Posted: Wed 18th May 2022
Louise Brogan is owner of Louise Brogan Ltd and expert in all things LinkedIn. She shares her knowledge on newsletters for small businesses, giving some expert tips to help get you started.
What should a newsletter be?
I think a newsletter should be something that people sign up to because they're getting value from it. The only reason people want to hear from you is if you're helping them.
We can all build our businesses on social media, but if those platforms make changes we have zero control over what happens.
If you can direct people from your social media to your newsletter, you're actually getting straight into their inbox. Whenever they open their emails, they have a direct message from you that isn't determined by whether a social media platform's algorithm wants them to see it.
Who should be writing a newsletter?
Anybody who has a company where they want to get in front of their ideal client via their email inbox, whether it's a product-based or a service-based business.
For example, I've signed up to glass bottle milk deliveries and I get an email from the milkman about once a month. The message talks about the benefits of having glass bottles instead of plastic and of supporting local small businesses. It also lets us know what special items they have available that we could add to our delivery.
Because I'm on their email list, the milkman has a direct opportunity to tell me about the other products he has. While I do follow them on Facebook, I don't see their Facebook posts very often.
The other benefit is that I now feel like I know this company. The person who writes the email is called Brendan. He delivers the milk when we're all still in our jammies in the house. We don't really see him, but I'm getting an email from him, and I feel like I'm getting to know him.
What can you gain from providing newsletters to your clients?
People will come across you, but they'll forget about you if you're not regularly keeping in touch with them. Social media just doesn't cut it because you're relying on algorithms.
It's about building up the know, like, and trust factor. And one tip I would give is that if you're going to create a newsletter, try and send it on the same day each week, each fortnight, each month or however frequently you publish.
Sending my newsletter to my email list keeps me in people's minds. The person who opens it and reads it might not ever hire me. But if they're at a networking event and someone says we need help with our LinkedIn, my name will likely be mentioned because my newsletters have kept me top of mind.
What are some tips for compiling a decent newsletter?
It should be about helping your readers, it shouldn't just be about you.
I've heard email marketers say you shouldn’t start out by saying 'I hope you are well'. Get creative.
Make sure the newsletter is interesting and not too long. If you have an offer in the email or an event you're promoting, only add one per email. Don't have a long list of offers or events, and don't give too many options.
Make sure people have a way to unsubscribe to your emails.
Fancy templates with lot of imagery can make your newsletter larger in size. Best just to keep text simple and use only one or two images.
Don't just add people to your email list, get their permission.
The best email newsletters are the ones that people want to share with their network, so think about how useful you can be.
If you read something interesting or have seen a video you think your readers might enjoy, share it in your newsletter. Don't just share your own content.
Think about your lead magnet. What are you going to offer people to get them on your email list? On my website, I have a free download on how to use LinkedIn, and that's how a lot of people join my mailing list.
You can publish newsletters on LinkedIn, how does this work?
If you have a LinkedIn creator account, you can have a LinkedIn newsletter on your personal account. It's the same format as writing a LinkedIn article, except that now people can subscribe to it.
Depending on their privacy settings, when someone subscribes to your LinkedIn newsletter, it can go straight into their inbox from LinkedIn. Otherwise, they get a notification that you've published your newsletter. It’s a really brilliant way of getting more people to read your articles on LinkedIn.