If you're a blogger, I'm sure you're familiar with newsletters and RSS subscriptions. Virtually every blog out there has one or the other, and it's quickly becoming an important part to the overall blogging experience. I've had an RSS subscription since I began blogging in 2012, but just recently began sending out a "newsletter".
If you aren't a blogger, this post is still for you! So many businesses and companies utilize newsletters. Think about all the subscriptions that flood your inbox on Monday morning. What are you offering in your newsletter that ensures an open email? The success of your newsletter depends on so many things, and whether your a blog, business, brand, or just a person - a newsletter can open so many doors for you.
When I first started, I was a bit disappointed with my newsletter statistics. I wasn't getting the opens and clicks I wanted, and I wasn't impressed with my subscription box number. That's when I decided to sit down and really think about the quality of my newsletter, and what I was offering to my readers. I spent about a week tweaking my newsletter and trying different things. I tried to put myself in the readers shoes - what would I want if I was opening up this email? What things would grab my attention?
If you haven't already, subscribe. I've come to terms with the fact that my newsletter will always be changing. I want that personal flare & that individuality that so many others lack. If you're stuck on what to do with your newsletter, or want to create one today, follow these tips for a killer newsletter that your readers will LOVE!
1// Pick an inviting design: There are tons of resources and templates out there for people who want to create a newsletter. Think about what you would want to see in your inbox every Monday morning - what type of content, colors, and text invites you in. Is the layout of your newsletter making the reader want to automatically delete the email, or actually make use of the content that you've worked so hard on. I advise using a color scheme that is similar to your blog design, and having your header image somewhere at the top of your newsletter.
2// DON'T just post your recent blog posts: A newsletter should be different than an RSS subscription. Your readers don't need two of those in their inbox. The goal of your newsletter is not to have a small updates email, but to provide more to your subscribers, almost like a membership. For example, I have a "blogger spotlight" in my newsletter, so my subscribers get introduced to new bloggers in the community. Let your creativity flow and design something different than everyone else's. It's the interesting emails that will be opened.
3// Give incentives: People LOVE goodies. Start your quest for subscribers with quality incentives from the moment readers arrive on your homepage. There are many different ways to announce your newsletter - I use a pop up on the homepage, as well as a pop up in the lower right hand corner once you're done reading a blog post. This presents my newsletter early, and in a way that grabs their attention. My pop up briefly tells the reader what they can expect from signing up, and offers a FREE ad space for bloggers who subscribe. Incentive #1. Incentive #2 is other free or discounted items. Whether it be a background download or a discounted product - My goal is to offer gifts to my subscribers. Say thank you to your readers by offering something in return for a subscription.
4// Connect with your subscribers: Because people are going out of their way to join your mailing list, make it worth their while. Use this opportunity to personally connect with them. Even if you're sending out the same email to everyone, include little personal stories, or photographs that aren't normally on your blog. Talk about your week ahead, or share a "membership only" blogging tip. Just be friendly and make your subscribers excited to see your email arrive in their inbox.
5//Automate everything: As your list grows, it's important to automate everything. I design my popups withSumoMe, create a template with Mailchimp, and automate send-outs with Zapier. It makes the process so much easier, that way I'm able to focus on creating more content for the blog, rather than spending hours manually sending out emails. This seems like an obvious step, but automation goes beyond Mailchimp. Find the programs that work best for you, and help you create the killer newsletter you need for your website.
6// Market the important things: Newsletters can be a great source of traffic for your blog, commission from your affiliate links, and a place to debut new content. If there's a specific post that I want traffic on, I'll send it out in the newsletter. I also use my newsletter as a place to debut ideas and series (like #GuestPostThursdays via Blogger Spotlight). Why shouldn't my members be the first to know about new blog stuff?! If you're a fashion blogger, this is a great opportunity to plug in affiliate links. My design allows for easy navigation to my blog, all social media, and has the ability to share the newsletter on their own social media. I try to pack as much as I possibly can into this, because my readers deserve it.