Hallmarks of a Great E-Newsletter

Monday, April 20, 2020

There was a time when I tried to clean my inbox of all the e-newsletters I had subscribed to. These days, I find myself subscribing to all different types of e-mails, because I want to study them.

In my day job as a freelance magazine editor, I’m not in charge of the e-mail marketing. But since I’m on the verge of launching a podcast (I swear. It’s coming soon!), I’ve tried to brainstorm what I would put in an e-mail if I had subscribers to connect with each week. I’ve heard advice from many different entrepreneurs that building an e-mail list is something you can do from the very beginning—so don’t put it off. This week I signed up for a mini list building course that will help give me that final kick in the pants to do the work.

Why do I want to build an e-mail list, you ask? Well, first I would like to build it so I can get the word out to all true crime fans that a new podcast is coming. I can use the e-mail to share teaser episodes and create targeted content readers will find useful. Down the road, I can use this e-mail list to offer services and products to readers as well.

I’ve spent some time this past week really studying some of the e-newsletters I get in my inbox. Here are a few ways other business owners and businesses have created content to serve their e-mail subscribers.

One fashion blogger I follow, Living in Yellow, really does a good job with sharing favorite products (with affiliate links most of the time) that I would actually be interested in checking out in the weekly They also share recipes, recent blog posts, craft ideas, and other things that always bring a smile to my face on Sunday afternoons.

I always look forward to C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers e-newsletter when it shows up in my inbox on Friday afternoon. Clark shares writing advice, contests, writing markets, and I can study the writing articles that she runs each week and decide if I want to pitch one (I’ve had a few articles published in the e-newsletter so it’s great for prospecting).

I receive another e-mail in the true crime genre called “The Line-Up.” It features something fresh each week, whether a list of true-crime book recommendations, recent blog posts, TV and film recommendations and creepy stories in general.

And of course, I have to mention WOW!, which has more than one e-newsletter so you can choose your own adventure! By going to this link you can sign up for e-newsletters on blog tours and events, special offers from sponsors and affiliates, writer’s markets, contests, and more. I’m pretty sure I’m subscribed to all and can say the team always goes above and beyond when putting together useful content for subscribers.

I’m not going to give away any ideas on what my own e-newsletter will have, but in a future post I may recommend (more like beg) you sign up for it. Until then, I’d love to hear what type of content you put in e-newsletters if you send them out or what you personally like to see in them.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also blogs at FinishedPages.com. She is hard at work  creating her passion project, a true crime podcast. 


Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--Thank you. I wiped the spittle that had formed (due to frothing at the mouth) when I read that SOON your podcast would be available.

And yes, you don't have to beg. I will gladly sign up for your newsletter.

Also, thanks for your newsletter tips. At some point (hopefully before the dinosaurs return to our planet) I will have set up a website and launched a newsletter. When that happens, your advice will be helpful.

Now scoot. Get that podcast going. ;)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I don't think you will have any trouble getting subscribers here! And thank you for all the great ideas.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I, too, get a lot of newsletters, mostly from my writer friends. I prefer the three-to-four times a year newsletter when there's info about a new release or a giveaway or something of value (maybe when an author is participating in a webinar and/or an online conference where I can get a discount code).

For my SCBWI region, we put out a monthly newsletter (members only) with mostly what's going on that month and/or SCBWI tips because members don't often think to check the website often (and not all folks engage in SM).

I'm not a big fan of weekly newsletters except for the FFW but that content changes every single week.

So I'd say the biggest reason I read a newsletter is because I don't want to miss something important. :-) Keep in mind that you're asking for people's time so give them something that's worth those already-crowded minutes in their life!Good luck with the podcast, Renee!

Angela Mackintosh said...

I can't wait to sign up for your newsletter, Renee! :) I know it'll be great.

I won't lie, they are a lot of work. The key to success is maintaining a set schedule, which I admit, WOW doesn't always do because we have too much going on. But readers like to expect something on a certain day--and that's why Funds for Writers is successful. Plus, writers love markets. I personally like curated stories from across the web in my genre. I also love it when the editor shares her personal stories in the introduction. For yours, definitely true crime movies/series recommendations to binge-watch; podcasting and scriptwriting tips; true crime markets (I've seen a lot of podcast calls for scripts lately); maybe contests. I think you have a lot of options! The important thing is to narrow down who your audience will be.

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