A monthly newsletter… easy peasy lemon squeezy right? Maybe.
What will you send your newsletter subscribers every month? Will it be a standard format every month? Or something new and different every month?
Let’s walk through creating the plan for your monthly newsletter
- Plan – Plan the topic and the strategy for the content. Decide what day and time you’re going to send the newsletter for maximum engagement.
- Content – Gather your content and organize the order it goes into the newsletter. Add the content to the newsletter template and format it for easy reading.
- Send – Schedule the day and time of your monthly newsletter send
- Analyze – 1 month from the send look at the newsletter stats. What can you do to get more opens and clicks?
Topics don’t have to be challenging
What topic will further your business goals?
In a perfect world with butterflies and puppies, we would have a content calendar with 1 year of topics. We’re doing phenomenal if we’re 3 months ahead. Realistically we’re planning the topic for the current month.
I always look backward, from the outcome to the present.
- Is your goal for your business this month?
- Steps do you need to take to get there?
- Do you need to sell to reach your goal?
- Should people learn so they understand they need your products or services?
Is there a seasonal topic you need to cover?
January – Year-end wrap-ups and New Year’s resolutions
February – Presidents Day and sales
March – St Patrick’s Day and spring
April – Easter and spring
May – Memorial Day
June – Summer and vacations
July – The 4th of July
August – There are no holidays … but people are thinking of back to school
September – Labor Day
October – Black Friday build-up and Halloween
November – Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving
December – Holidays and New Year Resolutions
I like to use business goals as topics with a sprinkling of seasonal topics, especially when the seasonal topics focus on sales seasons like Black Friday.
Content can come from many places
Have a great blog post on your topic? Include it.
People subscribed to your newsletter because they want to hear what you have to say. Make sure you actually “talk” to them in the newsletter so they get a feeling of who you are and your expertise.
Read some great articles on your topic? Include them.
Write a short paragraph explaining why the article is important for your subscribers to read. This will give them a quick insight into your expertise, even though you’re curating content.
Any industry news that needs to be covered?
Cover any new developments in your industry or topic. Include links to press releases and industry news sites.
What “how-to” topics should you cover?
If there is a “how-to” that coordinates with your topic, make a quick “how-to” video and include it in your newsletter. Not only will people see your expertise, but they’ll also see your personality. This will help them decide if they want to work with you.
Do you have any upcoming sales?
This goes without saying … include your latest sales or promotion.
Any new products or services?
If you have a new product, announce it. You may even want to include a video to give subscribers a peek into the product, what it does, and how it works.
Anything new going on in your business?
Maybe a new employee that will interface with your clients just started. Write a quick bio and a pic so people will know who to look for or contact.
If you moved to a new location, include the address and a map to make subscribers aware of the change for the future.
Have an upcoming event or speaking gig where people can meet you?
These can be in person or via webinar or Live video. Give people the opportunity to attend. You’ll fill seats, and people will get a chance to meet you and learn more about you and what you do.
Have you published any guest posts?
If you have a guest post on someone else’s website or blog, include it in your newsletter. It gives an audience outside of yours a chance to get to know you, and you’ll look good to the website/blog owner by promoting their site to your audience. Get good enough at promoting, and people will be flocking to you for guest posts.
Have you been featured on any podcasts?
Include links to your guest podcast spots so your subscribers can listen. Again you’ll be introducing your audience to a new person/emcee/site, and they see you as an expert in your field.
Any customer reviews or case studies you want to spotlight?
If you got a stellar customer review include it in your newsletter as social proof.
If a client has received a big benefit from using you and your product/service, write up a case study and include it in your monthly email.
What type of content format will get the most engagement?
People are visual, and videos work well on both social media and in email. If you include a video how-to or speaking gig in your email, you’ll give people an up-close and personal look at your expertise and personality.
Using an image with an excerpt with a link back to a blog post pushes people back to your post and website. This gives people a chance to look around and maybe even make a purchase.
What day and time will get you the most opens and clicks
If you’re a B2C business you’re not stuck with the Tuesday through Thursday send. If you have weekend events a Friday at lunch send can be excellent. Is your business kid-centric? An early Saturday morning send can work because parents plan their weekend activities early.
If you’re a B2B business it’s best to stick with the traditional Tuesday – Thursday send. Early is always good, but a lunchtime send can also work. People come into work and may delete emails that clutter their inbox, but after lunch, they’re a little tired and not so eager to get back to work so they take time to read their emails.
Tie it together to reinforce concepts
Go through the topic list and decide what to share with your audience. Is there a theme we can use to tie them all together and bring some continuity to the newsletter? Does your “how-to” video reinforce your blog post or vice versa?
Make it user-friendly
Now think about the length and format of the newsletter. If you have lots of exciting news to share, you may need to send short emails biweekly, or weekly. If you want a longer in-depth newsletter, the monthly format is perfect.
But something to be aware of here… Content at the top of the newsletter gets read, the further down the page the less your content is read. So put important items at the top of the newsletter. Have a sale or event … put it first. Put the details and links essential to your business at the top of the newsletter.
Put fun and interesting items at the bottom to encourage scrolling. This is a great place for games and contests and the perfect place to announce contest winners.
So now that you know what’s going in the monthly newsletter, it’s your job to come up with the content. But hopefully, now you have a plan that you can fulfill on.