How To Promote Your Newsletter (What Others Haven’t Said)
Getting people to subscribe and join your newsletter is not easy. This is why promoting your newsletter becomes part of your ongoing activity.
In this article let’s look at how to promote your newsletter, without spending a huge budget on promotion, but with a heavier emphasis on creativity and resourcefulness.
The You Are The Media newsletter is the engine to keeping everyone informed and the glue to keep the community together. It’s ok if people don’t open every week, I like people to know that rain or shine, there will be an email from me every Thursday.
Why do I get excited about it?
I’ve learned so much since starting this in 2013. Here are the main reasons why having a newsletter is something I am vocal about. I see such huge potential as it provides so much opportunity.
This is the business case for newsletter creation:
The email list is something I own.
These are people I can reach out to and not determined by an algorithm.
It is affordable.
If there is an event I’d like to draw people’s attention to, it is easier here, as the audience is already familiar. This is better than trying to sell to strangers.
I don’t pay fees.
Whilst there is a cost from an email provider ie. Mailchimp, Convertkit, it doesn’t mean that there is a cost with every weekly send and to pay to reach out to my audience.
I have complete freedom.
There is no set structure or template to use. The You Are The Media newsletter is a mix of audio, video and text. It doesn’t look like any other newsletter.
Why can it be something for you to be excited about
The email list, you own, presents so many opportunities.
Over time, it helps with your positioning.
The longer you have committed the greater the possibility that you become the person who has carved their own space. That can only be a good thing!
You keep people informed.
Step completely aside from product and service information. Understand the role you play and the people you support. You start to look at your role as a way to keep others in the loop and to help them get from A to B. You gain responsibility for others.
People trust you.
If you don’t let people down and they can see you are committed, when you step forward with an ‘ask’ it becomes easier for people to say ‘yes.’
You have fun.
You don’t have to fit into a rigid B2B box of relentless facts, you can let yourself go and have fun. When you know the people who are part of your audience you can start to experiment and it becomes so much more than a business tool.
How I promote my newsletter
The You Are The Media newsletter is dear to my heart. I started it, I am responsible for it, it is down to me to develop it. I don’t want to be complacent and it becomes a chore.
What this means is that promoting my newsletter is part and parcel of my week. I believe that what I share is worthy of people’s time and attention. It is there to help and develop others. It is something I am proud of.
What this means is that I put effort to give people the opportunity to join in. What I am going to share with you here is probably not what you will read elsewhere ie. promote your efforts on social media, but being creative over the years has meant the gift of a loyal audience.
Here is what I know what works to promote your newsletter:
Let new connections know where your best work lives.
It can be a wasted opportunity to make a new connection on LinkedIn and not engage. When you are ‘in the moment’ it is the best time to strike. For every new connection, I invite people to subscribe to the weekly newsletter (and add the landing page url). It feels better to do it when you connect, as you don’t want to leave anything as an afterthought a week or so later.
Partner with others.
Recognise and find others who have a similar audience, and figure out how you can work together. If your work is relevant and of use to someone else, even better. In May, Josh Spector’s, For The Interested highlighted an article on playing the long game as well as a link to the YATM subscribe page. This resulted in over 150 new subscribers. Josh’s Sunday email is going to be a highlight of your weekend inbox, have a look and subscribe here.
Guest blogging (old school, it works!).
Similar to partnering with others, go that bit deeper on your chosen field of expertise and find the sources that can elevate your work. Again, this is about creating relevant work for a similar audience that is going to raise your credibility. Earlier this year, I approached and wrote an article for The Tilt on the audience v community royal rumble. I made sure the link for the subscribe page was in the author bio and also as part of the copy within the article (it wasn’t shoehorned in, it had to feel a part of the flow).
Don’t just ask people to subscribe on your landing page.
We’re told to put a lot of effort into what people will be receiving and why they should subscribe. Why leave it on one page? You have to encourage people to find out more in every possible way. The YATM subscribe prompt is a footer on every single page of the YATM site. If you put time and effort into a newsletter, people have to find out about it, by any means necessary when they come to your turf!
Put it in other media you control.
I have the YATM podcast as the audio version of the weekly articles. I also use it as a way to promote other areas of YATM. From events to asking to subscribe to the YATM community, think of yourself as your own valued advertiser to draw people to you (listen to the end here).
Ask your audience to share with others.
At the bottom of the weekly newsletter, I ask others to promote. If people enjoy your work and read something useful to them or their contacts, they are more obliged to share with others. It comes back to trust (again), when people know your work is worthy of someone else’s time, it’s never seen as doing the marketing for you, it’s for the benefit of someone else.
Put the spotlight on others in your work.
When others have a staring role in your newsletter, the chances are they won’t ignore it. They are more likely to be appreciative, thankful and be public that spending time and subscribing to you is going to be worthwhile.
Other quick wins, that take minutes but can provide you with a return (subscribers).
Add your subscribe page to your email footer, so every email that is sent is a constant reminder to others.
Make sure your subscribe page is part of your social bio. I also use bit.ly as a URL shortener, this just makes your URL look concise and neat (mine is bit.ly/yatmthurs)
Tell people on social what is going to be lined up in the next issue, the day before you send it and ask people to DM you (so you don’t have to add your URL)
Ask people to subscribe when you meet face to face and then email them the URL. Even better have a QR code of your landing page, save it and then share when you are with someone).
Having resources can give you reach ie. paid social ads, but being resourceful encourages your creative muscle.
Think of your newsletter as a well-crafted piece of communication that deserves to be seen. You are the publisher, so it needs to be read by the right people. Think of how your message and work align with others and be that bridge for them. This is going to help with partnerships and knowing who your work is for and also who it isn’t directed at.
Be understanding of the time and effort you put in. So many people put the effort into the creation, but forget to put extra effort into the promotion element. People need to see what you say and do.
When it becomes a part of your behaviour, promoting your newsletter doesn’t become a to-do list, it’s part of your ongoing efforts to find the right people and you grow from the work that you own.