With open rates hovering around 20% and click-through rates even lower, it’s no wonder people get frustrated with email. Why spend the time to create content if no one will read it? Learning how to write an email newsletter can be especially daunting, because unlike an email that offers a tutorial or tip or a roundup of resources, the newsletter is more personal. It’s based less on a NEED. There is not as much urgency. It doesn’t solve a problem.
Yet many bloggers write what would be considered a newsletter-style email. In this episode of the Create If Writing podcast, I’m talking with Kirsten (pronounced Cur-sten, unlike my Keer-sten) Thompson of Sweet Tea LLC and Sweet Tea and Saving Grace. As a virtual assistant she wrote weekly newsletters for other bloggers. Through the years she got to see the inside view of what worked and honed her email craft. And in this episode she shares that with us!
Listen to Create If Writing – Episode 042
- This is a struggle for many bloggers or writers who feel like they don’t have anything to sell. But whether you are selling a product in exchange for cash or a blog post for pageviews, there is some form of currency involved. You need to figure out what your “product” is.
- You want to get your target audience onto your blog post through email.
- Social media will not drive traffic to your blog in the same way.
- Your email list, if done well, becomes your community.
- If you do decide to launch a product or service, your email list will be your best customers.
- As far as directly speaking to your target audience, there is nothing that beats email.
- Cleaning your list by deleting people who don’t open your emails helps you and helps the reader– they don’t want to read anyway and you don’t want to pay for them.
- Let people know you HAVE an email list. Don’t just stick a signup in the sidebar. Put links in your blog posts, ask people through social to sign up.
- If a reader is going to give you an email address, treat them as a VIP.
- Don’t forget a call to action! Tell your readers to DO something! Ask them to reply or click a link or share something. We are doers when people ask us.
- If you want to be a person who responds to email, make sure your settings are set up so you GET the emails and ASK people to reply. But don’t ask for one if you don’t want to take the time to respond.
Tips for Newsletters
- Behind the scenes stuff. We are curious and so interested in the messy behind the beautiful images.
- Be relatable. Let people see the struggle too, because that makes you more relatable to them.
- Be honest and authentic.
- Give sneak peeks or ask them to be beta testers.
- Let your readers share their feedback and take part in your creation of future projects & content.
- Be personal and intimate (the way bloggers often used to be on their blogs).
Recommendations for Email Service Providers
- When you are just starting out, consider cost. If you aren’t making any money, you don’t want to invest in email, unless you are starting a business blog where you will sell courses and products, then you may want to think ahead and be more professional in your choice.
- You also need to think about features and your goals. Which platform will help you meet your goals?
- As you grow, you’ll want to think about more advanced features like tagging and more targeted segmentation.
- The email service providers all have great features, but you need to consider your goals, your lists, and what the goals are for your email.
(For my post on why you might want Convertkit, read that HERE.)
If email seems like a big, scary thing, consider it another piece of content, like the content you post on your blog or social media. Reframe email if email becomes a mental stumbling block.
- How to properly disclose affiliate links
- 101 Newsletter Content & Opt-In Ideas
- How to Create an Email List
Find more about Kirsten at Sweet Tea LLC or check out her book, Inbox of Opportunity, all about Mailchimp!
And are you signed up for the Profitable Blogging Summit? Over 30 sessions from amazing bloggers and experts in social media and more!
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