5 Keys to a More Successful Email Newsletter

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Email newsletters are touted by many as one of the most profitable ventures online. Internet marketers are constantly bragging about how easy it is to make affiliate sales, to promote products and to drive traffic to websites. Email newsletters can accomplish all those tasks and more but there are a few things you might want to keep in mind as you work to maximize the effectiveness of yours.

I use and recommend Aweber. It provides an incredibly easy-to-use interface with plenty of stats that allow you to easily see how many people are opening your emails and what’s getting clicked on inside each email. And if you’re still on the edge of making your decision then you can take Aweber for a free test drive to see how you like it.

5 Keys to a More Successful Email Newsletter

As you work to grow and develop your email newsletter, here are a few sure-fire keys to help you get the most out of it.

  1. Simplify the Sign Up Process: If you want people to sign up for your email newsletter then you have to display a sign up form in a very prominent place and you have to make it as easy as possible to get in on the action. Display your sign up near the top of the page to get the most sign ups.
  2. Deliver what You Promise: If you promote your list as a great resource in your niche then be sure to provide the information in your newsletter to support that claim. If you promote that you’ll only send a certain number of emails each week then be sure to only send that number. The bottom line: deliver what you promise.
  3. Promote What You Believe: As you promote products and ideas to your subscribers, don’t send an email at every opportunity you see to make some more cash. Use your list only to promote what you truly believe in. This way, regardless of the results, you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you’re doing your best to help people and in the end your readers will pick up on that also.
  4. Don’t Abuse Your Subscribers: If you’re constantly bombarding your newsletter subscribers with affiliate offers and nonsense then they’re going to add you to their spam filter or they’re going to unsubscribe from your list. Don’t send more emails than you would like to recieve yourself.
  5. Use Your List to Connect…Not Just to Cash In: It’s important that you’re using your list to reach out to your audience and to provide real value to them. If you’re only ever promoting a product to them then they are eventually going to feel like you’re simply trying to take advantage of them.

Email newsletters are powerful tools in the arsenal of a wise blogger. They can provide you with profits, connections and much more. I have to caution you, however, not to get caught up in the rage to monetize your list to its death. Follow these 5 keys to more successful email newsletter and you’ll be sure to see results.

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38 Vibrant Comments

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  1. July 9, 2010

    Nabeel | Create Your First Website said:

    Great points!

    ‘Simplify the Sign Up Process’

    It can be amazing how so many people overlook this. It is essential to make it easy for the visitor to subscribe.

    I also agree that it is not ethical to only ‘sell sell sell’ right away or even later on. Build a relationship with your subscribers. Never abuse your list, as they are the lifeblood of your business.


    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      You’re exactly right, Nabeel. That’s not ethical and often times it’s not profitable because people will very quickly unsubscribe. Can you think of any email lists that you’ve been on that were incredibly annoying with sales pitches?

      • July 12, 2010

        Nabeel | Create Your First Website said:

        O Yes Lot of them. I immediately unsubscribed from them.


  2. July 9, 2010

    Dev @ TechnShare said:

    Hey Nick,

    Another great Post. As i always say email list is something that no blogger should.

    I think providing value is most important part of a newsletter.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post.


  3. July 9, 2010

    Onibalusi Bamidele said:

    Really great tips,

    This is a very important post I wish everybody starting a mailing list should read, it is not all about building a list but building a powerful list and your tips are right on-spot for this.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,

    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      That’s true. The power isn’t just in the list but more importantly in what you present to the list that you have. If you treat them right then they’ll stick with you and support you. Do you have an email list yet?

      • July 12, 2010

        Onibalusi Bamidele said:

        Exactly Nick!

        Yeah! I have an email list, a little over 200 – I have a goal of building a list of 20,000 people this year (double opt-in).

        Thanks a lot,

  4. July 10, 2010

    Nasrul Hanis said:

    You’re absolutely right especially the points number 3, 4 and 5!

    I subscribed to a few newsletter and as the results I got a lot of emails with heavy promotion to buy this and that.. so I unsubscribe.

    Try to imagine yourself as a prospect, see what they like, give something worth to them as a subscriber, say the true thing and you’ll get increasing subscribers!

    Or you might regret on what you’ve done!

    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Try to imagine yourself as a prospect, see what they like, give something worth to them as a subscriber, say the true thing and you’ll get increasing subscribers!

      I think that sums of the perfect attitude that you should have toward your email subscribers.

  5. July 10, 2010

    Joshua Dorkin said:

    I think you really nailed it with your last three points. Many marketers abuse the hell out of their lists, overdo it with affiliate promotions, and quickly find that they burn out their list. Nice job with some good practical advice.

    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Thanks. Often people ask me if I’m subscribed to certain people’s newsletters and they look shocked when I tell them that I’m not. But the reason I subscribe to so few email lists is because so many people are just out there to bombard you with sales pitches. I’m tired of that and I think that a lot of others are quickly growing tired of it as well.

  6. July 10, 2010

    Karen Friesecke said:

    Thanks for sharing this info! I’m about to start a newsletter and this is totally food for thought!

  7. July 10, 2010

    Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing said:

    #2 is extremely important, especially the “when”.

    be upfront with what you will be sending and how often. Don’t be afraid.

    Believe it or not, your much better off not getting the sign-up then getting the unsubscribe afterward.

    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Believe it or not, your much better off not getting the sign-up then getting the unsubscribe afterward.

      That’s an incredibly true principle. You’ll damage your reputation in a very hardcore way if you beat up your email subscribers.

      • July 12, 2010

        Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing said:

        Yes indeed. We must never forget, bad word of mouth spreads a whole hell of lot faster and wider then good word of mouth…as unfortunate as that may be.

  8. July 10, 2010

    Jasmine Henry from J Station X said:

    It sounds like sending out useful E-mails is the most important thing to do. Our readers will only sign up if they thing they’ll get something out of it, whether that be product recommendations or new post notifications so we need to ensure that every E-mail benefits the reader in some way.

  9. July 10, 2010

    Vinish Parikh said:

    All points good, have never thought of this, will try it for sure thanks for sharing

  10. July 10, 2010

    Kok Siong Chen said:

    Hi Nicholas, I totally agree with you that we should not abuse the subscribers. Sometimes i really get annoyed because of receiving a lot of email newsletter from certain blog. I will unsubscribe it directly.

  11. July 11, 2010

    Andre Arnett said:

    I agree with you on all points but especially with being bombarded with all kinds of promotions with the newsletter owner peddling something new. I can see why they need to make more money if they are really buying what they are peddling. Thanks.

    • July 12, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Ha ha. That’s so true. I’m constantly seeing people promoting products that are over $1,000 and I’m amazed that people are willing to pay that kind of money online for something.

  12. July 13, 2010

    Murlu said:

    Great info to know, gonna keep it in mind.

    I’ve always heard (although you don’t have to abide by it) that you should always deliver an 80/20 benefit to your subscribers.

    So for every, say, 8 email drops that provide real benefit, you can use 2 to promote something. You can always play with it but just always over deliver.

    • July 14, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      That’s a good rule to go by. I haven’t heard of that, but I have heard of under-promising and over-delivering and I find that waaay too often people are doing the exact opposite. Most people talk about how great their product is and then then hand you a large brown paper bag filled with manure. I wrote an article a while back about what I believe it means to provide real value.


      What do you think the keys are to providing real value on an email list?

      • July 14, 2010

        Murlu said:

        Thanks for sharing the other article. I’ll have to check it out when I have some more free time this afternoon.

        I can’t say for sure (from experience) with email lists from my blog but we do run some email lists at work which I get to help run.

        From my experience, you can provide a lot of value and input when you get your readers involved. Much like highlighting them on your blog if you were to have a few people share their story and such, it not only gives these readers the spotlight but everyone else gets to read a real testimonial and opinions – this becomes great word-of-mouth.

        Additionally, I think being completely honest has its benefits. Chances are, since people like us know lists eventually have affiliate products, many others will know your intent. Why not just go ahead and tell them “hey, this is an affiliate product but I can tell you honestly that this really works” then link to a review and tutorial.

        • July 14, 2010

          Nicholas Cardot said:

          That’s actually a terrific idea that I hadn’t thought much about. I’m definitely going to try to put that into practice some time. I think that an interactive approach like you’re talking about would be incredibly powerful. I remember a friend of mine telling me how great it was that Darren Rowse had selected one of his comments to be featured in an article and he was really excited about it. I should be working to distribute that same level of excitement.

          • July 14, 2010

            Murlu said:

            Yeah man!

            Think of it this way: Interviews go over really well because not only can you cover great information from people you and your community admire but they’re going to help promote it as well.

            If their community is fanatical about this person, it will spread like fire.

            So it becomes a vested interest. The person you cover in an email will tell their friends, you tell yours and then it goes on an on.

  13. July 15, 2010

    YourNetBiz Ana Hoffman said:

    I wish many “marketers” that I get emails from adhere to these guidelines… 🙂

    I think promoting what you believe in is very important. It’s all too easy to get carried away on a quest to make more money and start promoting every product under the sun. You loose the trust of your list and eventually… your list.

    Also, how often should you email your list – one of the most important money questions you can ask yourself when it comes down to running a home business.

    I’d love to have your opinion on this one, Nicholas; I have a discussion going on on the subject on my blog:
    Email Traffic Conversion Strategies

    Look forward to hearing what you think!

    Ana Hoffman

    • July 15, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      It doesn’t matter. You have to send out as often as you feel your recipients are comfortable receiving them. If they can handle one or two a week and you’re getting good responses then go for it. If not, then cut it back. You just have to gauge their responses and act accordingly in my opinion. That’s kind of one of those questions that I don’t believe you can answer with a straight answer. It’s something you have to feel out and use your experience to figure it out.

  14. July 17, 2010

    Dean Saliba said:

    I’m trying to kickstart a mailing list and hopefully the little suggestions you have listed will help me when I finally put my mind ot running it.

  15. July 22, 2010

    Reza Winandar said:

    Don’t spam and disturb your subscribers, send them mail only once a week and remember to send the mails at the working hour.

  16. August 5, 2010

    Hollie | Email Marketing Software said:

    These points are very informative as a start to creating email newsletters, other things to consider is to test your subject line. Create two separate subject lines for the same email newsletter and measure the open rates. You will learn what works best with your list.

  17. August 12, 2010

    Living on Dividends said:

    Have you tried WP plugins for managing your list? I’d love to see such a plugin shootout post.

  18. September 20, 2010

    Jasmine Henry from J Station X said:

    Great post Nick! I have a question, how can I encourage people to sign-up to my E-Mail newsletter if I don’t have a free E-book or something like that to offer them?

    • September 21, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      The real question is always going to be what you can offer them. If you can’t offer them something tangible then you need to be able to offer them something that is incredibly high quality…an email newsletter that is actually worth being a part of. Nobody is going to want to sign up just to be solicited to. They want to receive value.

  19. November 30, 2010

    Josefine Paviol said:

    Well I really enjoyed studying it. This tip provided by you is very effective for correct planning.