely to take advantage of promotions and sales. They're more likely to invest money in what you have to offer.
Make it Useful
It’s true that most subscribers, especially before rapport and a relationship are developed, only care about “numero uno”.... Themselves. If you only ever talk about yourself, quite frankly, they’re not going to care enough to open your emails in the future. You need to answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”
Provide some helpful tidbits of information. Provide a checklist. Share a resource. A healthy recipe that you’ve been enjoying. Some actionable steps. Some new information and what that means for their lives.
Provide value. Show that you're worth listening to. Prove that you can help.
Address Current News
What are your thoughts on recent news?
Your readers may be unaware of certain local, national, or international current events. If they're in the know, they may not have reflected on what it means for them and their lives. They may be conflicted about how they feel about it.
As a trusted source of information, share your thoughts. Encourage discussion and engagement. See where their heads are and learn who your audience is that much more.
Link to Your Blog
This is your chance to encourage subscribers to visit your website. Give a preview of the article. If they’re interested in learning the rest of the information, they can follow the link to the entire article.
Don’t be afraid to share older blog posts that may be relevant again. Do you have an article about staying healthy in the winter that you posted last year? Feel free to update it and share it again this year.
Normally to read your blog, people have to seek out the article. They have to have the thought to visit your website, check the blog, and see if there’s a new article. Either that or they’ve never visited your website before. They’re searching for an answer online, and (because of all the hard work you’ve done on SEO) your article pops up.
But if they get your emails, there’s no initiating step needed on their part. Everyone is already checking their email. Probably every day. Opening your email is not an extra step in their day. When they open your email that has a link to a blog post that sounds helpful, they’re happy to click on it. This all happens in the designated “email time” in their day. Reading your blog doesn't need to be a separate event.
Highlight Your Services
Just because your subscribers are previous clients, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know everything you have to offer. They may not know how you could help them in another way. They may not understand how your services could also benefit their husband, neighbor, sister, or mother.
What do you offer? Who can it benefit? How can they learn more?
What do people most often ask you when they come to see you? What are their biggest hesitations? What misconceptions and misunderstandings do a lot of clients have when they first see you?
If you really want to dig deeper, just ask! Pose a question in an email. Ask for an email reply with questions they’d love to ask you. Ask on social media.
A more specific question may get more responses. A broad question of “What do you want to know?” may get pretty little engagement, as people often don’t know what they don’t know.
But if you offer a little guidance, such as, “What have you been wondering about Hormone Replacement Therapy?”, you’re likely to get more responses. You’ve sparked their interest. Given them something to think about.
You could also offer up options to see what people are really interested in. A simple question of, “What do you want to know more about? X or Z?” could lead to a lot of engagement. Not to mention you’re getting to know your subscribers’ preferences.
Sales and Promotions
Sales and promotional emails are probably what you think of most when you think of email newsletters. But it doesn’t have to be spammy. And it won’t necessarily turn people off of your emails.
If you’re also providing helpful content, they’re going to want to hear about your promotions! If they’ve already been thinking about setting up an appointment or purchasing your products, this may be the extra nudge they need to take action.
A few additional notes about Best Practices When Writing a Newsletter Email
Always include a CTA!
What’s a CTA? It’s a Call to Action. It’s something you want the reader to do as a result of reading your email. You don’t want their experience to end with your email. You want them to then feel compelled to read your most recent blog post or book an appointment with you or share your email with friends and family.
But how do they know what to do? You tell them! And you tell them why.
Tell them to “Check out this link to find out more information”. Or to, “Share this email with anyone you know that may be struggling with this issue”. Or to, “Book an appointment before the end of the month to take advantage of this promotion.”
Play Around With It
I have a secret to tell you… you’re not going to get it perfectly right with your first email. But you’ll never get to “perfect” (whatever that means) if you never get started.
Play around with subject lines. Play around with what you write about. Play around with how much and how often you write. Play around with what links and CTAs you include. You’ll start to hone in on what your audience wants, and you’ll start to wonder why you were even hesitant to begin in the first place.
Don’t Forget to Offer Value!
If subscribers aren’t getting anything from your emails, they’re going to stop reading them.
Value can come in the form of helpful information, promotional discounts, or even just entertainment. Whatever it is, readers need to find some value in your emails if you want consistent engagement.
Offer a Freebie to Grow Your Email List
I don’t know about you, but my email is flooded every single day with emails. Honestly, unless I already know that I love your content and that I want to know everything you have to say, I’m not going to sign up for your email list… unless there’s something in it for me.
Your readers are likely the same way. So what’s in it for them? A “freebie”. A short ebook. A webinar training. A recipe and grocery store guide. A checklist. A cheatsheet.
Something that will bring value to their lives, will make their lives easier, or that will answer their questions.
If you’re looking for a freebie for your website, you’re in luck. I have some already made freebies available for purchase on my Services page. Don’t see something you like? I’m happy to discuss creating one from scratch with you. Feel free to schedule a free consultation and we can talk about your business goals, who your audience is, and how I can help.