So you’ve read all the hype around newsletters, huh?
It’s true, newsletters have made their comeback just like 90’s fashion (who knew bell bottoms would ever become a thing again…). Newsletters are sprouting up like weeds and it feels like the chance to get in on the hype is limited.
But that doesn’t mean you should rush to put together a newsletter. Just like any marketing strategy, you don’t want to duct tape it together and hope it works out. You want to strategize how to curate a newsletter that shifts subscribers into customers.
What’s the most useful content you can give subscribers that will ALSO bring them towards your offer?
Let’s figure it out by answering 3 questions.
#1: What challenges does your customer avatar have around the problem(s) your product(s) fix?
Before you write a word of newsletter content, you need to know why you’re writing it. The goal of getting newsletter subscribers is to get them to become customers, so you want to be very conscious of this when figuring out what content to put in your newsletter.
Since you’re leading your subscribers down a set path, you want your content to support your offer/products. For example, at DigitalMarketer we have a weekly newsletter called DM Insider with 4 sections:
Quick strategy and/or guidance
A useful tool
5 things happening in the marketing world right now
Swipe file with templates they can access
Each of these sections helps our subscribers with their marketing challenges. Our subscribers need general business and marketing help, they want to know what tools can help them do their jobs faster, they need to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the digital marketing world, and they want to know what templates are working best for headers, landing pages, social content, etc.
This leads our subscribers right to our products, membership tiers that make them better marketers. Here’s what subscribers read at the end of our DM Insider newsletter:
Your newsletter content is the top of the funnel; it needs to act as a pathway towards your products and offers. By curating content that helps your subscribers with the challenges they face around the problems your products solve, you’ll hand them the flashlight that leads them down the path you’ve built.
Before you move on to the next section, make a list of what challenges your customer avatar has around the problem(s) your product(s) fix.
We were able to figure out the challenges our customer avatars were having around digital marketing by using the Customer Avatar Worksheet.
#2: How can you turn these challenges into regular content?
Now that you know what challenges your customer avatar is facing, you can figure out how to turn these challenges into regular content.
There are 3 ways to go about this:
Write your own content around these challenges
Link out other publications writing about these challenges
Write your own content + link out to other publications
We do both: we curate our own content and we link out to other publications.
Here’s another example: our customer avatar needs marketing help, so the very first part of our newsletter is a business or marketing strategy/guidance they can start using today. We want this to be quick, useful advice that shows them how much we know our stuff.
Then, the third part of our newsletter (after we show our subscribers a tool we’re really loving) highlights content from other publications. Here’s an example of one of the Inside 5 sections of a past newsletter:
We highlight the part of the articles that our avatars are going to find the most useful, but we make sure to link out to the original source so our subscribers can read the whole article if they’re interested. The Inside 5 section of our newsletter keeps our subscribers up to date on everything they need to know about the marketing world right now—it takes a huge burden off their shoulders as they also try to run a business and keep up with their ongoing campaigns.
Turning your customer avatar’s challenges into content is the essential driving force of your newsletter. That’s what makes them subscribe.
Grab your list of challenges and next to each one, then brainstorm how you can create content out of those challenges.
#3: How does your customer avatar want this information presented to them?
You know what challenges your customer avatar is facing, you’ve figured out what content is going to help them solve some of those challenges. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to present this information to them.
This is a fancy way of saying—what newsletter template are you going to use?
And again, let’s take a quick reminder that the RIGHT choice is: the template your customer avatar wants you to use.
For DM Insider, we know that our customer avatar doesn’t want a 30-minute long read on the latest in marketing. They want Quibi-style quick bites they can read, think about, and then apply to the rest of their day. We’ve set up our newsletter in the template that works best for our customer avatar: 4 sections of useful, easy to digest content.
Other newsletters can definitely get away with writing long-form 2,000+ word articles that their subscribers absolutely love. And other newsletters may find that a short newsletter that just quotes different sources does the trick.
It’s all about your subscriber.
How do you figure out which template will work for your newsletter?
Ask your customer avatar. Create 2-3 templates for them to choose from and then ask them which they prefer. Here’s who you can ask:
Social media followers
Remember: your newsletter is written for your customer avatar. Their opinion is the most valuable when it comes to choosing the template you’ll publish every day, week, or month.
With those 3 questions answered, you now know exactly what content you should put in your newsletter. You’re not guessing–you know this is the stuff your customer avatar is going to loveeee.
And it’s what’s going to help turn them into customers one day.