Every email marketer I’ve talked to eventually faces one problem:
They struggle to consistently send emails to their subscribers.
This is a big problem.
Because if you don’t send regular and valuable emails, your audience will quickly become disengaged.
And here’s the scary part: disengagement leads to unsubscribes, poor deliverability and spam complaints. And eventually, subscribers will become so cold that they’ll stop opening your emails.
Many businesses realize the importance of a regular email frequency and send multiple emails each month. In fact, in 2016, 38 percent of businesses sent two to three emails each month while 28 percent sent four to five emails each month, according to The DMA.
But you may not have time to send this many emails. Or, perhaps, you have no idea what content to send your subscribers.
So what’s the solution?
There’s one simple email that’ll help.
The blog newsletter email.
In this post, I’ll walk you through all the strategies and tricks I’ve learned for creating amazing blog newsletters.
Our formula for an epic blog newsletter (Or, everything you should put inside this email)
Blog newsletter emails, sometimes referred to as blog digests, keep subscribers engaged and encourage them to read and share your content. And the best part? You can create them in under 30 minutes!
Because you can follow the same process and use the same structure every time you send this email, you don’t need to spend time brainstorming a new whole concept.
And, the content of these emails is short. Which means you can spend less time writing.
Your blog newsletter email should include links to your most recent blog posts, as well as older and popular or still relevant blog content.
Although we call it a blog newsletter, you can share any of your content in this email, like webinars, videos, courses and podcast episodes.
For each piece of content you include, write a short synopsis that’ll interest your subscribers and get them to click on and read the post.
In AWeber’s blog newsletters, I typically include three or four different posts or pieces of content. We’ve found that this number of posts gives subscribers options to choose from without overwhelming them.
Here’s an example of a recent blog newsletter email:
For your own blog email newsletter, I recommend testing the number of content pieces you include. You may find that your audience responds well to more, or less, posts in your email.
For example, try three posts one week and try four the next. Then, compare click-through rates for those two different emails to see which performed better.
The right frequency: How often you should send to get maximum engagement
Spoiler: There’s no magic email frequency that leads to the best results.
But here’s the key:
Commit to a schedule and stick with it.
When you send your email regularly (like every Monday morning, for example), your audience knows when to expect it. And if they love your content, they’ll look for that email in their inbox on the day they expect to receive it. This boosts your email open and click-through rates.
You can let subscribers know when you send your newsletter in your sign up form or welcome email. Check out how my favorite email newsletter, theSkimm, does this in their sign up form:
Theskimm’s sign up form says that the email “is delivered to your inbox each AM.” This clearly tells people when and how often they can expect to receive it.
But how often should you send your own blog newsletter email?
The short answer: Your ideal send frequency is unique to you, because your audience and your business are unique.
A good rule to follow is sending emails as often as you’re able to send valuable content without annoying your subscribers.
There’s three things to consider with this: your time, your content and your audience.
- Your time: Determine a frequency that works with your schedule. If you’re slammed for time every week, it might not be a good idea to commit to a daily blog newsletter.
- Your content: Don’t create much content? A monthly blog newsletter may be better for you. Create tons of content? Try sending a weekly newsletter.
- Your audience: Does your audience have time to read a daily newsletter? Will they forget about you if you only send an email once a month? Consider your audience’s feelings and goals when establishing a blog newsletter frequency. If you’re not sure what your audience prefers, send them a survey and ask them how often they’d like to receive your newsletter.
Here at AWeber, we create multiple pieces of content in a week, and we see better email engagement when we send frequent emails. Which means we can send a newsletter more often. So we chose to send our blog newsletter every Thursday afternoon.
At the very least, you should send your blog newsletter once a month. If you send it less frequently than that, subscribers won’t be expecting it in their inbox and may forget who you are. And that can hurt your engagement.
What if I don’t have enough content? Or any at all?
Forty four percent of companies say producing enough content is their biggest challenge.
And it’s no wonder: Producing quality content on a regular basis takes time.
But here’s the good news: There are two simple tricks that’ll give you plenty of content to share.
Curate and repurpose content.
First, let’s talk about curation.
Content curation is gathering and sharing relevant content created by other people with your own audience.
By finding and sharing valuable content with your audience, you can position yourself as a thought leader and a reliable source for useful information. Your audience will benefit from the content (if you’re curating the right stuff), and you’ll have content to send them, even if you didn’t have time to create any yourself.
Some newsletters are entirely curated! And some newsletters combine their brand’s own content and curated content written by others.
Shane Parrish includes content from his own blog, Farnam Street, and content from other sites in his weekly newsletter “Brain Food”:
By doing this, Shane can send a newsletter filled with highly valuable content, which educates his subscribers and saves them the time of searching for it themselves.
The second tactic you can use to make sure you always have content on hand is repurposing your past content.
For example, when we’re short on new content for AWeber’s weekly blog newsletter, I include older content that was helpful to or popular with our audience in the past.
When I choose older posts for the email, I just make sure we haven’t recently shared that post with subscribers. And for new subscribers, they may have never seen this content before! So resending it is a great way to share valuable content they may have missed.
Or, you can take past content and repurpose it in a different format. For instance, you could turn a blog post into a short explainer video. Or, take a long blog post and repurpose it into a few shorter posts.
Pro tip: To easily curate content from your phone, try AWeber’s mobile app Curate.
Find beautiful, free images for your newsletter (That aren’t cheesy!)
Images are a great way to make your blog newsletter more eye-catching and break up chunks of text.
However, good images can be hard to find or expensive.
But if you’d like to find high-quality, beautiful, free images, there are few sites that can help out. Try Pexels, Unsplash and StockSnap.io. We often use images from these sites for our own blog and blog newsletter.
When selecting your images, find ones that are relevant to your content and eye-catching. (Images with contrasting colors tend to catch the eye.)
For more tips on choosing the right image, read this: 5 Tips for Choosing Images That’ll Make Your Content Engagement Skyrocket.
Want an example of a company whose blog newsletter images are awesome? Check out BuzzFeed’s Tasty Newsletter. In it, BuzzFeed uses beautiful, eye-catching and relevant images to draw their subscribers in.
Pro tip: Some newsletters use images. Some don’t. Split test your newsletter to find out which works best with your audience.
How to choose the right newsletter email template
The email template you build your newsletter in impacts how people engage with your newsletter. The right template will make it easy for people to read and engage with your email. The wrong one will distract them or lose their interest.
Here are a few things you should look for in your blog digest template:
Whitespace: Choose a template with whitespace that divides sections of content. Breaking up your content this way can make your email less visually overwhelming.
Headlines: Headlines are also an important part of a good blog newsletter template. Headlines help subscribers scan your email and find the content that’s most valuable or interesting to them.
Call-to-action buttons: You can use either call-to-action buttons or hyperlinked text to link off to your newsletter content. At AWeber, we use call-to-action buttons, because we’ve found that they give us higher click-through rates.
If you’re an AWeber customer, we have a few ready-to-use templates that are perfect for blog newsletter emails. You even have access to the exact same template we use for our own blog newsletter: the Digest template. Here’s what it looks like:
With this template, you can add new sections with a few clicks and you can customize your CTA button copy, images, headlines and descriptions and add your own logo.
Plus, you can remove images if you don’t want to include them in your blog newsletter.
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