Today is our last day in Palm Springs. Tomorrow we head for northern Alabama where we will be attending an RV entrepreneur summit next week and meet more crazy people like us. And this week, Amy and I celebrate our 9th anniversary of full-time RV living!
Based on the emails I received about last week’s conversation, it seems several (16) of you are warming up to the idea of writing a newsletter. Not surprising to me, the (7) BV people prefer the topical long form newsletter while the (9) FLS people favor the court case curated one.
On to this week. So I have previously written about why newsletters are better than social media here and what style of newsletter you can write here. Let’s continue the dialog and talk about the common elements of great newsletters that creates engagement.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
What 3 non-BVFLS apps/programs can’t you live without in your BVFLS practice?
Mine are Buffer, PayPal, and Zoom.
Great newsletters get opened, read, and shared. (You’re sharing mine, right?!) That is engagement.
And the number of newsletter subscribers you have doesn’t matter. The number of subscribers who engage with your newsletter does.
Here’s how to make the magic happen.
Great newsletters have a cadence
People expect to see an email from me every Wednesday about a practice development or practice management topic. It has become a social contract with my subscribers. And if I do a good job, people look forward to getting that email.
By having a consistent schedule for sending your newsletter, you will be able to stay top of mind with your audience so they don’t forget why they subscribed or where the value is in allowing you access to their inbox on a regular basis.
Great newsletters are personal
Newsletters that offer a little bit of personality or personal information remind subscribers that there’s a person on the other end, not just emails from corporate robots sent from a noreply@address.
My newsletter works, in part, because every email sounds like I am talking to you, (I hear this often.) And every reply comes directly from me. Being personal turns a broadcast into a conversation with people who pay attention to what you write.
During those conversations, you will learn of the topics they want/need to read about (what’s keeping them up at night) so you can serve them better with new/add-on services and collateral 1:many products and, thus, stay valuable to your audience over the long term.
Great newsletters are private
Someone’s email address is sacred. The only reason you’ve got their email address in the first place is that they specifically asked you to send them something.
If you abuse that trust, you will never make newsletters work the way they can and should.
Great newsletters are focused
Email is awesome because inboxes are for reading information quickly and easily. There are no distractions, no ads, and no popups in our inboxes.
So you don’t want to clutter up a newsletter with lots of images or graphics or branding. You want to cut the cruft because people are there to read, and they’re mostly reading on smartphone screens.
If you will be starting a newsletter, or tweaking an existing one, I don’t have all of the answers. But I do have six questions for you to consider:
- Who should receive your newsletter? What do they have in common with each other?
- Where do these people currently spend their time? Who do they currently read? Who has these people as part of their audience already?
- Where and how will you recruit these folks? Where will they come from and why will they leave the places they’re already spending their time? What need will you fill?
- What format will the newsletter take – long form, curated, or news?
- What would be considered a success for this newsletter? Why?
- How will you make time to plan, write, edit, schedule, and reply at a regular cadence? How many hours a week/month do you need to do this properly?
In real life
You know the kind of newsletters you like receiving.
You know the audience you want to attract.
What kind of newsletter would your audience like to read, open, and share?
If you want more ideas, start looking at other people’s newsletters and incorporate what you like (love) into yours.
Reading that can help
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.