“I don’t want to put more junk in other people’s mail boxes.”
I don’t want to bother people. My blog isn’t big enough. I don’t have enough time… I hate half the newsletters I get in my box.
These are all the things I keep telling myself about newsletters. But then there are newsletters I get that are really helpful, I enjoy getting them, gosh, sometimes I wish all my content just magically appeared in my mailbox. Newsletters are a useful tool too keep in touch with your readers, to keep them updated with your content, and it also reminds them to visit your site, increasing your traffic.
There are loads of benefits to starting a newsletter for your blog, traffic building, monetization, building a report with your readers, and it’s never too early to start.
Trust me, it’s never too early… some bloggers start from the very beginning, and they’ve built up excellent blogs. I’m guessing it can’t hurt… it reminds your subscribers to come back, and in the early days of a blog, every little bit counts. When your blog becomes more established, well, every little bit still counts.
While I’m still working on my newsletter, I have been thinking a lot about what makes a good newsletter and what makes me mark the sender as spam and never want to see them again.
Sending newsletters that look like spam and sound like spam will be marked as spam. People love blogs because they have a personal twist, because they are made by humans. If you’ve ever heard that small is the new big, you’ll know that it doesn’t matter if your blog is ‘too small’ it’s the personal touch that makes you stand out.
Some of the best newsletters I get are so simple, they have one or two useful points, a self-hosted nice image that links to the site (handy for fashion). I’ve gotten newsletters are extraordinarily text heavy. While I may have a shorter attention span than an ADHD kindergarten drop out, a long text-heavy newsletter is so tedious I’d be sure to avoid their website, if I had any long term memory.
Nan Kempner once said ‘You can never be too rich, too thin or too useful.’ We’re going to stick with the too useful bit here. Newsletters aren’t merely blog updates, they can offer additional things, like sale alerts, great finds, all the little tidbits that may not work on the blog, but better in a more personal interaction.
There are some schools of thought on how often to send a newsletter. Some do every day, I may hate them, but I can tell you Victoria’s Secret is having their last days of summer sale thru Monday. I don’t know how frequently The Cool Hunter sends his newsletters, but I read them every single time. Mostly because it’s useful. But once or twice a month is generally a nice way to keep in touch. Unless you’re Daily Candy, or WhoWhatWearDaily but again, useful.
Many sites offer free email newsletter services, Shop Diary recommended Zookoda, and I’ve heard about FeedBlitz. Feedburner does a great RSS newsletter that offers to email posts directly to subscribers (who sign up).
What are your experiences with newsletters? What do you think makes a good one or a bad one?