Back when I was just getting started with email marketing, one thing I really struggled with was the right “format” for my emails.
I saw a lot of people in my niche (software development) sending out link-style newsletters.
This is where you “curate” or collect links to some good blog posts and send them out with short summaries.
So that's what I did too. And I'd include a short blurb about my book at the bottom of the newsletter.
These emails got great open rates and lots of clicks (plenty of links, after all).
Sales? Not so much…
I was reminded of this when I saw this question from longtime reader Stuart:
I was debating newsletter versus more-personal-style (I know this is a newsletter but I don't know what to call it, in this format) with someone lately. Do you think this way is a lot better? Better response, better click rate?
The reason I write emails the way I do isn't just because I like doing it. (Although it is fun…)
I arrived at this format after trying other approaches.
This flavor of personal emails that open with a story and close with ONE call to action consistently beat more “professional” newsletter formats every time I do one of these experiments.
A few weeks ago I tried this out with the Simple Programmer email list.
We'd been sending out a “blog rollup” type of email once a week with summaries of all new content we'd published recently.
The engagement on those emails was pretty “meh.”
I had a theory that we'd get more opens and clicks if we just sent an email promoting ONE blog post instead of 3-5.
Sure enough, the personal-style email stomped all over the “newsletter” format.
Now maybe there is a case where an impersonal, professional, straight-laced email newsletter would beat the personal, story-driven approach I use here and at Simple Programmer.
I'm willing to bet that YOUR business ain't it.