Simple Email Newsletter Strategy (That Supports Consistent Publishing!)

Email newsletters: feature exclusive content, or just link to existing blog posts?

Newsletter writers are working way too hard. It’s not surprising, then, that it’s hard to stay consistent in sending them. When it comes to your content and newsletters, work more lightly...

Posted by George Kao, Authentic Business Coach on Friday, January 26, 2024

 Email newsletters: feature exclusive content, or simply link to existing posts?

The latter.

You can stop reading now ;-)

For example, see my recent issues: George Kao Newsletter Examples.

Most newsletter writers are working too hard.

It’s not surprising, then, that it’s hard for them to stay consistent in sending newsletters.

I always advocate for working lightly.

As you can see with mine (George Kao Newsletter) — it’s light and easy to create. It takes me less than 15 minutes for each newsletter.

I simply put links to my recent posts, and above each link, I paste the title and a few lines (taken from the post itself). This kind of ease has allowed me to be consistent in sending regular newsletters for years. I wish that for you as well.

But why would people subscribe?

Yes, it surprised me too… but this strategy has built me a healthy email subscriber base.

I don’t have a huge list, but the smaller one’s list, the higher the open rate usually is. Once you get past 1,000 subscribers or so, the open rate usually has plummeted to around 20–30%. My current newsletter has about 5,500 subscribers, with a typical open rate of 55%, which is high for a list of that size.

So… why do people subscribe to my list and open my emails even though I just give links to recent social media posts?

Because of convenience.

People value convenience so much that they often pay for it. My email newsletter is valuable in that way, too and yet, it’s free. I consider it a free service of convenience for my readers. They don’t have to go hunt around social media for my latest posts.

They can receive it, collected in one place, in their email inbox.

This is the same for your true fans too. They love your content and don’t want to miss out on the best things. That’s the service of convenience (curation) that your newsletter provides for them.

…but what if they already saw it on social media?

As content creators, we’re super aware about what we post. If you’re concerned about duplicating your social media content in your newsletter, know this: your email readers have probably missed most (or all) of your content when browsing social media. The newsletter conveniently collects the recent or best content for them.

Even if they recognize something from the newsletter that they already saw on social media, it serves as a reminder and reinforcement. Chances are they didn’t pay much attention while casually browsing social media. Now, in the email newsletter, they’re more focused on it.

And those who are passionate about following your content will want to double-check that they didn’t miss anything of importance.

Your “exclusive” newsletter content is limiting your reach

Most email newsletters get under 30% open rate. This means no matter how “exclusive” the content is, about 70% of subscribers aren’t even seeing it.

What’s worse is that future subscribers (and non-subscribers who simply follow your social media) won’t have seen it.

Why so drastically limit the reach of your content? Why not put that same content everywhere on the various social media that you have… so that the 50–70% who didn’t open your newsletter (and all future followers) can have a chance to catch it at their convenience? The social media algorithms will suggest your most relevant older content to them.

Plus, if someone loves your content, it’s much easier to share widely on social, instead of having to forward your email to select friends.

In summary: put all your free content on social media so that it is ungated, widely accessible, and easily shareable. Then, use your newsletter as a curation and reminder tool to link back to that content you’d most like for them to enjoy and share.

Again, if you’d like to see how I do it, check out the George Kao Newsletter.

I wish for you the lightness of creating that supports your consistency over the years!