I love newsletters. Writing a newsletter is the best thing I do for my business each week. It’s fun, it builds community, it brings me new freelance work, and it drives sales more effectively than all the social media updates I do combined.
I’ve really enjoyed helping other small creative businesses develop their own email newsletter strategies with my ebook and my CreativeLive class and one of things I always recommend as a first step is to subscribe to lots of newsletters. It might seem obvious, but it’s a step I think lots of people overlook. The best way to figure out what you want in your own newsletter is to read lots of great newsletters!
I’m a serial newsletter subscriber. A newsletter is a blank slate with so much potential and I love to see what people are doing in that medium. Today I want to share three newsletters I’ve discovered in the last six months that I love.
They share some commonalities:
- They come every week.
- They’re not overly salesly. The tone is that of a helpful friend.
- There’s real content inside that is totally valuable and interesting and actionable.
I’ve linked to a recent issue of each one so that you can click over and give them each a quick read to see if you might like them as well before you decide to subscribe.
Ready? Here we go…
Jamie Starcevich is a graphic designer who creates brand identity packages for small business. This includes logo, typography, color, pattern, print collateral and web design.
Each issue of her newsletter is a helpful mini-lesson on creating a consistent brand look online. In the issue I link to she demonstrates the difference in effectiveness between using warm colors versus cool colors when creating opt-in buttons. Most issues come with a free printable. In this issue it’s a sheet of call to action templates along with a list of words to use and words to avoid when writing a call to action.
This newsletter is well-written and beautifully designed and the information is useful. I know what Jamie is selling and I’d likely recommend her services now that I see what her newsletter is like.
Kate Ahl runs Simple Pin Media, a Pinterest management service for small business. She’ll do everything from standard maintenance of your Pinterest boards to full-time management of your Pinterest presence.
The Simple Pin Media newsletter is terrific. Each week Kate sends you actionable tips you can use to improve how you use Pinterest. These are often little tweaks that make a big difference, hidden features you can use to your advantage, or just seasonal reminders of thing you should do to freshen up your boards.
In the issue I link to Kate recommends changing out your board covers for fall by choosing images with red, orange, and yellow. She also suggests moving your most popular boards to the top row (this is on my to-do list right now).
I know that Kate has a Pinterest 101 course, and I know that she offers client services because she mentions those in her newsletter. I would be likely to recommend one or both after receiving such a helpful newsletter each week.
Sara Weber is a journalist who writes about business, technology, and media. She also listens to a whole lot of podcasts. Each week she sends out a really terrific Tiny Letter newsletter about podcasts called Adolescence is a Marketing Tool.
Like Sara, I love podcasts and over the past year I’ve subscribed and unsubscribed to several podcast-focused newsletters. This one is my favorite (sorry Hot Pod!). In each issue Sara recommends five (or more) specific recent episodes of different podcasts for you to try. She tells you briefly why she’s recommending them and then links directly to the iTunes listing which means if you’re reading on your phone you can download the episode right then.
Podcasting remains a medium dominated by men and I so appreciate reading a newsletter about podcasting written by a woman. Sara is also not solely focused on NPR shows (thank goodness) and is unafraid to link to a more indie-made program.
At the moment, Sara isn’t selling anything, but if she were to start? I’d totally buy one.
Do you subscribe to (or write) a newsletter you think I might like? I’d love to hear about it.