My Readers Don’t Want a Newsletter

In my recent article Don’t Write an E-book, there were some questions about the purpose of building a list. I believe a couple people actually said “my readers don’t want a newsletter, they already get my feed”.

In reading those I both understand the sentiment and where you might find success creating one.

List building is a critical element of an online business. Without the ability to contact your audience “at will” do you really have an audience? Or are you the kid with the lemonade stand on the side of the highway, just interacting with the traffic when it slows and rolls down the window?

I totally agree with the idea that there is no place or time for a “general newsletter” anymore. Especially for an active audience engaging with the feed and Facebook. Sure your grandma will read your newsletter, but most people will open it 45% of the time for the first two months then only open the seasonal ones.

Suppose you were to write a couple gluten free recipes and you get quite a few nice comments from that. That would be telling that you have an audience appreciative of gluten free recipes. Perhaps you could type those up and offer them as a “kitchen printable”. If you had them “opt-in” with their email to get this printable, you’d start to develop a “gluten free specific” list.

This would be a group that has a certain affinity to which you could learn more about. You could learn the phases of being Gluten Free. You could echo what sucks about being Gluten Free and what’s great. You could put together a pretty good email program, specific to that part of your audience, with recipes, books, blog posts, ideas, images, and more to serve them. Your entire audience might not be interested in that, but your Gluten Free fans would.

Let’s do a quick test, which of these do you open?

SUBJECT: January Newsletter

SUBJECT: 40% Off the Khaki Jeans you like

Parsing your list into affinity groups means every message is relevant. Every “newsletter” has meaning. Your open rates go up, your click through rates go up, your income goes up. If you want to learn more about List Building, Phil Hollows of Feedblitz wrote a great book on the topic. You can read more about that here: List Building for Bloggers.

Is it more work? It can be, but there are lots of ways to automate list building, parsing lists and email marketing to make it both easier for you and a better experience for your audience. If you would like to learn about the automation part, let me know in the comments and we’ll tackle that next.

Dan R Morris is the founder of, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.

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7 Responses to “My Readers Don’t Want a Newsletter”

  1. January 22, 2013

    Dan R. Morris

    Thanks. I have similar results with my and my client’s lists. The most important word online is “relevance”.

  2. Dan, I love your analogy of the lemonade stand on the side of the highway.

    A good email newsletter that doesn’t stray from its mission can build community, create raving fans, and help sell more products and services.

    I’ve been publishing “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” which teaches people how to self-promote, for more than 12 years. It consistently has an open rate of 40 to 50 percent, and is one of my very best marketing tools. It’s at least 80 percent content and 20 percent (if that) promotion, and has been so successful that I cut the size in half and now publish twice a week.

    Many of my subscribes actively participate by commenting on items, contributing content, and even submitting their favorite good clean dog joke or video (one in each issue). It’s a much more active and engaged community than the one at my blog.

  3. January 19, 2013

    Dan R. Morris

    I’m on it. :)

  4. January 19, 2013

    Dan R. Morris

    I’ll see if I can make that the next blog post. :)

  5. January 19, 2013

    Dan R Morris

    We can certainly talk about that at Savvy, if not before. Are you doing any of that now?

  6. January 19, 2013

    Dana Wilson

    Yes! I would LOVE to read about how to automate list segmentation! ASAP, in fact. :-)

  7. I would definitely like to learn more about creating different lists for different targets and how to automate the process.

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