To newsletter or not to newsletter

Angela van SonBlog, Free e-course21 Comments

I’ve been struggling with the idea of a newsletter. In general, I don’t like them. Also, I often don’t like the sign up process. I get the why and how of the whole thing, and I can’t blame people for using something that really works. I just don’t want to do it.

But I do want a list. I want to be able to tell people stuff like:

  • I have a new free e-course and you can sign up for it.
  • New exercise, want to give it a try?
  • I’m trying out some new coaching and you can try it out for a nice price.
  • Look at this great resource I’ve found.

Things like that. By writing this, I think I have figured out how to do it. I’ll start by looking for a good name for my list. I want a name that expresses both value (I want to share valuable things) and benefit (some stuff will not be available for people outside the list, or not yet).

So far my working title is Freebie and bonus list. Any feedback or tips? I need to check my words sometimes. On my old site, I talked about a procrastination tool. I’ve heard that for English people, ‘tool’ has some meanings that I wasn’t aware of…

The first bonus I will send to the list is a guided meditation. Until I have the new name, you can sign up for my… newsletter … in the right side bar of this page.

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21 Comments on “To newsletter or not to newsletter”

  1. Thank you for this short yet sweet post!

    I personally feel there’s some value in a newsletter; especially for those rare folks who are not part of the overwhelming segment of the world population who are glued to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.

    The primary purpose I would use a newsletter for though is along the lines of excerpt articles. Utilizing the “…Read more” option more times than naught to drive email recipients back to my site.

    Beginning this week, I’m training someone to be my Virtual Research Assistant whose ‘job’ will be to read the bazillion articles and news feed posts to extrapolate, categorize, and provide talking points on numerous topics. Once I have this person up and running, I might actually have fodder for a newsletter and something that resembles a ‘means to an end’ writing schedule.

    Of course, I’ve signed up for your newsletter, so I’m anxious to read all the juicy tidbits you decide to share!

    1. Angela van Son

      I love the perspective you add there Brian, thanks. Looks like you’re also talking about valuable content, we’re on the same page there. Thanks for signing up!

  2. The good thing about a newsletter/mailing list is that it’s the one thing you actually own. You can’t always control what people see on facebook, etc., but when you email something right to them, it’s a good bet they’ll see it.

    1. Angela van Son

      That’s a thing to think about for sure. Though I must admit to not opening most of the newsletters I get. The main problem for me is that they are heavy on sales and short on content. That makes for an ‘unfollow’ in my book. I’ve decluttered many newsletters this year.

  3. I will sign up for your newsletter right after I finish this comment! I’ve heard newsletters are good for reminding your potential clients of your name since they may not otherwise see it and it keeps it in their minds. I send a monthly newsletter, not sure how much it works though!!

    1. Angela van Son

      Thanks Michelle! I’m not signed up for yours; I realise that I expect I read enough by following you on Facebook and Twitter and your blog. That may be a false interpretation, so please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll change it then 🙂

      I learn from my own comment that this is something we could share with our followers: whether all media have the same content or not. In my case they are not the same, I like them to be different.

  4. I’m in the process of restarting mine, so I feel your pain. 🙂

    Like Brian says, make generous uses of excerpts. That will tell you which stories are catching attention and which ones aren’t. Hard to get that info if you publish entire stories in the newsletter.

  5. Make certain it’s compelling. Focus on a good subject line. I won’t admit to how many unread emails I have in my Inbox now, but let’s just say it’s enough that I’ll miss it unless it sounds really good. 🙂

    1. Angela van Son

      I won’t admit either 🙂 I’m curious how many people are signed up for so many newsletters that they recognise the standard type of subject line. Like “May I ask you a question?”. I must admit that those are harder to ignore than some others 😉

  6. I too have been debating about a newsletter. I almost had myself convinced that using facebook as my newsletter is the best thing but reading this and the comments, I might be swayed otherwise. I’m afraid I’m little help. I suppose the only 2 cents I have to give is: I’ve heard that creating a newsletter is getting an email listing of your people, your tribe. The bigger your listing the more likely people will take you seriously. For example, publishing companies want to see you have a following before they publish your book. It’s not about how good the book is, it’s about if the book can be sold. An email list, would be a strong indicator of that.

    1. Angela van Son

      I didn’t know that Joanne. I have no plans for publishing a book (yet), but that’s good to know.

      Remember: some people are not on Facebook. Or don’t read it. I have lots of Facebook refusers amongst my friends.

  7. Of all the marketing venues for the farm, our electronic newsletter delivered weekly is the most effective outreach tool we have. I use constant contact, but mail chimp is also very good. I like being able to see who opens the newsletter and who clicks through the links.

    Good luck!

    1. Angela van Son

      The most effective outreach tool? That’s interesting to hear. Do you know what you do that makes it such a success? Or is it something specific about your target group perhaps?

      I’m so glad I shared my thoughts. Reading these different responses is very interesting. Motivating, even.

  8. I’ve been struggling with whether or not to do a newsletter myself and/or how frequently. It’s just one more thing to add to my list of to-dos and I’ve noticed that many people who have signed up for my newsletter aren’t actually verified. I can see how valuable they can be though, especially for those who don’t use social media to get their updates. Thanks for posting this. I need to get on it.

  9. Angela van Son

    Lauren, how about chosing a frequency that you like and that works for you? No matter what the gurus say?

    I won’t have a frequency. Having a frequency doesn’t suit me. I’ll make sure is not so often that people get annoyed. But I will aim for sending something often enough so that people won’t forget me and I can contribute to them being active and inspired.

  10. Angela, people might like to simply see your shot blog posts with an action they can take right away to help bust their procrastination. Sounds like you pretty much figured it out for yourself in the post – what do you want to share? As for names, if you feel you need one, I’m sure you’ll come up with one that woks for you (I’d drop the word ‘list’ and ‘newsletter’ from any great name you come up with). Happy newslettering.

  11. I’ve heard mixed reviews on newsletters and I personally don’t offer one so I can’t speak to their effectiveness. I have chosen to grow a list and offer value via my weekly podcast and web show. I offer a weekly blast of my podcast/web show to my subscribers. It’s arguably more work than a newsletter but my expereince is that I get more exposure through the audiences who follow the guests that I interview on my show. It’s also important to note that I love connecting with others via video so my strategy feels very fun and natural for me.

    Building your own list only happens when you offer people an outstanding reason to give your their email. And you have an outstanding offering from what I can tell. It’s just a matter of how you want to build your list. People are happy to exchange their email for something they value. It could be a free e-book, a blueprint for overcoming procrastination, a video series for overcoming procrastination. The possibilities are endless.

    Also, I would drop the word ‘list’ from your site. And I would substitute the word ‘blueprint’ or something similar instead of the word ‘tool.’

    I’m okay with ‘Freebie and Bonus’ but what exactly will I receive? This has to be made very clear in my opinion. I see that you are offering a meditation so I would make it very clear that’s what I will receive when I provide my email address.

    I hope you find this helpful. It’s just my two cents worth and I love what you offer on your site.

  12. Do you realize that with Mail Chimp you can have a newsletter that is your blog, and you can use your blog list to send out other material over your name? Would that help you get where you want to be?

  13. I feel your struggle. I like the idea of a newsletter for the same reasons you mention, that and I like to know that I have a way to connect with people in a way that Facebook just doesn’t allow.

    A good name is important but getting the content right is of course whats key. I dislike an email that is all sales and no new ideas but one that is full of good and interesting anything will lead me right to your sales when I am ready to buy.

  14. Pingback: My first newsletter, what do you think? - Procrastination Coach

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