Getting subscribers is just the beginning. You’ll find that it’s hard work to keep them, and even harder work to sell to them

A backbone for your newsletters

At the beginning of the year, Jimmy Daly wrote an interesting post on Vero about “Why most newsletters fail”

Dario Cavegn
Jun 8, 2017 · 2 min read

He said it beautifully:

“Tools like Curated, Goodbits and TinyLetter made it easier than ever to start a newsletter. Many people took advantage of these great tools and began building lists and curating content. The problem? These tools don’t suddenly make people care about what you have to say.”

Here we are, equipped with the most incredible technology both for delivering messages and for targeting them — and we’ve entirely forgotten how to talk to people.

If one thing is perfectly obvious at this point, it’s that those marketers will go on and succeed who understand that their most important talent is to be able to talk to their prospects, without bullshitting them, without lying to them, without treating them like morons, without bungling details like, you know, people’s names — and without committing the greatest crime of all: not saying anything.

So what can you do to improve what you send to your prospects?

First, give your newsletter what I’ll call a backbone:

  1. Make it an actual letter. Not a collection of icons, links, images, or whatever your designer produced and everybody in the Tuesday morning meeting thought looked the coolest. Send your prospects a letter.
  2. Make sure its tone is conversational. Formality and business BS don’t help, but put people off.
  3. Make it relevant. As David Ogilvy famously said, you won’t bore any of your prospects into buying what you have to offer.
  4. Include something the reader can act on. Make it a useful hint, an offer, anything from a piece of useful information to the hard sale, but make sure they understand what you expect them to do.

Turns out I forgot my laptop charger in the office. Pity; but I’ll crack on tomorrow morning with the next bit:

Tricks you can apply to make the language work, and tricks to help you find out just how many newsletters to send out, and in what frequency.

Until then!

And read Jimmy’s post here.