Stop reading newsletters and digital marketing strategies to build your mailing list

Stop & Think Before You Create a Newsletter

Newsletters. Who really reads them, anyway, right?

And, why, as business owners, do we keep telling people to “build their list!” by having newsletters when we know people rarely read them?

The answer is because we’re scared.

We’re afraid if we don’t capture someone’s email, we won’t be able to SELL them something once we “win their trust”.

*shaking head and trying not to throw up*

I don’t know about you, but I do sign up for and read newsletters. There’s always a reason but they pretty much fall into three categories. Are you ready to read more?

Three Reasons I Subscribe to Newsletters.

1) Competitive Analysis: I want to see what people who are in my field are doing with their newsletters.

2) Continuing Education: I want to stay up to date on research and information from people who work both in and outside of my industry.

3) Prospecting: I want to see how potential clients are using newsletters/mailing lists and if there are ways I can help them do it better.

Newsletters aren’t evil.

If you’re a business owner, though, and you’ve decided to have a newsletter, may I gently recommend that you examine carefully your reason behind it?

If it’s to build your list, that’s not always the bad thing I alluded it to be.

For specific types of businesses, a newsletter can be a great way to connect with your supporters, grow your community, and share your services with more people.

Women shop on cell phones to find social media and content marketing ideas

To be clear, wanting to sell to people isn’t an evil thing.

The whole reason you’re in business is that you have something to provide that others – hopefully – need and want to buy.

Where I get slightly sick about the whole “build your list” thing is that it feels a bit backward, motive-wise. It puts our need as business owners ahead of the needs of our customers and clients.

I know the reason for this.

Telling people that they can’t count on social media platforms to always be around (so true!) and that if “Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, so would all your contact with your followers”, is very, very valid reason to have a newsletter and/or build your mailing list.

Except… I want us to start looking at how we create our connections online and how we use things like newsletters a bit differently.

Are we pushing sign-ups because we fear our connections aren’t strong enough?

Do we send out weekly newsletters because we think if we’re not constantly being seen in people’s inboxes they’ll forget about us and give their business to someone else?

Have we told ourselves the lie that if we’re not constantly pumping out content we’ll lose people’s attention?

I want us to rise above.

I want us to get smart and crazy strategic.

I want us to realize that every single piece of content we produce, every single part of our interactions with others, is not a one size fits all thing. We have to make it work for the people we seek to serve.

Woman reading content in library for customer connection and social media information

One way to do it that works.

One way to do it is to look at the wildly successful Joanna Gaines and the Magnolia brand. Do you know of her/it?

She doesn’t post every single day. She doesn’t send out weekly newsletters. She isn’t constantly asking people to sign up or pushing her products.

Instead, when she has something of quality to share, she does.

She OFFERS instead of SELLS and the results are that people respond.

Every. Single. Time.

women with mobile phones reading custom content that converts sales

Now, you might say, “but Leanne, I don’t have the audience she has and I don’t have the team or the budget to create the type of content that she does. How can MY posts get seen when I’m competing against an algorithm that seems to bury me in people’s feed?”

Hang tight. I’m going to be testing some things in the coming days/weeks and sharing them with you.

If you want to watch how I do this in real-time, follow me on Instagram. It’s my current “testing ground”.

In the meantime, where does this post hit you the hardest? Are you thinking I’m insane and full of it or are you nodding your head in agreement? Let me know either by commenting or by shooting me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts.