Your long rambling newsletter is not making you any friends

In Marketing, Training by Chris Foley


There's something I just have to get off of my chest.

Your long, rambling newsletter is not making you any friends. Srsly.

Your newsletter list is your strongest marketing asset, and if you're like most small to medium sized businesses, you're blowing it big time. And it doesn't have to be that way at all.

I know, I know, for a lot of folks, it's everything we can do to get a newsletter out every month, or every quarter, and when we do get one out, we want to ensure that the newsletter delivers on whatever expectations we think our loyal readers our holding out there for us and our publishing efforts.

Listen, because this is really important. If you don't have a reason to send out a newsletter, you're better off not sending one at all. It's true.

And here's the point that you might not yet understand: Unless you're specifically delivering news to your subscribers, your newsletters aren't supposed to be full of news. They're not meant to inform, or satisfy, or enlighten.

Your newsletter's sole job is to forward your marketing strategy. That's its one job.

And most of the newsletters that I come across aren't doing that one job very well.

To this end, I recommend you ask yourself this one question:

Are we clear what our marketing strategy even IS? If we are clear what our marketing strategy is, does our newsletter help drive that strategy forward, or are we putting out a newsletter because you're supposed to have a newsletter?Click To Tweet

I'll say this again; your newsletter's sole job is to forward your marketing strategy. That's its one job. And most of the newsletters that I come across aren't doing that one job very well. And that's a good thing. You have an opportunity, right now, to create newsletters that are far better and far more effective than the crap we're all getting from most brands every day. The time is now to raise the bar and delight your subscribers by providing them with real value that they can use.

A few newsletter quick tips:

  • Long form content belongs on your blog, not in your newsletter. Keep it short, keep the word count low. Keep it graphically-driven. Think banner ads and Facebook posts. That's your newsletter.
  • Your newsletter’s job is NOT to deliver news. Your newsletter’s job is to get your audience back to your site where they will take some sort of action. QUESTION: is your site set up to accept incoming traffic from the newsletter and funnel them into an action? Does this question sound like gibberish to you? If so, please do contact us and we'll talk about it.
  • Actions? What actions? Well, your visitor can place an order, sign up for your next cooking class, consume some video content, or catch up on your series of tips and tricks, but you've got to have that content ready and standing by for their arrival. See, this content comes first, and the newsletter is sent out into the wild to support this content.
  • At the very least, your newsletter serves as a regular reminder of how much your audience enjoys and appreciates your content and your brand’s mission, and when they’re ready to buy, they’ll buy from you instead of the competitor who is not amusing them and impressing them with a great newsletter.

Newsletters, as with success in other avenues, is by and large dependent on your just showing up, and making a good show of it.

Some parting shots

Go and look at your last newsletter. Are you feeling satisfied with it? What could have made it more compelling, more impressive? What might have given it a little bit more legitimacy? How might you raise the bar on the next newsletter? How aligned was your last newsletter to achieving your overall traffic goals?


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