How to Write Email Newsletters That Work

P icon with a newspaper

Image via Wikipedia

I signed up to a top, brand-name newsletter a few months ago.  The blogger’s posts were really helpful, and I thought that his newsletter would be too.

It turned out to be useless.  The newsletter was composed entirely of links back to that week’s posts.  There was no extra value to subscribing at all.  I could have just used an RSS feed and gotten the exact same content.

It felt as if he couldn’t be bothered to spend a few extra minutes to create something special (and incidentally nurture his email list).

Send  your readers fresh content

If you want people to read your newsletter, tell them something extra.  Give them articles you don’t post on your blog.  Or, add additional links or resources that they can’t find easily elsewhere.

If you don’t have fresh content, curate some useful tools or links (not necessarily your own). Group them together with a theme, such as “15 web design hacks” or “5 expense tracking tools.”

Give subscribers special treatment

For instance, when I publish a free ebook, I offer it to my newsletter subscribers first.  That gives them a chance to look it over before anyone else sees it. If you create a new course (paid or not), or schedule a webinar, tell your readers first.

This serves two purposes: first you have a chance to get feedback and update the course or product based on what your subscribers think; second, your subscribers will feel special because they’re first in line for new products.

Offer  your readers bonuses and  extra goodies

Another tactic is to put together special discounts or offers that aren’t available to the general public.  Send an email offering a deal on your ebook or services.  Or, arrange to offer them an extra bonus or discount on someone else’s product.