Email newsletters are usually annoying. I work hard to make mine as infrequent, interesting and useful as I can.

In terms of receiving newsletters, the two I enjoy the most, without fail, are those from The Do Lectures and Hiut Denim (same folk, different hats, mas o menos).

I have been intending, for a while, to write a blog post about what I’ve learned about writing successful newsletters. But then today the Do Lectures did it for me in their latest newsletter. Here’s what they have to say. It’s good. Use it, Share it, Sign up for their newsletter…

“I believe in the power of newsletters to grow your business. I have good reason to do so. When I started Hiut Denim Co, I spent all the marketing budget on the coffee machine, and the nice pitched pine wood in the factory. (Regrets, I have a few)

I had hired lots of great machinists who could make one of the best pairs of jeans on the planet. But I had no money to tell the world how good they were. All these amazing machinists, hard working salt of the earth type people had left good jobs and put their trust in me. The pressure was real. So I had to figure something out. And quickly. I had to pay the wages at the end of the month.

Crisis Makes A Good Editor.
They say crisis makes a good editor, so I chose a simple newsletter. I knew the power of it. So I put all my effort, all my time, all my learning into building a community through a newsletter. When you only have one tool in your toolbox, you learn to get good at it. It saved us.

We have made a profit for each of the last 3 years. This October was our biggest month of sales we have ever had. This November we doubled our sales compared to last November. So yes, I believe in the power of a simple newsletter to transform your business. I have seen it first hand.” — David Hieatt.

The Seven Principles For A Successful Newsletter That
Will Grow Your Business.

1, Your biggest competitor is time.
When was the last time that you watched a film without looking at your phone? Or a football game? Or a dinner with your family? How many people have you seen driving while looking at their phone? How many people have looked at their phone while on the toilet? Be honest now. And you think your competition is another company? 
2, Give value.

A strong relationship is one where you give value to your customer. Tell them about a new book. Share with them a new film you discovered. Not everything you share has to have a commercial reason for doing so.

Note: When it comes to selling to your customer, make it clear when you are selling. Don’t hide it with humour. Don’t bullshit them. In this email ‘We are selling’. ‘Do you want to buy’?

3, Engagement is more important than size.

It is much better to build a like-minded community that feels something for what you stand for than just a great big list of people who aren’t. 
4, Build a community. Not a list.

Be human. When people talk about you have to build a list, it sends a shudder down my back. These are people. And you are human. I think you will have much more success when you think about it terms of building a community. You know, a bunch of great people.

5, Respect people’s time with excellence.
If you respect people’s time, then you will think hard before you send them a newsletter. You will do your best to make it super useful. To make it truly inspiring. To make it deeply relevant. To make it as simple as you can. As beautiful as you can.

The amount of sheer effort you put into it shows respect for your customers’ busy lives by not adding to the dross they get sent each day. You won’t have to tell them how much work goes into it, because they will be able to sense it, to feel it, to see it for themselves. They will, by your actions, be able to tell that you respect their time by only sending them something worthy of their most precious asset: Time.

6, Attention is changing.

Walk down the street today, and you will see people looking at their phone, and not at the road. People are dual screening when they watch television; they are looking at their phone while they eat dinner. Even when they are driving. Gaining attention is becoming harder. And will continue to do so. To cut through, you will need to understand the power of sending ‘micro-moments’ because you are going to have less time with your customer. So you will have to learn the importance of micro-communications.

7, Unsubscribe is forever.

The single biggest reason for unsubscribing from a newsletter is sending too often. Companies send way too many emails. But once people unsubscribe, that is it. The end. But there is another way. Build a great newsletter, send it less often. And have a long-term relationship. Play the long game.

“It is the single best way to communicate with your audience, period. Better than Facebook, better than Twitter, better than ads. Because you own it. Because it is a relationship of mutual trust and opt-ins. That is why you need to build one.” — Ryan Holiday.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Simple Newsletter. It Can Seriously Transform Your Business.