People despise current email marketing tactics because organizations send…well, mostly crap. As companies like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and iContact made it easier to send emails, companies took advantage of this to overwhelm people’s inboxes. Instead of sending value-based emails that assist in making their customers’ lives easier, companies began sending promotion after promotion in their attempt to become a lifestyle brand.

I believe we’re about to enter a time that’s focused more on quality instead of quantity. Meaning, you can use the following guide to get setup and focus on sending just 1 email per month. You don’t need to overwhelm people, or setup a regimented schedule to email people multiple times per week. All it takes is 1 well thought out email per month.

Create an Account at MailChimp.com

Setup a Mailing List Template

Understand Who You’re Writing For

If you don’t know who you’re writing for, take 5 minutes to step through this User Persona worksheet. When you understand the person receiving the email, it’ll also help you understand what that person would want to receive.

Each person is different. You need to be able to complete the sentence, “Person A wants to receive my email newsletter because ____________”. Knowing this helps keep you focused on providing value, instead of just sending those promotional emails you hate getting.

Create Categories of Content

  1. A recipe
  2. An interview with a local chef
  3. News about your city
  4. A short letter from the owner/operator of the tour
  5. A list of local events

Improve Your Categories Over Time

Establish a Send Date

Don’t Send Crap

Don’t do this. Send something they’ll want to read. Something valuable to the person on the other end. Something that will help them do, whatever they need to do, easier. This is why you take the time to create a user persona, to truly understand who you’re sending an email to.

Following these steps should help you get a basic mailing list off the ground. Over time, learn. Get creative. Talk to your customers, understand who they are, what they want, and how you can help them best.

To close, I’ve included an example from one of my favorite email newsletters to receive. InVision does an amazing job of knowing who I am, why I use their product, and sending me other articles that could help me in my day-to-day activities.

Each of the categories includes an image, title, 1–2 sentences, and a link to read more. With it, you’re not forcing a user to read through paragraphs of text to understand what you’re trying to send. It’s simple, effective, and focused on providing valuable content.


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