But I don’t have anything to say.
That’s what clients tell me when I mention that they should be sending out some sort of weekly newsletter. Yikes.
What they really mean is “I don’t have anything to sell.” For most of the clients I work with, they have only been using their list to pitch their subscribers a product or service. Usually, when they come to me it’s because they want help getting people on their list by way of new forms or lead magnets, and sometimes even a welcome sequence.
And then I baffle them by saying “Cool! So what do your subscribers get after this?”
I’ve heard every excuse under the sun for why people aren’t sending out a newsletter, and I’m here to tell you that they are all bullshit.
If you have an email list, you need to be sending out a weekly newsletter. Period. If the term “Newsletter” is throwing you off, check out this post I wrote about WHAT you should be sending. But for now, I want to focus on the WHY.
Your subscribers expect it from you.
Simply put, your subscribers signed up for this. They put their name and email in a form and said: “Yes, I want to hear from you.” So let them hear from you! This right here is the first step in setting up the expectation that you will follow through on what you’ll say you’ll do. If your newsletter subscription box said they’ll receive regular content, then guess what? Those subscribers are expecting regular content from you.
Oh, and if I had a dollar for every time someone told me “but every time I send, I get so many unsubscribes, and I can’t afford people unsubscribing.” Uhm, yes, you can. Unsubscribes are part of the natural lifecycle of your list. You WANT people to unsubscribe, so please don’t use that as an excuse not to send regular content.
It keeps your list from going stale. (Spam, open rates, etc)
Lists can go stale just like bread. I’d rather see a client come in with no list at all than a list of 3000 that they haven’t send to in nine months. When you let your list go stale, people forget about you. When people forget about you, they aren’t likely to open the next email you finally send out. When your open rate is low, you get sent to spam more often. And when you start getting sent automatically to spam often enough, you will have a heck of a time digging back out of that hole and reaching people’s inboxes again.
Prevention is simple, send often! And if you have a list that’s already stale and this scared you, start sending again sooner rather than later, but take the time to do some list maintenance while you’re at it. (Learn more about that here.)
It adds to your Know<Like<Trust value.
People buy from people. Your weekly newsletter is an opportunity to connect with your audience. Establish your expertise by providing value each and every week. And don’t forget to make it a two-way conversation by inviting them to reply or interact with you in some way.
The only way to hurt your brand by sending every week is to use your newsletter to shove your product or service down your subscribers’ throats. Don’t do that.
It can increase traffic to your site.
The main reason you have a newsletter is so that you can stay in touch with people that you hope will eventually buy your product or service. They make those purchases by coming back to your website, therefore the most basic goal of any email you send is to get people back to your site. So create CTAs that invite people back to your site. Don’t send your entire blog post in your subscribers, just send a teaser with a link back to your blog for them to read the rest.
And if you’re following the Exclusive Content newsletter model, give them another reason to click back like an additional resource or a link to a related blog post.
It’s not as difficult or time-consuming as you think.
Seriously, if your reason why not is because you don’t have the time or think it’s difficult–you’re creating excuses out of nowhere. If you’re really pressed for time, use the Curated Content model. Recycle content from other streams (your blog, your social media, your Facebook group, etc) and stick to a simple template. You can easily put out your newsletter in 20 minutes each week.
If it feels complicated, scale it down to something that feels simple, even if that means you’re just sending a quick 3-line note and a link to your latest blog post. Anything is better than nothing and the extra bit of effort will pay off when it’s time to leverage your list for your next product launch.
Sending a regular newsletter is the simplest way to keep your email list healthy and engaged. Properly nurturing your list during the period between welcoming and pitching your next product can have a drastic effect on your conversion rates. But remember, nurturing means providing resources and connecting with your audience, not hammering them with blatant sales pitches every week. Provide value and plenty of opportunities for your subscribers to connect with you and I can promise you’ll see better results on your next launch.