Starting an email newsletter is a big deal. You probably already have an audience and you're trying to figure out how to add more value to them, or to you, from that list. Here's the considerations and process we recommend you go through when choosing to start an email newsletter.
- What do I have to share on a periodic basis that the audience really cares about
- Is there entertainment, information, or inspiration that I can share that is unique
- What is the business or marketing goal for the newsletter
- How often will the newsletter be sent
- Who will write the content
- Who will do layout, editing, and make sure it fits the brand and is worthy of sending to the audience
- How many days before the send date does the content need to be completed
- How many weeks before the send date are topics locked down
- Where will photography or images come from
- Is the content going to live on a website or YouTube and be simply featured in the newsletter
- Are there important dates or months and topics that need to go with them
- What are 20 winning article ideas that could go in to the newsletter and what would it take to create imagery and content to cover each of them
- How will I know if the newsletter is successful
- Do I or the team have the time to commit to this
- Are there sub-audiences that need specific communication at specific times (like event participants)
- Does my entire audience want to get what I'm sharing or only a subset
- Is the business goal and success criteria of the newsletter achievable
At this point you should have a really good understanding for whether starting an email newsletter is a good thing, sounds like a lot of time with little reward, or is "doable" and we'll see how it works.
If you choose to get started here are the principles we suggest:
- Always focus on sharing content that the audience really, really, really cares about. This is their Inbox and the only way you will get to put an email there over time is if you honor it
- Always deliver the newsletter on schedule... ALWAYS. Readers will come to expect it and you will actually do it, but only if you completely commit to delivering on time. There is nothing worse than missing a month and then seeing a bump in unsubscribes because people thought it was too inconsistent
- Always plan the content ahead of time and start production on schedule. This implies that you have a calendar and content process and you're sticking to it. If you want to earn your way in to the Inbox it is worth this level of effort!