Editorial newsletters have a moment. For content marketers, this apparent renaissance can be an opportunity to engage an audience and gain subscribers.
The creator economy has spawned several email newsletter stars, including Packy McCormick and Sahil Bloom. These creators and others – podcasters, social media sites – have strong connections with their readers, some of whom even pay to subscribe.
Creator newsletters differ from what you might get from a publisher as they have a personal quality. It’s similar to the relationship between a TikTok influencer and her audience, or Eric Bandholz’ connection with the Ecommerce Conversations podcast audience.
These newsletters do not just inform the reader about something. They express a personal point of view.
Content marketers who don’t want to build a personal brand can use some of these approaches to attract, engage, and retain an audience of customers and prospects.
The new blogs
Content marketers are familiar with blogs, a cornerstone of search engine optimization and engagement.
Mr. Porter, a menswear retailer, publishes The Journal, which readers might call a blog. In part, it can hardly be distinguished from GQ magazine. For example, a post by Mr. Porter titled “20 Summer Items To Brighten Your Mood” is similar to GQ Magazine’s article “20 Most Searched Pieces of the Season”.
Blogs (short for “weblogs”) were once personal diaries of individuals. The posts could explain search engine optimization in one part and a favorite vacation spot in the next.
This style is what many creator newsletters are doing now.
Think Sahil Bloom. His newsletter, The Curiosity Chronicle, is a mixture of business philosophy, ideas and personal information. He has almost 110,000 subscribers.
Its July 27, 2022 issue was all about “razor.”
“A ‘razor’ is a rule of thumb that simplifies decision-making,” Bloom wrote.
“The origin of the term comes from philosophy, where any principle that enabled one to quickly remove improbable explanations or avoid unnecessary steps was called a philosophical razor. A razor literally allowed its user to “shave off” statements or actions, Bloom continued.
In its May 18, 2022 issue, Bloom offered a number of goal setting suggestions, but began by introducing readers to his newborn son.
He wrote: “Welcome to the most important new member of the tribe of oddities who has joined us since Friday – my son Roman Reddy Bloom. I spent the first 30 years of my life trying to find the meaning and purpose of it all. Then one day it stared straight at me. My new best friend.”
The new chance
Brands can adopt the Creator newsletter concept to build an additional interaction channel while collecting email addresses. Here are some ways to get started.
use personality. Consider using individuals such as company founders as the face of the newsletter. Include personal experiences and anecdotes alongside helpful editorial content. When it arrives in someone’s inbox, the newsletter should feel like it’s coming from a friend. Readers follow the author.
Provide context and value. Very often Creator newsletters offer more than one product introduction or idea. James Camp, the creator of the Nano Flips newsletter, includes business tactics and acquisition opportunities. His readers probably appreciate his newsletter for the actionable advice they receive.
Write for the medium. Write for the newsletter first. Don’t write a blog post to link from an email. The newsletter is the medium. Publish to a website as a secondary goal.
Be consistent. Successful Creator newsletters are consistent. They publish on a schedule. The newsletter is an appointment in the reader’s inbox. Don’t miss the appointment.
Also use the list for advertising. While it should be personal, relational, and helpful, an email newsletter is also a marketing tool. Add promotional messages. Use the Pareto principle and aim for an 80/20 ratio between editorial and promotional content.