Creative Business 101: Optimization Hacks to Get Your Platforms Working Together – Part Three – Newsletters

Everybody hates junk mail. Our inboxes are flooded with marketing from every website we’ve ever given our email address to, and many others we haven’t. We delete most of these emails without ever opening them. So why on earth would we want to create a newsletter for our business?

Newsletters are:

  • a direct link between you and your audience
  • a way to build trust in your business
  • an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert
  • 100% owned by YOU

The purpose and importance of the newsletter is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of marketing for businesses. But building a mailing list is the single most powerful marketing tool you can use. Not only are newsletters more than 40% better at converting browsers into customers than social media, it is a tool that you actually own. If you’ve built your business through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you are vulnerable to changes in their policies and algorithms that directly affect your business’s visibility. Your newsletter belongs to you, 100%.

By now, you should know who your audience is, and you should be providing them with valuable content via social media and your website or blog. But your newsletter is where you are going to convert your followers into readers and customers.

If you’re wondering how to build a mailing list and what kind of content you need to put in your newsletters, this article will help you out!

Optimizing Your Platforms Part 3: Newsletters

How Do I Build a Newsletter Mailing List?

The hardest part of having a newsletter is convincing yourself to start it before you have anyone to send it to. But it’s important to get yourself set up before you start building your list so that when you do have a small list started, you aren’t fumbling around with back end stuff at the same time as you’re writing. So, even if you are not ready to start your mailing list, you should make an account with MailChimp, MailerLite, or ConvertKit or another newsletter delivery service. Familiarize yourself with their site and send yourself some practice emails.

Before you have a list you can:

  • Write a welcome letter that will be sent automatically to your subscribers once they sign up for your list
  • Set up a template for your emails so that your mailings have a consistent look
  • Set up a Newsletter Opt-In pop up for your website or blog (your newsletter service will walk you through how to do this, it’s easy!)
  • Brainstorm ideas for a freebie you can use to encourage newsletter sign ups: a short story or novella, a how-to manual, a discount coupon for your shop; there are lots of options!

Filtering In

Your platforms all work together to filter your most engaged and interested audience members toward your most personal and intimate communications.

  • Social media has a broad reach, but tends to have quick, surface engagement rather than deep connections
  • Website/Blog, usually a narrower reach, but audience is directly engaged in your content and committed to more than just a scroll and like
  • Newsletter, direct personal access to your most engaged and interested followers, near limitless potential for growth

Each step in this filtering process brings your ideal audience closer to you. Your newsletter is where you build trust and intimacy, establish yourself as an expert, and can make calls to action. This is where your followers are most likely to be converted into loyal fans and repeat customers.

What Should I Write About in My Newsletter?

Remember that your newsletter isn’t about you. It’s about your customer. How can you provide value to them?

Newsletters are never to be used for a hard sell. They are an opportunity for you to give your audience updates on your business, products, and services. However, these updates should be written more as a letter from and interesting and helpful friend than a sales pitch. Make use of your voice, your youness. Show your customers a side of you that they don’t get to see on social media on your blog.

Remember that intimacy has value. Sharing details about your work and life with your newsletter subscribers that they can’t get anywhere else is a way to build intimacy. They become a part of your inner circle, and you should treat them as such.

Your newsletter subscribers should the first people you tell about upcoming sales and shows and they should get exclusive deals that you don’t offer to anyone else. You should provide links to free/discounted content from other creative businesses like yours, so that every email has something for them, even if you don’t have something to sell them (yet).

There are lots of articles out there that give ideas for what to write in your newsletter. There’s no set formula to follow. In fact, if your readers sense that you’re using a formula they’re likely to unsubscribe. They don’t want cut and paste newsletter copy, they want you. You need to find a way to give them a little bit of yourself with every letter.

Your newsletter content will be deeper than your social media sound bytes and more personal than your blog posts. But they should still tie in to those key attributes/interests you’ve ascribed to your ideal customer. You are writing your newsletters for that one ideal reader out there, just like you are creating for them.

Newsletter Builders

If you have some kind of freebie to offer, building your newsletter will be much easier. There are many websites out there to help you. If you write a short story or novella, or a how-to or self-help e-book a site like BookFunnel can help you connect with other writers in your genre/topic so that you can team up to offer even more value you your subscribers. Other giveaways can be distributed through KingSumo or similar sites. These newsletter building sites are worth exploring well before you’re ready to start writing your newsletter, just to get a feel for how everything works together. You don’t have to have everything figured out yet to start!

Conclusion

I hope this series has helped you to see how all of your platforms can work together instead of competing with one another, how you can share and adapt content between platforms to save you time and stress, and how filtering in your audience is the key to growing your customer base.

If you need a refresher check out the Creative Business 101 posts on Optimizing Your Social Media and Optimizing Your Website/Blog.

If there is anything you would like me to explore in greater detail, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to brainstorm with you on making your creative content the best it can be. Thanks for reading!

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