I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your newsletter is the foundation of your loyalty program. When people who are a fit for the way you want to serve in the world subscribe to your list, they’re giving you permission to talk to them about the things that they’re interested in. They’re also more likely to collaborate with you—or in sales speak, buy something—later on.
Unlike your Instagram stories, email doesn’t need to happen #IRT (in real time). Email allows you to make unlimited, committed contact with your subscribers over time and that means you are more likely to turn them into a client when they are ready to buy; one of the most important rules of sales. I’ve been writing my own newsletter since 2011 and it makes me especially pleased when someone who has been on my list since “olden times” makes the decision that after reading me for “years”, they’re finally ready to work together.
Lately, I’ve been on the receiving end of emails fired out by designers who want to let their subscribers know that they’ve been published, and that’s pretty much it. They haven’t been in regular communication. They don’t address their reader by name and the email is nothing but a press.png and a link.
Don’t do that.
What does your reader get out of that?
The message of that kind of communication feels very: me, me, me.
I know. I know. That wasn’t your intention but if you’re firing off random emails in that way, you’re probably not intentional with your communication at all.
Getting press is an important part of a strategic visibility plan but it doesn’t make you a better designer, and if you choose to communicate that way, it won’t deepen your relationship with the people you’re here to serve. Newsletters can be confusing yes, but what you say only matters if you know who you’re talking to and if you’ve spent quality time figuring out what to say.
Remember, a loyalty program allows you to build an audience and if you’ve ever performed in theatre, or have been part of the audience giving a standing ovation at a Broadway show, you know that the audience is not only there to listen, it’s there to be listened to. Communication, especially the unspoken and energetic kind, goes both ways. Even, and especially, when they’ve stopped connecting with you.
I know. I know. You’re annoyed by all those newsletters in your inbox. Me too.
The caveat is, I’m annoyed by the people who add me without my permission; spam me with what they’re selling incessantly; or who don’t have a clue about who is on the other end of what they write.
On the other end of the spectrum are the newsletters that I can’t wait for, the people whose communication has me hooked.
Those emails I save for the times when I’m less busy because I like what they have to say.
Because they inspire me.
Because they teach me something I don’t know.
Because they’re beautiful to look at. Or, because they’ve made an offer I can’t refuse.
If you write a newsletter like that, you will always have people to listen to.