My clients do, and I want to help you create a system for your business too!
In case you didn’t know, the purpose of a weekly newsletter is to give value to your subscribers. It’s not to sell your products or services; it’s to give your readers a reason to look forward to seeing your name in their inbox. When people are excited to open your email, you’ll start to see your list grow and your ROI improve.
To do this, you need to be intentional with your efforts.
Consistency is key. You’ll want to be sure that you are consistent not only with sending your newsletter on the same day and time but that your content is consistent as well. If your readers don’t have time to keep up with you on social media, sending a weekly newsletter is a great way to keep them up-to-date with all of your great content.
Once you decide that you’re ready to move forward and be consistent, it’s time to plan on the type of content you’re going to deliver. Just like your website should be speaking to a very specific target audience, your newsletter should be too. Decide who you’re writing your newsletter for and what he or she struggles with, and build your content around that.
Your Newsletter System
Similar to an ideal client avatar (which I’m not a huge fan of, but stick with me!) it’s super helpful to know who you’re speaking to in your blog posts and newsletters. This includes age, gender, income level, hobbies, interests, where you can find them, what their pain points are, and so much more. If you download my Newsletter Planning System above (it’s free), you can fill out the workbook and refer to it each time you write a new blog post or newsletter.
Once you know who you are writing for, you can now start planning out your content. I like to look at my business and find 3 to 6 subjects that I want to cover based on what I know, and what my readers want to learn from me. In my business, those topics are:
- Setting up smart systems
- Client Care
- Building a team
- Project Management
I make those my blog categories, and I build all of my content around those core themes. This helps you establish the know, like, trust factor with your audience because they will come to rely on you to produce great content in the subjects they want to learn from you. It also helps to eliminate confusion (which causes distrust) because you’re sending out consistent content. I can’t stand it when I sign up for a newsletter because it’s about a specific subject that I’m interested in, and then the following newsletters are totally random. If week one is about developing your brand, but week two is about their dog, and week three is about the vacation they just took, I feel uneasy and unsubscribe immediately.
The key is to build a strong relationship with your readers so that they know you, like you and what you are teaching, and they trust that you know your shit.
Once you’re ready to start writing, use this exercise by Alexandra Franzen called Feel, Know, Do. It’s all about knowing how you want your readers to feel when they read your post, what you want them to know when they are finished, and what you want them to do after – what specific action should they take? For example, as I am writing this post I want you to
- feel at ease knowing that you won’t have to stress out planning your newsletter anymore
- know that if you follow a specific process, you can consistently get your amazing content out to your readers
- download my free Newsletter Planning System so you can start implementing right away
Create Your Editorial Calendar
Now it’s time to create a publishing schedule that not only works for you, but for your audience as well. Every market is going to be different, but one thing we can all agree on is staying in touch with your audience on a regular, consistent basis is important. Right? Right.
There is a lot of competition to contend with to be seen in an inbox these days. Pair that with the short attention span of most, and you’ll need to send an email at least weekly to be truly remembered. The day and time you decide to send out your newsletter will be determined by your audience and their habits.
If you are writing to busy stay-at-home moms with school-aged kids, you’ll want to catch them on Saturday or Sunday mornings when they have time to read through emails with a cup or two of coffee.
Are they work-at-home entrepreneurs? Any day is a good day, but I always say to aim for an early morning delivery so you’re already in their inbox when they start reading email for the day.
Rather than trying to figure out the perfect time of day to send, just make it’s a goal to remain consistent. If you decide to send on Wednesdays at 6am, then always send it on Wednesdays at 6am. This will help your readers expect and look forward to receiving great content from you.
However, if you find that Wednesdays at 6am is getting horrible open rates, then change it up and see what works. Make sure you’re keeping track and giving your readers time to adjust to your schedule.
Add Your Promotional Calendar
Now that you know which days you’re sending your regular newsletter, you can start to plan out what your promotions are going to be for the month. This allows you to plan your content around what’s going on in your business such as product releases, affiliate promotions, and events that you may be attending or speaking at.
If you use Google Calendar (and you should be!) create a new calendar and name it Editorial Calendar. Add in your weekly blog posts and then whenever you hear about an upcoming promotion, add it to your calendar. Add in your own products and sales, holiday event, and anything else you want to include. Then make sure to have that calendar open when you put together each newsletter. Not only will this help you keep a steady flow of content at the ready, but you’ll also never miss an opportunity to promote a business buddy either. (If you’d rather write it on a physical calendar, my Newsletter Planning System includes a blank calendar you can print out.)
Make Your Editorial Calendar Flow
Every piece of content that you produce has a job to do. For most of our clients, a newsletter acts as a roundup of everything they’re doing, so taking the time to plan out your content is critical to your success. What you want to do is make sure to build a cohesive editorial calendar that flows.
The perfect editorial calendar will tell you weeks or even months in advance exactly what will be published each week, and everything that will be included in each newsletter. This gives you plenty of time to research, prepare your content, and promote your products and services. It also helps to plan for things like major holidays, anniversaries, and other events so you’re not scrambling at the last minute to work in a promo. The goal is to build your editorial calendar around your promotions calendar.
What To Include In Each Newsletter
Your newsletter may include any of the following sections:
- An introduction of who you are
- A disclaimer at the bottom
- An about you section
- Links to follow you on social media
- Upcoming events
- A relevant testimonial
- Your latest product or service
- An affiliate promotion
- Content, like an article or blog post you wrote
- A video
- Tips or strategies your readers can implement
- Social sharing options
You absolutely do not have to include all of these things, and in fact, I tend to keep things on the super simple side and use the “Feel, know, do” approach here as well. I don’t like to clutter my newsletters with a bunch of stuff – I’d rather keep it simple with one call-to-action. This also helps to keep you out of spam filters and Gmail’s promotions tab. The Newsletter Planning System has sections for you to fill out all of the components of your newsletter. Download your free copy below.
Are you actively looking for someone to partner with you in your business to make it a happier, more productive, more organized place to be? Schedule a free business chat with me to see if I can help!