Who knew Newsletters would be such an explosive topic? A lot of chatters today weren’t sold on newsletters when we first started chatting. At first glance, it can be hard to understand why you should set aside time to publish an email newsletter. Does anyone even read them anymore? Well, yes, yes they do. You don’ t have to spend a ton of time writing a newsletter, but we talked about some compelling reasons to at least consider adding a newsletter to your outreach.
Why should you have a newsletter?
Well, I’m not trying to make more work for you, BUT, the fact is that some of your readers would prefer to get an email reminding them about your site every once in awhile. And there are some other good reasons to set up a newsletter.
- Don’t limit your readers – some prefer newsletters, some prefer RSS, some prefer video content. Don’t assume because YOU don’t want email newsletters, that some of your readers don’t.
- My newsletter was in the top 10 referrers to my site in 2010 (and I started it halfway thru the year). The numbers don’t lie!
- It doesn’t take as long as you think. Writing my newsletter each week takes about as long as it takes to write one post. I include a personal greeting, the “craft of the week,” “craft from the past,” a list of all other articles from the week.
- Use it for cross-promotion. I also include in my newsletter links from all my other sites and I promote my other social media outreaches: highlight a post from my Facebook fan page and my most popular tweet of the week.
- You can still have a newsletter, even if you don’t have time. I think you do need a newsletter. It can be just the RSS-to-email kind (which auto-generates itself). If you don’t have time to write a custom email newsletter, do these things: set up an RSS-to-email newsletter and put a newsletter signup box on your blog. Then the people who are interested in getting the newsletter will be covered, and if you ever DO decide to invest the time in your newsletter, your list will already be there waiting for you.
- Having a newsletter list is a potential selling point for advertisers! Advertisers and sponsors are interested in reaching your audience. The more ways you have to reach out, the more attractive your site is.
- Newsletters are the only thing that goes straight to the reader. People who sign up for your newsletter have ACTIVELY ASKED to be reminded about you. That’s BIG. That’s a connection you don’t have with any other type of subscriber.
If you are interested in signing up for a newsletter service, some options are:
- MailChimp – free for lists up to 2,000 (about $30 with other services)
- Aweber – starts at $19/month
- Constant Contact – starts at $15/month
- FeedBlitz – starts at $1.49/month (for less than 10 individual emails, hee hee!)
I (Heather) use MailChimp, and I like them a lot, and their free account is a lot more generous than the other services I have checked out. They have a lot of templates, a lot of tools for tracking and measuring your email campaigns.
Now, on to the rest of the info about today’s chat:
Our top 10 chatters today:
Thanks to everyone who joined us, and added your valuable tweets to our conversation.