You’re sitting in front of your screen.
Fingers on your keyboard.
The clock’s ticking and this email has to go out in a couple of hours to your list.
As hard as you stare, your fingers aren’t moving one bit.
This happens week after week after week.
The excitement you had when you first started an email list has fizzled out.
You know an email list is important but if only it wasn’t so difficult to actually send them something…
You’re already pressed for time writing blog posts.
How do you manage fresh content for your email as well?
You worked so hard to get people to sign up for your lead magnet.
Why squander the opportunity to build a relationship with them…especially when you have their permission to do so…
But how do you make this easy?
How do you send email content on a regular basis so that they don’t forget you?
Before we get into the type of emails you can send…
Let’s break down a few questions:
I have 10 subscribers. Should I bother sending them an email?
Yes, you should.
Those 10 people signed up because they found value in what you have to offer.
They don’t know or care if they are part of 10 or a 1000.
They only care about learning from you and hearing what you have to share.Your subscribers don't care if they are part of 10 or 1000. They only care about the value they'll receive.Click To Tweet
Should I send blog post notifications?
If that’s the only thing you are sending – I’d say no.
If your subscribers are receiving what your casual blog visitors get, what’s the point?
An email list is exclusive.
What can you send them that makes it worth their while to be on your list?
So, if you’re not sending blog post notifications….If subscribers enjoy what your casual blog visitors enjoy, where's the incentive in being part of your list?Click To Tweet
What should you send your email list?
Here are 16 email archetypes you can use for your email marketing calendar.
#1 The ‘How I messed up’ email
What were your mistakes or failures?
Do you have any regrets?
Everyone has a ‘How I messed up’ story dying to be shared.
If you can relate it to your brand values, all the better.
Sharing your mistakes and failures with subscribers will not diminish your authority in any way.
Exposing your vulnerabilities show subscribers that there’s a real person behind the brand and logo.
Here’s an example of such an email from Cody Lister of Marketdoc.
Here’s a similar email I sent and got a bunch of responses from subscribers on how it resonated with them.
#2 ‘Answers to questions’ Email
What questions do you usually get from your readers or subscribers?
If you’re scratching your head thinking: I don’t get any questions…
Why not ask them yourself?
You can do that easily.
The next time you send an email…include a Post script (P.S.) at the end…
…ask them to hit reply and ask you a question or share with you something they’re struggling with.
Or look at the comments to your posts on your Facebook pages and groups if you have one.
After a while, you’ll realize that you can group these questions and they’re actually a variation of the same one.
Why not answer these questions in your emails?
Look at how Ramsay of Blog Tyrant does it in this email.
#3 Promote your affiliates with your success story
Has there been a tool or course that has gotten you results?
If so, why not share the resource so that more people can benefit from it?
There’s no reason you can’t promote your affiliates in your emails.
You don’t have to come across sounding salesy or promotional either.
Some products like plugins or tools have an all year round sales window.
But others like courses have a specific promotion window when they open for launch. Time your emails with these launch dates.
Send an email outlining how the product has helped you.
Get them to raise their hands and say ‘Yes, I want to hear more’ by clicking on a link that tags them as interested.
What you’re doing is segmenting a group of people who are 1. interested in hearing more about your affiliate product 2. in the market to purchase that particular tool or service.
Follow up with emails to only these group of people. Let them know the results you’ve seen and why they should purchase the product.
This way you won’t bother other subscribers who aren’t interested.
#4 Post Tease
We discussed why it may not be wise to to only send out blog post notifications.
But there are certain posts on your blog that are ‘pillar’ or ‘cornerstone’ blog posts. These are posts that new subscribers will benefit from reading.
Pillar or Cornerstone blog posts:
- Are Definitive guides and thoroughly detailed
- They explain and answer commonly asked questions your target audience have
- They are evergreen i.e. not time or trend dependent
Instead of having them buried in your archives, include their links in a ‘post tease’ email in your welcome on-boarding for new subscribers.
A post tease email raises curiosity so that the subscriber clicks over to read your blog post.
Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs-Journey is someone who has perfected the art of the post tease.
Have a look at his email below.
#5 The ‘Start here’ email
Think of this as the equivalent of a start here page.
This email will make a good addition to a subscriber’s welcome on-boarding series.
This type of email will also help old subscribers catch up on your best of best posts and resources
An example of this is from John Lee Dumas from EOFire. He provides links to his free email courses and lead magnets all in one email for easy reference.
We’re all wired to want to know what the best tools are.
You don’t have to limit these to productivity or blogging tools. Think of it from your niche.
If you’re a travel blogger, what tools help you plan your travels. If you run a food blog, what tools help you with your meal planning or grocery shopping.
The possibilities are endless and you’re only limited by your creativity
Here’s an example of an email from Farideh Ceaser.
#7 Behind the scenes
Just launched a new product or service?
Are you trying out a new technique or tool?
These are perfect opportunities to share in a ‘Behind the scenes’ email.
Your subscribers get insider access and who doesn’t like to be part of an exclusive group?
See how Abby at Just a girl and a her blog does this:
#8 The ‘How can I help you’ email
How do you figure out what your audience wants?
Why don’t you ask them?
Ian Clearly from RazorSocial offers to help 5 of his subscribers with a quick coaching call. He also promises to respond to each and every single email.
That’s a massive incentive for people to hit reply and let you know what they’re struggling with.
The responses will be pure gold because they’ll directly feed into the content and products you create.
Another take on this email archetype is the survey email.
If you have an email list, consider doing a 6-monthly survey.
If you’re thinking, Nah, I have a small list. I’ll skip this for later….STOP.
A small list is no reason to not send a survey.
Rather, it’s a better reason to do so.
Small lists are often more engaged because you have more time for them. You also probably respond to their emails personally.
Here’s an example of an email I sent to my list asking for help with a survey.
#9 Curated Content
Kevin Duncan from Be a better blogger sends an email once a week with a curation of the best articles from the week on blogging.
You could do a curation of the best articles based on a theme related to your blog.
While you don’t have to follow a weekly frequency like Kevin does, you can add this type of email to your mix and do a curation once a month or once every few months.
Newsletters are more personal and they give your readers a behind the scenes peek into what you are doing.
It also gives readers who haven’t caught up on your posts a chance to do so.
Here’s an example from Jeff Goins.
He starts of with a personal story, shares a take away and goes on to provide an update on what’s going on in his blog.
Here’s another example from Amy Lynn Andrews’ popular Useletter.
#11 Go personal
This is similar to the ‘How I messed up’ email.
But it doesn’t have to only be about a mistake or failure. It could be a compelling personal experience that has impacted you.
Jason Zook of Jason Does Stuff sent his list an email talking about what giving up his Twitter Verified Status meant to him.
#12 Break the myths
There are myths in every niche and industry.
Why not break these down?
It’ll give your subscribers clarity and they’ll thank you for setting them on the right path.
See how Sarah Morgan does this in her email.
#13 Unexpected Freebie Email
This is something your subscribers are going to love you for.
Jonathan Milligan from Blogging Your Passion always rewards his subscribers with helpful resources.
This is a great incentive to stay on his list because subscribers get exclusive, first dibs on material he creates.
#14 Favourite things Email
This is similar to the ‘Tools’ email.
You could share your favourite things centered on a particular theme. For instance, you could share your favourite books on starting a food blog or your favourite blogs for design inspiration.
#15 Inspirational Email
Everyone loves a good ‘pick me up’.
Why not be that for your subscribers?
See how Breanne Dyck from MNIB Consulting does it in this email:
#16 ‘Sorry, I didn’t keep my promise’ Email
So, you haven’t emailed your list in the longest time.
It’s awkward. Uncomfortable. Makes you cringe just thinking about doing it again.
How do you handle this?
Come clean and apologize. Let them know what held you back.
Make up for it by putting together a good info guide or resource they can download.
Don’t leave your subscribers hanging
Having your own email list is a responsibility–whether you have 20, 200 or 2000 people.
So treat it as you would treat your blog.
Don’t stick to sending the typical newsletters.
Experiment with different types of emails. Find out what emails your subscribers resonate with.
As Seth Godin says in his book Tribes:
Every tribe leader I’ve met shares one thing: the decision to lead
So lead your subscribers.
They’re counting on you to help them in whatever way you can