In the first few months of 2016, I have made a resolve to take my blogging gig to the next step.
With a few years in the business, I have learned that sending email newsletters helps drive more traffic to blogs.
This is the main reason why in the recent months, I have been busy creating newsletters and sending them out to a decent number of subscribers.
However, after almost half a year of distributing the monthly email newsletter to my followers, I noticed little to no change in my blog’s traffic. Then I began to wonder, “What am I doing wrong?”
Frustrated, I started investigating and continued researching about more ideas for generating newsletter. And boy, what a great discovery for me!
All this time, I found out I’ve been doing the exact opposite of what the best design newsletter ideas should be.
So I began to change my ways in the recent months, and what do I got: great increase conversion rate with SumoMe!
This experience taught me a lot about email marketing and blogging itself. In fact, I even came up with incredible tips that I would like to share to give you fabulous newsletter ideas for your blog.
That said, I hope you learn a thing or two from my mistakes and the way I corrected them.
Lets dive right in.
1. Respond to Your Customer Questions
Newsletters are meant to educate, so any unclear points raised in the emails should be clarified as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that in any business, customer support is always important. Satisfying customer queries should help convince them more about buying a certain product or service.
However, you don’t just answer customer questions. You must always respond within a specific period of time.
A quick response shows how you treat your customers, and it creates a positive impact on them.
Brittany Berger, the Head of Content & PR of Mention.com reiterates that, Newsletters are the perfect place to speak to your audience more directly.
If your customers ask questions or respond to a newsletter topic, make room to answer them in the next one.
This is both a great source of newsletter topics, and a way to make your customers feel heard.Create a positive impact by responding to your customer questions Click To Tweet
2. Create a Plan That’ll Make Sense to Your Audience
When I first created my newsletters, I was so intent on generating more traffic to my blog.
Sadly, I failed to consider what content to put in there and just threw in a couple of senseless stuff, and you should avoid doing that.
Always make sure to create a plan before making a newsletter. Think of the type of content that will be useful to your audience.
Remember, this type of content is meant to educate your readers, not just to increase the conversion rate of your blog.
Also, make sure your newsletter will grab the attention of your subscribers. For instance, Litmus’ newsletter is a standout since it strays away from generic content.
Its call-to-action is matched with the blog’s contents, such as “Discover why you should test” and “Get the checklist” instead of saying the generic “Read the post.“
Jon Dykstra of Fat Stacks Blog told me that a successful newsletter depends on your audience and niche.
Jon operates several email newsletters and they’re all very different. For instance, Fat Stacks his Fat Stacks newsletter provides quite a bit of information, updates for new blog posts and he use to communicate discounts for his courses.
It’s a very personal newsletter all of which is written by him. Jon only sends out emails when he has something worthwhile to say. Some weeks it’s several newsletter and other weeks nothing.
And then there are his larger B2C website newsletters. These are more “corporate” in nature and they go out every 2 to 3 days.
Jon has a massive and growing sequence which sends readers back to popular blog posts.
Once in a while he’ll promote a really good product deal but for the most part its purpose is to alert readers to his best content.
Finally, there’s the B2B email newsletters which is a combo of the Fat Stacks newsletter and my B2C newsletter.
It has an extensive automated sequence, but he occasionally send out broadcasts alerting readers to new posts and product deals.
The key take-away is you must plan and structure an email newsletter in a way that makes sense with your audience and to have an overarching purpose for publishing the newsletter.
3. Resend Your Email to Unopeners
Working hard to make a newsletter only to find out it never got opened or read really sucks.
How can you avoid that?
Resending emails can be a risky move since it may cause some people to unsubscribe.
However, take note that it helps increase the chance of your newsletter being opened and read.
Follow this simple guide on how to resend the right way.
- Don’t resend every campaign; choose it carefully.
- Keep an eye for those who may unsubscribe.
- Refresh your content quickly.
- Strictly send to unopeners who didn’t read the first time you sent the email.
- Timing is important; resend newsletters on the right moment.
- Tweak your subject line.
Dave Schneider of Ninja Outreach says: The one that’s made the biggest difference is resending our email to unopeners after a 3 day delay with a new subject line.
See the case study hereResend newsletters on the right moment Click To Tweet
4. Understand Your Audience before Creating a Newsletter
Remember that the content you put in your newsletter is the key. It is important to know your audience well and how they will react in the newsletter you distribute.
Gather information about your audience. It can be anything from hobbies and interests to their frustrations and needs then write valuable content from there.
One great way to present the information you gathered is to organize them according to specific interests.
A great example of this is SaaS Weekly’s newsletter. Although its approach is simple, it is well-organized into different sections such as Tips of the Week, Business, Marketing Growth, and more, making it easier to scan and read.
According to Nicky Pasquier of Virtuoso Assistant, She says:
As with any content, is to ensure it’s relevant and useful to your target audience.
If you really understand who your followers are you should be able to put yourself in their shoes and then select the right kind of content for a newsletter.
Keep the content varied, so include a mixture of short videos, articles, funny gifs and offers to keep people reading and coming back for more the next time.
Last but not least, encourage shares and sign-ups with CTAs.
5. Find a Balance That Represents the Type of Brand You Want to Build
Balance is another key in making a successful newsletter. If you build your business brand, make sure it represents your goals, vision, and mission well.
In creating newsletters, you don’t just sell. You are also informing your audience about the importance of your posts, products or services.
Therefore, get the right mix of educational and marketing values that will benefit both your customer and your blog.
Chris Guthrie founder of Up Fuel reiterates that, if you’re not using your email list to sell something right now then you’re missing out on a lot of revenue and opportunity to provide value to your audience.
If you’re only sending emails to sell then you’re going to kill your audience. The key is to find a balance that represents the type of brand you want to build.In creating newsletters, you don’t just sell. Click To Tweet
6. Lean into Your Strengths
Are you great with taking photos?
Or perhaps blessed with artistic skills?
Maybe you even geek into something, like a particular sport perhaps?
Whatever your talent or interest is, make it count in your newsletter! Sharing your talent and interests in your newsletter will definitely catch some attention.
This kind of strength can make your newsletter look unique among competitors. It also makes it worth reading.
For instance, Rip Curl’s love for surfing has driven sales among fellow fans. From showcasing incredible surfers to listing must-have styles, the said newsletter effectively appeals to a particular audience through its unique contents.
Let’s hear what Ty Magnin the marketing director of App Cues has to say:
I get this question a lot because people really like the Appcues newsletter—and people don’t often like newsletters.
I have two tips.
One is to make it authentic to your company and brand. We have a ‘ted’s terrible joke of the week’ section in which one of our sales persons offers an original joke.
It’s a fun way to differentiate ourselves and give what is usually a humanless medium a bit more life.
The other tip is to lean into your strengths. We spend most of the space in our newsletter pushing our own content because we invest a lot in that content and have a solid readership.
We spend less space on curated posts because we haven’t invested as heavily in that the way companies like Mattermark has.
7. Create Snippet of Your Latest Blog Post
Snippets are proven effective marketing practices online, as they provide a quick piece of information that entices people to read further.
That said, you can use them in your newsletters too to increase the number of your opened and read emails.
When creating snippets of your blog posts, carefully craft the words you are going to tease your readers with.
This is crucial as this will determine if your subscribers will click through the links or not.
According to Tiffany Griffin the owner of Beautiful Dawn Designs, every week she sends her newsletter subscribers a snippet of her latest blog post, and then she provides a link for them to head over to her website to read the rest of the post.
Most of her subscribers find out about her new blog posts through her newsletter, and they prefer to stay updated this way.
So, by using this method, Tiffany doesn’t have to worry about coming up with new content for her newsletter each week, she’s still providing value to her subscribers, and she’s also driving traffic to her website!Snippets are proven effective marketing practices online Click To Tweet
8. Provide Value And Always Follow Up To The Original Offer
Value, value, value. No one can resist a valuable content. Make your newsletter as informative as possible while reaching for your marketing goals.
Also, make it a practice to follow up to your original offers when you are selling products or services.
Much like resending, follow-up emails follow a guide to effectively carry out the task.
Resending – This can be just simple resending or resending with some changes in the subject line and actual content.
Intelligent follow-up – This is entirely fresh content which specifically targets virtually everyone in your recipient list—except those who already purchased.
Personalized emails – This is when you send out follow-up emails based on the recipient’s data and information.
I asked Rob Cubbon about tips for creating fabulous newsletter ideas here’s what he told me:
- Email regularly. I don’t care if you have a list of 50 or 500,000, you must email them most weeks and never leave it longer than a fortnight.
- Email value. Make sure you include valuable, relevant information and resources to you list and don’t bombard them with offers.
- Make the offers time-bound. When asking the list to buy something, make sure it’s an offer that is time bound, ie. They have to buy in the next few days before the price goes up.
- Repeat the offer. Always follow up to the original offer to those who haven’t bought yet and remind them that they will miss the chance if they don’t buy now. (Usually more buy the second time.)
9. Create Self-Contained Stories
When you are writing content for your audience, it is always the best practice to provide complete information for them.
No one wants to read a half-baked content that will make people look for more, because the story itself is lacking.
When writing stories, make sure your audience will get the full value they deserve. In return, you will also reap the reward you are expecting to gain.
According to Matt Banner the founder of On Blast Blog, the best newsletters are self-contained stories. People don’t want dry and boring content, they want a glimpse into the insight they know and expect from you and your blog.
When you sit down to write your newsletter, offer them stories about how inspiration struck for one of your recent posts, or perhaps a tale about how your blog came to be.
Let your newsletter be the place where you share exclusive insights and stories that make your subscribers feel like they are VIP members of your blogging community.No one wants to read a half-baked content that will make people look for more Click To Tweet
10. Create an RSS-Fueled Newsletter
If you don’t have time to customize newsletters, and you just want to keep your subscribers updated with your latest blog posts then the RSS-to-email service might be for you.
The RSS-to-email service pulls new content from your blog’s RSS feed. It then places the content into the template and sends the newsletter to your subscribers.
Many email service providers such as Aweber offer the said service. If you are creating newsletters with aweber.com, distributing emails with your latest blog posts will just be a piece of cake.
Maddy Osman the owner of The Blogsmith reiterates that, one of the most obvious newsletter ideas for a blogger is to just create an RSS-fueled newsletter (Mailchimp is very easy to set up with this functionality) that gets sent out every time you publish new content.
If, however, you’re publishing new content multiple times each week, this can quickly get annoying for your subscribers and is not encouraged.
Alternatively, you might opt to design a newsletter that features your latest post, with links to 3-5 of your other most recent posts (in case the main topic is not interesting to the receiver), sent as a digest to your subscribers at the end of the week.
To make the newsletter a little more personal, add in some copy to compliment and explain the blog post topic.
Consider adding in an affiliate link if there’s a particular product or service you’re promoting.
But most importantly, each email newsletter send should have just one clear goal. Including too many calls to action confuses people to the point of inaction. Plan your email sends accordingly!
11. Steal Ideas from Your Competitors
I know stealing is bad but when you are out in the market trying to survive the stiff competition, you will have to up your game.
By stealing, I don’t mean taking what your competitors have. It simply means checking out the trends they are doing.
Researching about the current best practices for email marketing and analyzing what works best for your competitors should do the trick.
Look for pegs like newsletter ideas for Christmas, New Year, and other occasions, or go find the best layout for newsletter ideas like the Medium’s minimalist style.
I asked Edward Dennis the Digital Marketing Specialist of Coredna about coming up with an effective newsletter ideas and here’s what he told me:
Well, to be honest, I don’t brainstorm.
Remember the Pablo Picasso quote, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.
Yeah, that’s what I do.
And I just combine the template and the email copy that I like (with slight modifications in the copy, of course).
12. Think About What Your Audience Needs and is Searching for
Your audience plays a big role in determining the success or failure of your blog’s newsletter.
Therefore, it is only important to consider their needs and wants before writing content.
When it comes to your audience, note that no one knows what they need and want better than themselves.
Hence, encouraging them to join your newsletter-making process will not only generate more traffic to your blog, but also write on-point content based on their needs.
In fact, you can take it to the next level and involve a community of people on the Internet to curate for your newsletter, like what this is doing.
The said blog allows members to share one link daily, and the editors then pick from the submissions.
Laura Pennington the founder of Legal SEO Writer takes a more direct approach. Here’s what she had to say:
- Think about what your audience needs and is searching for. What are the mistakes you made in your journey? Where were the places you almost threw in the towel due to frustration? What were the mental blocks you had to overcome in order to succeed? These are really important for anyone who is thinking about putting together an email newsletter.
- Always share your personal stories, if you have them. It’s so much more meaningful when you can share a personal story, especially if it’s a failure. I found that speaking out about things that I would have previously held back on- like being fired from my job and how I went from that experience to immediately growing a six-figure freelancing business– connected with my audience the best. When I told my truth, I had more replies from people on my list than ever before. What I previously saw as an embarrassing moment ended up really inspiring people. Always be a real person with your email newsletter.
13. Have a Reader-Driven Purpose to Your Newsletter
Any written content should target a certain audience, and this is also applicable to email newsletters.
Before you create a newsletter, make sure to have specific readers in mind who you will be writing to.
One perfect example of this is Fizzle’s newsletter. What makes its email content unique is this: it is independent from their business blog and podcast contents.
It contains weekly write-ups specifically written for entrepreneurs who want tips on establishing a business.
According to Ivana S. Taylor the founder of DIY Marketers, a newsletter shouldn’t be something you do because you HAVE to do it.
A newsletter, like any other piece of marketing content has to serve a strategic purpose. Here are a few ideas that you might consider in creating your newsletter.
- Be sure that your brand message is an integral part of your newsletter.
- Have a reader-driven purpose to your newsletter. What problems do your customers have, what questions can you answer that helps them solve their problem?
- Give yourself permission to be creative, bring joy and fun into your newsletter.
- Share personal pictures and stories, your customers want to get to know you. They aren’t just buying your stuff, they are buying a relationship with you.
14. Share Personal Stories with Your Subscribers
Readers always enjoy a good story, so sharing a piece of your life with your subscribers should help increase the number of opened and read emails in their inboxes.
Stories that inspire and give positivity to people like that of entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo are always welcomed.
Echeruo, the founder of two successful companies bought by corporate giants, encourages young entrepreneurs to keep believing in themselves and in their ideas.
Using such personal stories as topic for newsletter ideas promises a better result to your email marketing efforts.
For instance, consider how Jenn Herman of Jenns Trends describes her experience:
For me personally, my newsletters are almost always to promote a blog post. But I like to give my subscribers an added insight into my life and business so I always share a story or experience with them that I don’t share anywhere else.
I hope that it makes them feel like they’re getting a little something extra by signing up to get my emails.Using personal stories as topic for newsletter ideas promises a better result Click To Tweet
15. Show Your Personality
Including a touch of your personality in your newsletters is always a nice idea. It creates a connection to your readers, and shows your sincerity towards your audience.
For example, The Ringer’s newsletter focuses on experimentation. The contributors behind this blog want to take themselves seriously, have fun, obsess, theorize, analyze, and take chances and these greatly show in their newsletters.
Here’s what Krystal Abbott founder of Daily Femme says about newsletter ideas:
The best advice I can give when sending newsletters is to ensure you show your personality. This is your chance for your readers to get to know you.
You should see your newsletters as the start of a conversation and expect that people will respond. You aren’t blasting information – you’re trying to have a chat.
Now Its Your Turn…
There you have it.
The above mentioned tips and sample for newsletter ideas should help your blog drive more traffic and increase your conversion rates eventually.
No need to fear about failing this time like I did.
Now, it is your turn to take the first step towards that email marketing goal you want to achieve.
Now that you’ve seen how to come up with fabulous newsletter ideas, I’d like to hear from you.
What do you think of the newsletter ideas tips?
Or maybe you have a question about increasing conversion rate with your newsletter.
Either way, leave a quick comment below.
If you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.