Newsletter Ideas: What To Send Your List

newsletter ideasIn the last post, we discussed five ways to promote your newsletter. We’re in Chapter Four (pages 23-33) of List Building for Bloggers, as we walk through it here together in the LBFB Series.

On page 28, Phil addresses what to send your subscribers. He refers specifically to the Blog Broadcast, and whether to send full posts or partial posts (excerpts) - as well as email scheduling.

If you are using an RSS-to-Email service, or a "Blog Broadcast", to send emails to your mailing list, you'll want to see my 3 tips for improving your blog email notification. In that post I discuss Post Titles as Email Subject Lines, timing & relevance, and frequency.

But what if you don't use Blog Broadcasts? Or perhaps you also send direct emails or newsletters to that same mailing list. The one thing that stumps most list owners (and often causes them not to send anything at all) is what to send...

Anytime I bring up this topic, most people confess that they find emailing their subscribers daunting or even intimidating. Keep in mind that your readers signed up for your list because they want to hear from you! :) You're not bothering them with an email, and it's not "blasting an ad" when you're sharing a special offer or a coupon code. They'll appreciate you for the heads-up and the savings!

Newsletter Ideas

First, get out of the mindset that you have to have a perfectly formatted "newsletter" in the traditional sense. It's perfectly okay to send a plain text email with a quick note, or just to share something of specific interest to your readers. As an example, I just sent a short email to my list about a contest on another blog.

Hop over to my original post on Email Newsletter Ideas and give that a quick read. It's a great primer that should spark some creative ideas you can use right away. ;-)

These are great for keeping your subscribers engaged with useful/helpful messages from you, or to use as content in your autoresponder follow-up series. Mix it up a little between promotions, blog broadcasts and more personal notes!

Here are a few more quick & easy newsletter ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Share a Special Offer or Sale in your niche
  • Send them a valuable Coupon Code
  • YouTube videos: tutorials, recipes, niche-specific humor
  • Controversial Blog Posts or Forum Threads with your take
  • Link to Breaking News or Trends & why it's a must-read
  • Quick How-To Tip, with a link to an example or tutorial
  • Free Resource, and why you recommend it
  • Q&A: Questions from Readers & Your Answer
  • Send out a Survey! Offer a Prize Drawing as an Incentive

Watch your merchants for seasonal offers, sales or coupon codes you can share as an affiliate. But also share great deals even when you're not an affiliate. Everyone is interested in savings, and your readers will love getting notified of great deals!

Above all, keep it relevant to your niche AND to the reason they subscribed.

If you STILL struggle writing emails to your list, or even blogging, see my Secrets To Writing Really Great Content.

I also get TONS of content ideas from Peggy Baron. ;-)

Best,

p.s. On email frequency, I offer both a weekly archive (the default) and a daily option - which sends out the full posts by email. You can subscribe on that page if you like, by the way. ;-) Giving your readers multiple options is a good thing!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. I think the light went on a little brighter reading this post. When you said many people are daunted by emailing their list, I'm one of those people. I have an e-mail sequence which I spent a great deal of time putting together, but beyond that I don't send much out.

    I think it's time I put my mind toward my subscribers with respect to sending out some cool info. After all, I'm fairly knowledgeable about my niches so I could definitely share some great stuff.

  2. Bryant Jaquez says:

    I've recently started branching out with newsletter marketing. I'm still "dialing it in" as a specialty, but even as a novice I've been able to make my clients a lot of money with it, and It's so easy to do. I use Mailchimp, and they do 60% of the work for you... it's amazing.

    quick tip: Check out the Quicksprout.com newsletter and the Moz top 10 newsletter for ideas. They both do a really good job at creating interesting campaigns.

    • Thanks for the tip, Bryant! I subscribe to Moz and love it too. On MailChimp, you're not doing ANY affiliate marketing through those lists, right? They are NOT affiliate friendly and shut down (delete lists) over affiliate links...

  3. Thanks for encouraging us to not stress over a super professional looking newsletter. Everyone likes to save...so just a simple typed letter sharing a sale will be appreciated... Appreciate you tearing down the wall of fear of offending customers.

    • So true. I often send plain text (quick) messages. And a tip on that: don't format them for a certain line length. We used to do that (old school) but now that people are reading email on mobile devices... it makes it horrible for reading as it breaks up the text lines all choppy. :P

  4. I haven't experienced sending newsletters but as a subscriber, I can say that I love receiving something that benefits me. Like tutorials, discount coupons or a very important update. I guess these things keep me from subscribing to such great blogs such us Clicknewz. Have a good day.

    • Good point! And thank you, Mark. :) I like to analyze my own habits - what I open, read, respond to, etc when determining how I want to market my own content. I keep a swipe file of those things that get my attention and compel me to take action.

  5. Haven't got a list setup on my site sell site but would be good to hear on what it is that you have on it, Lynn, since you are a pretty experienced internet marketer.

    • Have on what, exactly? How to set up an email list on a Site Sell site?

      • Lol. Great guess Lynn! Yupz, it's a sitesell site. Not using the sitesell auto responder though, if there was just one quirk with sitesell it's that the email responder is very limited and does not allow for queuing of messages. I'm thinking of setting one up with articles or quotes on each of the messages but it would be a shame that new subscribers are not started on the first message but rather the latest.

        Probably aweber or an outside source would be better for it. And setting up an auto responder for my specific crowd.

  6. I usually subscribe from newsletter to receive something useful, and you're right I tend to unsubscribe when they seem to get me irritated with something not useful and kinda spammy. I guess, with my list, I'll keep your point in mind.

  7. Newsletter is a good way to be updated and to know what new to a person or site your following, it's just annoying that some authors do spam.

  8. I've started using RSS emails and it has saved me SO much time. I still try to send a "real" newsletter each month but I can use additional lists to market to through my RSS emails. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. Thank you for these newsletter ideas! I've not been talking to my subscribers regularly out of intimidation about WHAT to say to them. This post really got my wheels turning!

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  1. [...] the last post, we discussed Newsletter Ideas. We’re now in Chapter Five (pages 35-45) of List Building for Bloggers, as we walk through it [...]

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