Building (and nurturing) an email list is one of the most important elements to growing a following online. Email newsletters are a direct, cost-effective way to engage with your subscribers on a personal level. And, although it may not be as glamorous as some of the social media platforms out there, it has proven to be more effective for delivering conversions and higher ROI.
But the big question is, “What should I send to my email list?”
Here are a few ideas:
Free Downloads or E-Books
As long as they are highly targeted and useful, freebies are a great way to draw your audience in and show them the level of expertise you bring to the table. It also establishes trust between you and your subscribers and preps them for any paid products you may want to put in front of them in the future.
A Worksheet, Checklist or Useful Tool
What you send will depend on your core proposition and your target audience’s needs. Someone offering content management services, for example, might give away a website audit checklist or a content planner. A leadership coach, on the other hand, might offer access to a proprietary EQ assessment tool which then leads to a one-on-one coaching session.
An Exclusive Blog Post
Those on your email list are likely to have subscribed because they appreciate the depth and breadth of content you share, so writing a piece just for them makes absolute sense.
The Curated Email
Write a commentary about 10 of your favorite blog articles and share that with your subscribers. This is an easy way to introduce your followers to great value in the form of content that is written by others, and an opportunity to develop a collaborative relationship with fellow bloggers/business owners.
Photos & Videos from Social Media
Emails do not always need to be filled with extensive written content. Let’s say you’ve developed images, photos or a video for a product launch, for example. Sending the visual and a quick caption may be all you need for a great campaign.
When you come across relevant, informative or inspiring YouTube videos, share these with your list – along with a written piece on the value and/or benefit of the video.
Online Polls & Surveys
Create customized surveys on platforms like Survey Monkey to seek feedback on your next business idea, compile the results (and then share those results). Not only will your audience appreciate the dialogue, but the survey results will also provide you with actionable data.
You could ask your readers to submit their questions and answer them. (Tip: Don’t have a huge list just yet? You can still do this by visiting topic-related forums like Quora or relevant Facebook groups, see what questions are being asked there, and answer those instead.)
“How to” Instructions or Tutorials
You can send “how to” instructions via email and if you think illustrations or screenshots will enhance the learning experience for your readers, include a link to a tutorial you’ve posted online.
A Post-Event Summary
Do you attend conferences, workshops, seminars, or other training events? Take notes and combine those notes into a post-event summary and write-up. If, as an example, you are a coach for startups attending a Business Mastery conference, you could recap the event and post your thoughts in a way that your readers can benefit from your experience.
While your content options are limitless, the key is in finding that intersection between your interests and your readers’ interests.
Think about the email lists that you are subscribed to.
Consider the types of content you’ve received and felt the most engaged with.
How can you replicate those types of content for your ideal reader?