Inspiration can’t be turned on like a lightbulb. So when you’ve determined that you should be sending out a monthly newsletter, what do you do if inspiration runs dry? Before you create your first newsletter, consider what you want your emails to accomplish. Use the purpose of your newsletters as the baseline of all the emails you send out.
“You want your content to strike the right balance between being informative and entertaining while also making sure it supports a larger company strategy” – Kathy Hanbury | 5 Steps to Creating an Effective Content Mix
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Be the expert
Give your contacts relevant information about your industry: If you’re a hair salon, you can separate your customers by hair length, and suggest different styles for each. If you’re a restaurant, you might even consider sharing a recipe for salad dressing, or give wine pairing suggestions.
“The best way to get your email opened is to write content worthy of being opened.” – Scott Stratten | The Best Time to Never Send Emails
If you’re a mechanic, you can send an email to remind customers to change their winter tires, or get their Air Conditioning checked. Dentist? Send a reminder for their next appointment (with a note to make sure people are flossing!)
Did you attend an event and meet up plenty of great new people? Acknowledge them: send them an email, thanking them for their time, and asking them questions about what interests them. If it’s your first time meeting them, you should use the first email after the event to ask them to confirm that they want to receive further emails from you.
By asking people when their birthday is, you can send them “Birthday Presents” via email: they can bring a printout of the email you sent them to redeem their gift. You won’t have to remember the day either: just create twelve groups (one for every month), and schedule an email to be sent out on the first of the month.
Share a story
If you’re a wedding planner, and you saw a really awesome tradition take place, you can tell your other clients about it – it might help them create new traditions.
Any company news and changes
Going to a trade show out of town? Send an email to your customers in a city to tell them you’ll be nearby. Moving? Tell your loyal followers about your new address.
Take a look at a calendar
Seasonal greetings can be a great springboard for content, so get inspired by upcoming events and holidays the next time you run into a dry spell.
Download the printable calendar
Whatever topics you choose to broach in your communications, use a mix of mostly amazing, relevant and targeted content with the occasional sale or promotion. Tip: Sales or promotional emails perform best if they’re targeted to contacts who have interest in what’s on sale; use previous purchases and previously opened emails about the topic to create a group of people who’d be interested.
After all, email is a great place to begin, or continue, a conversation with people. But all in all, however much people enjoy receiving news about promotions and specials, these aren’t very conducive to great conversations.