What newsletters do you subscribe to, and what do you like about them? Have you found a great method for sending newsletters? What do you struggle with when putting a newsletter together? Last month I shared some tips for your newsletter content, this month we will go into this a little deeper and look at some of the newsletters that keep me coming back and how to tell if your newsletters are successful.

Deciding what to send in emails will usually depend on:

  • Your business type and your product or service (i.e. what you sell)
  • What your customers are interested in online
  • What you’re trying to achieve with your email newsletter
  • What you’re posting on other social media platforms

I’m quite a ruthless unsubscriber from newsletters, simply because my inbox fills up with many emails every day but mostly because the headlines don’t capture my attention.

I do have a few newsletters I keep up with, though, and I’d like to share some of them and the reason why I continue to open them:

  • Polka Dot Bride Inner Circle – Ms Polka sends honest emails that feel like personal advice from her to me, with an interesting twist on a challenge that she has faced but one that all small businesses are likely to run into. You can’t find this content anywhere but in Ms Polka’s weekly emails, so it’s a must for me to subscribe.
  • Creative Women’s Circle – Tess sends out emails with upcoming events and shares interesting stories of other female business owners. It makes me feel part of the community and welcome in the (now quite big) women’s circle.
  • MyFonts’ Rising Stars email – This fun newsletter lets me know what fonts have been most popular recently, what’s new in ‘font world’, and as a font lover I get introduced to fonts I may be interested in purchasing.
  • Mailchimp email – Mailchimp sends me interesting information and learning tools for their email newsletter platform and service. For example, they’re doing research into ‘How the weather influences your customers’.

Your content needs to be interesting or useful (preferably both!) to be successful, but your headline needs to show me this, because otherwise I won’t click to open it and delete or archive the email immediately.

You may want to send more than one type of content to different types of audiences. Luckily mailing list programs make this very easy by allowing you to segment your mailing list into groups, and by letting your subscribers self-select the types of content they want to see.

How do I know if my content is successful?

To determine success, you need to first have a goal. My goal is to educate, inform and inspire (potential) clients, so that they will eventually contact me for my services, purchase a product or come back for my services. I attempt to do this by featuring interesting content from around the web that is relevant and useful, and by directing people to my website and blog. The newsletter content that I send out features insights that I do not share on my blog and is exclusive to my email subscribers. On my blog, readers get the same type of useful content albeit it non-exclusive, they get to see proof of my expertise, and read testimonials from people I’ve worked with (working on this one at the moment, it takes a while to put them all together).

The best way to judge the success of your newsletter is to look at your stats in the email tool, and compare them to past campaigns. MailChimp has great reporting tools, it lets me see and compare my open rate and click rate, as well as showing me which links have been opened.

You can monitor your success by:

  • Viewing your mailing list statistics
  • Tallying how many direct emails, inquiries, or sales you get after sending your email (only if you add a call-to-action)
  • Checking for increases in website traffic on newsletter days (make sure you add clickable links in your newsletter)
  • Finding out if your content is shared by your subscribers

Go on, sign up and start connecting with your audience!

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