Our last newsletter led to ten unsubscribes – more than ever before. It also led to two sales within half an hour of it being sent – faster and more directly than ever before.
People pleasing is difficult – the old adage ‘you can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some the time, but never all of the people, all of the time’ – rings very true when you’re writing content, and maybe even more so when you’re writing your newsletter.
What was different about our last newsletter?
It was more personal for a start. We wrote about holiday thinking, so it was a departure from ‘practical advice to help you market your business using valuable content.’
The headline was maybe a bit whimsical, ‘The case for curiosity – hippy holiday inspiration for your valuable content,’ that perhaps, if it dropped into your inbox when you were hard at work, would have grated a bit. So we knew it might be a bit controversial, but it reflected what we were thinking, we had clear readers in mind and we felt the content would help them. So we pressed send.
Hate it. Love it.
When the unsubscribes started coming in we were a bit rattled. Then two emails asking to sign up for Pub School popped up and we were both bemused and delighted.
As newsletters go, it was our most Marmite one to date. People hated it enough to never want to hear from us again, and people loved it enough to want to sign up for Pub School without even speaking to us.
So would we do it again? Yes. Most certainly.
If the purpose of your newsletter is to build an engaged community around what you do (and it should be!) then you need to pull people towards you and stand for something. Not everyone will like it, and that’s fine. You don’t need everyone. You want to serve the people that are drawn to your mission, and build stronger connections with them, even if that risks pushing others away.
5 ways to make your newsletter more Marmite
- Be more open. Share what you’re really thinking.
- Break your own newsletter rules sometimes.
- Write oblique headlines that only your kind of people will get.
- Pick a subject that you know your absolutely favourite kind of client will love, even if it’s super niche.
- Get personal. Share what’s going on in your life as well as your business.
And maybe see unsubscribes as a badge of honour, rather than a failure. Remember content is most valuable when it works as a filter, as well as a magnet. Build rapport with your ideal customer, don’t waste time broadcasting to a faceless crowd.
You might also enjoy:
- Not more clients, but the right ones
- Narrow your niche for more leads
- Valuable Content Award for the crazy LINGsCARS.com website (brilliant and definitely Marmite!)