How many times a day do you check your email?

I check my email about 100 times a day, though I know that may be inefficient and more than most.

The point is that most people check their email regularly and if you can get your message into someone’s inbox you get direct access to that person. Whether they read your newsletter then becomes a matter of choice (do I read it or do I delete it?) as opposed to chance, which is what other social networks provide unless special notifications are turned on.

Three years ago I ran one of my first social media strategy workshops and I had a photographer attend. During the workshop we had a lengthy conversation about how a newsletter would be a good tool for her to use in her business. She hated the idea. She hated getting newsletters and didn’t understand why she should send something to her clients that she would never want to get?

The answer I gave her is that not everyone feels the way she does and giving people the option to get content the way that they want is important. She decided to give it a go and her monthly newsletter is now one of her biggest sales generators.

She’s not alone. So many people don’t want to send newsletters because they don’t like getting them. But the key is to do it right. If you do, you’ll get huge value out of your newsletter.

Give value

Nobody wants to sign up for a regular sales pitch or at least, not many people do. When you’re planning your newsletter, make sure that you have a plan for creating value for your audience.

What does your audience want? What do they need? How can you provide that for them?

For us, we share free tips and tricks on how to use social media for business. For others, it could be discounts and coupons, it could be first access to programs or products, or it could be information sharing on how to get better at the things that audience cares about. 

Really think about who you’re talking to and what they would like to get. If you aren’t sure what they’d like, ask a few people and start there. 

Be consistent

When people expect to receive your newsletter and know what is likely to be in the newsletter they are more likely to open it to see what’s inside. Make sure that you send your newsletter at a regular interval. Once a week is a great amount, but if you can’t manage that, start with once every two weeks or once a month. 

Tell people about it

People won’t sign up for your newsletter if you don’t ask them to and tell them what the value that you’ve already decided that newsletter will have will be.

Make sure to have a lot of opportunities for people to sign up for your newsletter – on your web site, on your Facebook page, when you’re at live events. And don’t forget to include the why:

  • “For first access to our latest programs;” 
  • “For special deals on our products and services;”
  • “For free information on the best ways to create a happy life.”

Whatever it is that you’re doing, don’t expect people to come up and ask you to be on your list, tell them they need to be there with a reason they can’t turn down.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell me what you offer and how you convince people to sign up for your newsletter or share an example of a newsletter you get and what convinced you to sign up for it. And if you haven’t yet signed up for OUR newsletter, you really should! We provide free tips and tricks to help you use social media to grow your business online AND you’ll get a free copy of our Daily Social Media Checklist!

Does everyone hate getting newsletters?

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the fact that I think newsletters are important, but I think it’s worth saying again. 

I’m a huge fan of newsletters. In fact, I’m that annoying person who is always asking everyone if they have a newsletter and trying to convince them to start one if they haven’t. The reason I hear most often for not having a newsletter is:

“*I* hate getting newsletters”

So if that’s you, here’s what I want to say:

That’s totally fine. You can hate newsletters and I have no issue with that! I KNOW you think they clog up your inbox and that they feel like sales pitches to you. I know you would rather go and find your own information and you’re tired of everyone and their brother asking you to sign up to their newsletter. I know. I sympathize. I do. :)

But here’s the thing. You’re not everybody.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who WANT to get newsletters. They don’t want to go looking for information, they want it right there in front of them to choose to read or not.

They don’t go on Facebook or use RSS to find their content. They check their email 10+ times a day.

They are happy to open emails they asked to receive.

Does it really work?

Sara McConnell of Sara McConnell Photography wasn’t convinced when we first talked about her starting a newsletter.  I pushed pretty hard and it now has a direct impact on her bottom line.

There are several reasons why I didn’t want to create a newsletter: I don’t like reading them when they’re emailed to my inbox and I felt that with twitter, Facebook, and blogging, that I had all my bases covered.  What I realized though is that I don’t represent my typical customer (with my social media habits) and that I was missing out on an opportunity to reach out to clients as well as offer them exclusive deals and information, something I couldn’t do through the social media platforms I was using.  Seventeen newsletters later and I’m clearly a convert!

So, does everyone hate getting newsletters?

The simple answer is no. Some people really do like getting newsletters, and some people are happy to get specific newsletters sometimes. The key is to provide value.  

Sara provides early access to sessions in her newsletters so opening her newsletters gives you the opportunity to get the best possible timing on your photoshoots.  

Wellman Wilson’s newsletter recaps the top content from the previous two weeks for those who can’t make it to the blog on a regular basis and we also announce new programs there first (sign up in the box below!)

What can you provide your audience that would make it worth their time to open your newsletter to see what you have to say?


Buzz, Brilliance and Blogging: Week ending April 28

Every week I compile a list of the noteworthy social media news (Buzz), balanced with valuable commentary (Brilliance) and I recently added Blogging to the mix as well. The links that follow are to sites and blogs that I read on a regular basis - consider them recommended reading for you too. Or you can just come back here each week for a taste of what stuck out to me.



It’s probably not a huge surprise to you if I say that women are more likely than men to have a blog or a Facebook page. This is good information for marketers to be aware of when they’re creating and distributing content.

Speaking of Facebook, they have been busy little bees this week making tweaks and changes. First off, the larger profile photos I mentioned last week are now live for profiles and pages. They’ve been making some design changes to how your friends are displayed on your timeline (I noticed this yesterday on mine.) Another new addition is trending articles. I also mentioned them last week and so far, meh. They’re all from readers, so I don’t find it’s useful with such a major limitation.

I still need to download it for mine, but if you’re an iOS (iPad) or Android user, you might want to check out LinkedIn’s new app. Apparently, it’s quite impressive from what I’ve heard so far. Based on this description, I’m quite looking forward to trying it out.

In other mobile app news, you can now know your Klout wherever you go if you’re an iPhone user. Of course, we have yet to see the Klouchebag app come out, so I don’t believe we have a complete mobile picture of influence without that.

Twitter spam occasionally reaches obnoxious proportions. That was the case a while ago, though it’s slowed down. Lately, I’ve heard that Twitter is working on solutions, but perhaps some of the problem is can be solved with greater daily vigilence by individuals?

Google+ has released a share button, which is different from the +1 button, but I actually wonder if that isn’t just more confusing to have two. I often share content using the +1 button, so that part seems redundant at the very least.


As a business, have you realized yet that social media is the easiest way to scale word of mouth marketing? As a client recently said to me, “social media is a big mouth”.

Email has gotten out of control for me, so I’m very interested in tools to help me manage it. For a change this week, I’m also going to try ignoring my email inbox. (And turn of notifications on your phone.) Come back next week and tell me if you’re more productive.

Do you display your Twitter stream on your business web site? You might want to think about reconsidering that decision.


I said there probably wouldn’t be anymore to share from Mitch Joel’s challenge, but I was wrong. And I want to share Amber Naslund’s in particular because when she writes about certain things like her philosophy (“I write to discover what I think.”), I relate to it so closely.

Do you want to know if you’re doing things wrong with your blog? Sometimes we need the constructive criticism/suggestions to help boost our efforts to the next level. Scan this article and see if you find three things you can work on this week to make your blog better. 

Blogging regularly can be challenging. Topic ideas can feel dry or boring or uninspiring. Rarely are there blogging memes that businesses can legitimately participate in, but I’m contemplating doing this one.

Fun Stuff

There are such creative, big personalities out there in the world and the Internet is allowing us to see them in action. This is one creative campaign to sell a car.