Newsletter... oh boy!
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Having a newsletter is one of those things. Every business feels like they kind of need to have one, but at the same time, no one really wants to sit down and put it together every month, Don't even talk about EVERY WEEK! And most of the time, they just slightly miss the mark on 'how to' which is unfortunate, as having a good newsletter can be a great asset. I put a few of the most popular newsletter-types together in the post below.
The 'Abandoned Newsletter'
To do a little research and get a clear picture on how companies do their newsletter, I signed up for the newsletters of 20 different companies on the same day. They were rather small companies, startups mostly (the more important it is to send out a good newsletter!) Here's what happened:
One. One company sent out an email saying something along the lines of 'hey, thanks for signing up! Stay tuned for what's to come here in the next two weeks. Exciting stuff ahead.'
Well. I never heard anything again and it's been about 2 months since I signed up for their newsletter.
And you wouldn't believe it, but from the other 19 companies I have not heard a thing from. Nothing at all. The one that sent out that one welcome email never actually gave me more information about the 'exciting stuff' that was supposed to be happening.
I don't know if it ever happened, but one thing's for sure: If it did, I was not told about it.
The 'Always Everything on Sale'
The next type I want to focus on is very common. It's companies that send out newsletters which are basically ads (even though their homepage says: sign up for newsletter). And that is totally okay every now end then. But this type of company sends their newsletter out about 3 times a week, informing you that there's a sale. and another one. and one more, because it's Friday. Oh and let's not forget about the Sunday sale, hellooo!
Frankly, it's annoying. And in my opinion, those companies really lose all value, whether it's their services or products, they just don't seem special, valuable anymore.
If I sign up for a newsletter, I'm happy to get informed if there's a sale going on, but isn't a newsletter mainly here to inform your clients about what's happening with the product? To built value in the product? That gets completely lost for me when I constantly and only hear that a product is being sold for a price that is half of what it usually goes for. Are you just super generous? Or is your product may be only worth 50% of what it actually costs... as that's all you seem to sell it for. Three times a week.
I'm not gonna get too much into this - I could, but this would go on forever and I promised myself this post would be short and sweet - as it also has a lot to do with building value in your product, which is a post for another time. But the point is, your clients want to know what's happening within the company, new products, new projects you're working on. The occasional ad is fine, but don't forget that the people who signed up for your newsletter really did sign up for that - a newsletter.
The ' OMG YOU ALMOST MISSED IT'
So, this one is the one that bothers me personally the most and I don't see the point. It ties in with the previous one but is still slightly different.
There is one company in particular that sends me a newsletter EVERY SINGLE DAY informing me of a sale they have going on today. This email usually comes in the morning and is often titled with something along the lines of 'TODAY ONLY'. Later at night, I get an email saying 'YOU ARE MISSING THE SALE. QUICK, ONLY 2 HOURS LEFT'.
It's good to put a deadline on things, it makes people buy your product right there and then, that is true. But guess what, with this particular company I'm talking about, I guarantee you there's another sale tomorrow, probably even better than the one I almost missed. Or they will say 'Lucky you! We extended the sale another day!' Yay! Lucky me, because they are probably going to extend it for another week. And THAT is how people will not buy from you, it's not a deadline ithat creates urgency, it is just kind of annoying, especially once the customers figure out how this works, no one really takes you seriously anymore and no one will feel the need to take advantage of your sale.
The 'Just enough but not too much'
And then there are a few newsletters that I really enjoy getting. One of them is the one of my Virtual Assistant Course, once a week they send out a newsletter to recap the week, let us know what's been going on within the Facebook VA community and let us know what's new and what's coming up ahead.
Another one is a monthly newsletter I get from the Swiss Embassy, as I live outside of where I am from, it's great to read up on what's been going on politically in my country and what major news I may have missed. Once a month is perfect for this kind of stuff. Once a week I also find great, especially when you have a startup and a lot is going on. It also doesn't have to be the same day every week, mix it up. If nothing special is going on in your company or you're stuck and don't have anything to talk about, that's fine! Don't put a lot of pressure on HAVING TO write something.
If there's a dry period that lasts longer than three weeks, I would still send out an email, just letting your subscribers know what you're working on, maybe share someone else's content, a blog or a quote, that you find relevant to the company's development.
Taking a Vacation? Why not send a holiday picture and let everyone know you'll be in touch once you're back? It's little things like that that make your newsletter fun, personal and different and make people actually want to read it!
Most important of all: know your audience! Who is your typical client and subscriber? Would they really appreciate a holiday picture or maybe rather a classy 'i'll be in touch after my leave'? You know it best, but the three first examples are something to be aware of.
Find your happy medium and if you absolutely do not like to sit down and write a newsletter, don't do it! Or hire someone to do it for you, I may know someone ;) If you just want to inform people about sales that are going on, make them subscribe to current offers, not a 'newsletter'. Good Luck!