Elvis goes on to sing, “Maybe I didn’t love you, quite as often as I should have.”
I don’t think I’m being melodramatic when I think about you and how sporadically I’ve written in the past, and feel like channeling The King. (Who wants to split an Elvis sandwich with me?)
Look, I’ve been doing email marketing for years and it’s worked really, really well.
I create interesting, helpful content on my website that brings in traffic from social & search. I layer additional free offers, like eBooks, that you need to register for, and I follow-up that email delivery with drip campaigns that give you more value, teach you more about me, and introduce you to some of the things I have can make a buck off of.
And I think because I’m a halfway-decent writer, I’ve been able to achieve a modicum of success with that approach. But other than the scheduled drip campaigns (which I’ve since disabled), the only time I have ever showed you some love with an email was when I wanted something from you, whether that was to buy a planner or read a post or attend an event.
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing horrific about letting your subscribers know you have something new to offer that they might be interested in. I certainly am not going to stop announcing new books or products or events.
I’ve come around to the conclusion that if I want to be invited back into your Casa de Email week after week, I can’t be a freeloader who just drinks your beer, eats your tacos, and then leaves. I have to bring something tasty for you and the fam to enjoy.
The question for me was, what does that look like?
While templates abound for email newsletters, email itself is akin to dark social. We know it’s out there, that people are using it, but it’s hard to really know how many people and what impact it’s having. Just because someone has a seemingly nice-looking newsletter doesn’t mean it’s being read at any higher rate than anyone else’s. (Unless you *cough* hack *cough* into their service and check.)
So I considered this to be a personal discovery journey for me and started, probably late 2019, to pay more attention to who was writing newsletters, what they looked like, and what content and formats and styles really resonated with me. If you take a step back (metaphorically, not physically) and consider the format of this newsletter, you might see it bears some resemblance to some of the greats in our industry.
I’d been particularly inspired by Ann Handley (I mean, who isn’t, right?!) and her gorgeous melding of style and format. As a writer and marketer, I could really appreciate how every email she sends leads off with masterful storytelling that dovetails into a lesson that’s as universally applicable as learning chopsticks. (Seriously, pick up a pair and learn it.)
And then earlier this year while I was bouncing ideas back and forth with Stephanie Liu on what her newsletter might look like, she did something super clever with some sections of her format where she labeled them, “Lights” and “Camera” and “Live” which mirror her site and show name and gave her a structured place to share helpful resources, shine a spotlight on others, and share upcoming events. It was as inspiring as it was brilliant and while we were in the midst of book editing and time was precious, I made a note of it and filed it away for when I would have time to implement.
Which is now! Last week was the first issue
and now that we’re into the second issue it’s like a pilot episode that’s been bought by the network. This is now a thing and we’re doing it.
I’ll share in a moment some of the other newsletters that inspire and inform me, and where you can sign up for them, but want to also encourage you to think about the journey I’ve taken to arrive here with Marketing Hyperdrive. I settled on a weekly frequency and a format that affords me the opportunity to write, as well as share an assortment of resources and opportunities. And, like a clever padawan, I’ve mixed in some personal branding as well.
Are you or have you sent a regular newsletter? Or has it been a struggle for you to find the time? Imagine if you were to lovingly paint in vibrant colors what your ideal newsletter would look like on canvas, might that inspire you to build a studio where you could create that? Feel free to hit reply with your thoughts. I’d love to know.
Meanwhile, consider this and future email newsletters from me to be my love letters to you, the ones I should have been writing more often than I would have.
You were always on my mind.