How to Plan An Effective Newsletter Content Strategy

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posted on: December 5, 2018

I’ve talked about why starting a newsletter is essential for your brand. Before you run 100 mph into your newsletter, breathe. You must determine the who, what, when, and why of your newsletter. Pinpointing your why should not be an afterthought. You should feel confident about what you are doing and why. Due to newsletter conversion value, it is imperative you invest time and energy in crafting a meaningful experience for your subscribers.

Why do you want to start a newsletter?

If you are doing it because you read that’s what you are supposed to do, stop. Don’t waste your time setting up something if you don’t have a clear idea of how it fits into your overall goals. Your list needs to address a component of your business, providing value to your subscribers and brand. If your subscribers feel your emails are beneficial to their lives, then they will more likely engage in promotional opportunities.

For example, several of my clients use their email list to share more personal details about who they are and their brand story. In their blog, they create exclusively SEO-friendly recipes, but their email newsletter is where subscribers get other recipe and meal planning information as well as a more intimate look into their brand story. Check out Just One Cookbook and A Family Feast as two great examples!

Who is your ideal subscriber?

Know your audience. You should be able to define why your subscribers are ideal for your brand and what solution you provide to them. With your email newsletter, what do you want subscribers to do? Growing your list without any intention can eventually become quite costly. Furthermore, when it comes time to sell to your subscriber, they might not as convert as effectively.

If your blog focuses on multiple different niches, you can use groups or tags to segment and target your list. For Adventures in Cooking, we utilized segmented lists, so that Eva could identify subscribers interested in recipes and subscribers interested in photography tips. Once a subscriber identifies their preferences (and it can be both), they receive an automation sequence targeted to their interests. Therefore, those who are interested in receiving tips and strategies about photography don’t receive unwanted recipe emails.

How does your list provide value?

I’m a loyal email minimalist. I subscribe to only a handful of emails, but my favorite email to read each day is the Morning Brew. Assume your readers’ lives are busy. Thus, your list has to provide a reason for subscribers to not only subscribe but to engage. You can try to bait readers with fancy headlines and free downloads, but maintaining and growing your list will solely depend on the value your content provides.

How frequently should you create an email newsletter?

When and how often you send out your newsletter depends on what you can consistently do. You need to be able to build consistency for your brand. It demonstrates your dependability as an authority. If you can only send out an email once a month, send it out once a month.

As I’m focusing on my automation sequences, I only send out a manual email campaign (Coffee Chats) every other week. All of my automation sequences are set up to go weekly.

When should you send your email newsletter?

The specific day you email subscribers depends on what works best for your brand. Honestly, no one day works universally for my clients. However, when selecting a day, I recommend the following:

  • Send your weekly RSS email campaign on a day when you don’t have new posts go live. Sending a promotional email for past posts on an off day can help eradicate the weekly dips that your traffic might experience.
  • Monthly newsletters tend to work better at the beginning or end of the month, but not in the middle of the month. If the newsletter reflects more intimate details about your brand, your subscribers are often doing their self-reflecting during these times.
  • For general automation sequences, keep the same frequency, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or daily.
  • Daily emails rarely convert. It’s best to have readers opt-in to receive new post updates then send it to your entire list.

Are you ready?

If you are questioning whether you are ready to invest the time and energy into your newsletter strategy, that’s okay. Setting up a weekly automatic RSS feed is the first step you can take.

If you do feel ready, follow these action steps to start (or update) your email newsletter content strategy:

  • Determine why you want to start a newsletter and how it will work for your brand;
  • Identify your newsletter audience;
  • Determine how your newsletter will be beneficial to your audience;
  • Define your newsletter publishing frequency and day; and
  • Brainstorm 5-10 different email topics for your newsletter.

Then, it is a perfect time to start writing!

Do you have any questions about starting your email newsletter? I’d love to hear your feedback! If you are interested in seeing what my automation sequences look like, feel free to subscribe here!

Planning an Effective Newsletter Strategy for Your Brand

Editor's Note

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