Welcome to the last installment in our Email List 101 Series!
In the first post, I showed you a step-by-step guide to starting a free email list using MailChimp. The second post was all about the tips and tools you can use grow your email list on a budget.
Once you’ve built up your email list, the next step is to figure out how to send emails your subscribers love. So to round off the series, today I want to share my “Do’s and Don’ts” of sending out email newsletters.
This post is for you if you’re wondering…
+ How often should I be writing to my subscribers?
+ What should I say in my emails?
+ Should I be sending them links to my new blog posts?
We’ll cover all of that and more today! Lezgo.
My 7 “Do’s” of Email Newsletters
Just like your blog posts, your emails should always be devoted to helping and educating your subscribers. By showcasing your expertise and building up trust and connection, you’re positioning yourself to make sales more easily and authentically.
Here’s how to knock your newsletters – often called “broadcasts” – out of the park.
1. DO send emails regularly and consistently.
Once a week is a great starting point, or even twice a month if you’re super busy. But no less than twice a month, and no more than twice a week. Try to send your emails on the same day and at the same time each week, so your subscribers know when to expect them.
2. DO be consistent with your visuals.
Stick to your brand’s style in terms of colors and fonts. Your emails should look relatively similar from one to the next, so your subscribers get used to your aesthetic.
3. DO use images in your emails – but not too many!
Big chunks of text are boring, so break them up by adding relevant and branded images to emphasize your points and make your emails look better visually.
4. DO create a fun name for your email list.
One of my favorite weekly newsletters is from Melissa Cassera – it’s called “O.M.G. – Original Melissa Goodness”. I LOVE that. So much more fun than “Melissa’s Weekly Emails”, right?
5. DO build a sense of community amongst your subscribers.
Your subscribers all have something in common (an interest in whatever your niche is), so you have a starting point to work from. Why not create a Facebook group for your email subscribers? Or start a Twitter chat? Anything to connect people and bring them together.
6. DO ask for feedback and interaction.
Don’t just assume your subscribers are enjoying the content you’re sharing with them. Send out polls and surveys every so often and ask your readers what their favorite topics to learn about are, what they struggle with the most, and how you can improve your emails to serve them better.
7. DO include bonuses, freebies, and discounts.
Your main goal with your email list is to provide extra value for your subscribers — i.e., things that they can’t already get on your website. And freebies are a great way to do that!
Related: 5 Steps to Creating an Opt-In Freebie Your Audience Goes Crazy For
You can also try pre-selling your newest product to your email list before releasing it to the general public – either for free or at a discounted price – as a way to show your subscribers how much you appreciate them.
My 5 “Don’ts” of Email Newsletters
On to the not-so-fun part. Here are a few things to avoid doing in your emails…
1. DON’T talk to your subscribers like “clients” or “customers”.
Talk to them like they’re your friends. Because that’s what they are, really! Use your brand voice and vocabulary, and be friendly and relatable. You don’t want to sound overly professional, or (worse) like a robot.
2. DON’T just re-hash your latest blog post. That’s boring.
You might think an RSS feed is the easiest way to utilize your email list, but that’s not providing any extra value for your subscribers. The best newsletters teach EXTRA things that aren’t already covered on your blog.
Go the extra mile. Share 5 bonus tips that weren’t included in your recent blog post. Give your email subscribers a content upgrade you created just for them.
3. DON’T constantly pitch your products in your emails.
If you want to use your email list as a way to earn income, you need to spend at least 70% of your time educating your followers. The other 30% can be devoted to “selling” or “pitching” – but keep it genuine. Focus on how your paid offerings will benefit your subscribers, instead of thinking about how their money will benefit you.
4. DON’T send all of your subscribers the same emails.
As an example, let’s say that half of your subscribers are interested in one specific topic you blog about (let’s call it Topic A), but the other half isn’t all that interested. If you send all of your subscribers a ton of emails in a row about Topic A, the second half might unsubscribe because your content isn’t relevant for them.
If you use ConvertKit, you can achieve this by “tagging” people when they complete a specific action, such as opting in to a freebie or clicking a certain link. You can then send different emails to your subscribers based on the tags they have.
Related: ConvertKit 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
5. DON’T stress about it!
Every email you send to your list doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner. Have fun with it! Be chatty. Be yourself. And don’t feel like you have to write a thousand words in order for your emails to be “worth it.” Just be you and have fun!
That completes Email List 101 series! I hope you’ve learned a lot over these three posts, and that you’re feeling ready to grow your email list like whoa.
Read the Other Posts in This Series: