“Do newsletters work or have they they become a waste of time?”
“Everyone and their sister has a monthly newsletter these days. I’m tired of them.”
“I was getting so many of them that just last week I unsubscribed to 10.”

In the past month, quite a few people have been wanting to talk about the value of the ubiquitous monthly newsletter.  (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog post.  Word geek!)

In this post, I want to share with you some research that suggests having a monthly newsletter IS still important for your business as well as 5 ways to make yours stand out from the crowd.

Research on Having a Monthly Newsletter

Most conscious entrepreneurs don’t keep data about their monthly newsletter.  So let’s take a look at the data from more traditional business and marketing resources:

  • The Direct Marketing Association finds that the Return on Investment for email marketing is 4300%.
  • According to this 2014 report, companies are making more money from email marketing than 2 years ago.
  • Here’s a compilation of research focusing on email marketing in Europe and Australia.  It works there too.  :)

Yes, there is “email fatigue”. It’s something all of us need to pay attention to.  The best summary I’ve heard yet about the situation around email marketing in today’s world comes from Chris Brogan:

While everyone else is telling you “email is dead,” I’ve been saying for years, “Email isn’t dead. BAD email is dead.”

5 Strategies for a Great Monthly Newsletter

So Paul’s take is that the monthly newsletter isn’t dead.  It’s worth your time.  If that’s the case, how do you write a monthly newsletter that doesn’t suck or sound like everyone else?

Here’s my 5 Strategies for a Great Monthly Newsletter:

1) Start with a story.  Part of the reason a monthly newsletter often feels so boring is because most are so impersonal.  This post shows how starting with a story leads to a 300% increase of the number of people who read a blog post to the end.  I think there’s a similar dynamic with your monthly newsletter.  People care about the real life experience of other humans.   That’s a great place to start.

2) Write bolder.  Because it’s in writing, many spiritual entrepreneurs get cautious in what they say – and how they say it – in their monthly newsletter.  Cautious = boring for the reader.  Write like you’d talk to someone in person.  What kinds of things do you talk about in your work that most of your colleagues shy away from?  Write about that!

3) Notice the questions around you.  What questions are your ideal clients asking?  Tuning in to this will help you create a topic for your monthly newsletter that people will actually want to read.  Pay attention to what repeating themes are showing up in your work with clients as well as what people you resonate with are asking on social media.  Pick topics for your articles that dive into these questions.

4) Do your research.   Many entrepreneurs are content to send out newsletters full of vague generalities and lots of unsupported opinions.  I’d encourage you not to be one of them.  When you back your important points with real examples (please pay attention to confidentiality guidelines) or research from reputable sources, you stand out from the crowd.

5) Synch up your newsletter with your best content.  Most successful marketing plans these days include what’s known as “content marketing“.   If you are already posting good stuff to your blog, making great videos, or sharing consciously on social media, I’d suggest you pick the best of it to highlight in your monthly newsletter.   And if you’re not yet doing content marketing, you and I need to talk.  :)

What’s Your Experience?

With awareness, practice and a willingness to take a stand for what your truly believe in, I think it’s very feasible to have a monthly newsletter that serves both your desire to grow your business and your ideal client’s desire to get more valuable information about your topic.

What have you found to be helpful in creating a monthly newsletter that people actually WANT?   What turns you off when it comes to email marketing?  I’d love to hear your experience in the form of a comment below.