For the last 2.5 years, when these came up, we’ve made a serious face, nodded our heads in grave compassion and moved on.
But no longer!
It’s time for us to get real about this:
Both objections to sending more (or better) emails are the results of fear and trepidation.
Or, to quote Jenny Shih (who would’ve been #16 on the list), “crappy thinking“:
And perhaps most importantly, failing to realise this:
As soon as you take responsibility for marketing,
reading other people’s newsletters becomes part of your job
That’s right: Inbox Zero is for personal email addresses.
The best thing you can do for your email marketing is to subscribe to the best newsletters you can find, and read them regularly. You’ll learn things that no book or classroom experience can teach you.
But we know that our assertions are worth NOTHING to you. You want proof. And proof you shall receive.
Over the summer, we’ve subscribed to dozens of new newsletters and unsubscribed from a couple more.
Then we carefully curated 15 specimens to show you what’s possible if you allow yourself a bit of artistic freedom with your email list. (In full disclosure, this list deliberately doesn’t include a single client, supplier or personal acquaintance.)
Each example was chosen for at least one specific lesson we can learn from it — about frequency of emailing, topics covered, voice & tone, or even email design.
Then we grouped them into 3 broad topics:
Determine which topic is closest to your own line of work.
Pick an example from that group and use it for inspiration in your own business. (Difficulty: easy)
Pick an example from the group you feel least familiar with, and let it inspire your own practice. (Difficulty: advanced)
Marsha Shandur is a storytelling expert who helps people to be unforgettable.
That’s what it says on her website — but her emails are so much more: they feel like a personal conversation, they’re incredibly entertaining, we’ve learned a gazillion things from Marsha — and she really cares about people & the planet, too.
Weekly newsletter about storytelling and communication. Marsha alternates blog posts with exclusive content that you’ll find nowhere else:
~~**in case it’s not clear from that: this is a non-blog week, which means this story, piece of advice, and the update on my NEWS is all only in your Sabine-inbox and my Marsha-Sent box**~~
Copyright © 2019 Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha), All rights reserved. You’re getting this email because you signed up at www.yesyesmarsha.com. Thanks!
I <3 real mail. My Yes Yes Address is: Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha), etc., Canada (The World, The Solar System, The Universe.
If you choose to Unsubscribe, you’ll be removed from all mailings. If you want to unsubscribe from only a particular email series (like UYB or YYQ), hit reply and I’ll make it happen. Thanks!
Me and my giant humidity hair are off on a social media break until Monday. See you then!
Val is an email copywriter for B2C SaaS companies and the founder of Fix My Churn.
Emails about email copywriting (very meta, I know). You’ll find weekly email onboarding teardowns, general tips about email writing, and the occasional offer to work with Val. Frequency varies — at the moment we get her emails almost every day, but that may be just a phase we’re going through 🙂
Subject: Next step: tell me it’s really you
You signed up to get a copy of The Dinner Party Strategy (which will also come with my weekly emails).
Here’s an email pro tip: a double opt in is always a good idea when a form is on a homepage. So let’s confirm that you’re really you and not a bot, shall we?
Click here to confirm you’re human
Once you click that button above you’ll get your very own copy of The Dinner Party Strategy.
I’ll be back in your inbox with more email goodness soon.
An 83-year-old British copywriting legend who’s worked with all the greats. We’re surprised he hasn’t got a cameo in the Mad Men series.
“Helpful hints” about copywriting and advertising in general. (Hat tip to Mike Garner for making us aware of it.)
My helpful hint for today, is so brief and simple I’m tempted to apologise for giving it.
It is: Start with the truth, not what you wish it to be.
I’ll wager that if you communicate more often than your competitors, you will outdo them.
Keep at it till it doesn’t pay … then give it a rest and try again.
There is a direct relationship between profit and communication. The more you tell the more you sell.
If you spend 5 minutes a day thinking of reasons to talk to your prospects and customers — things that might benefit or interest them (not you) — you will find it the best ROI you ever had.
A global trend-watching agency focused on the B2C space.
A daily email showcasing one specific innovation and explaining which broader trends it represents:
Powerful new innovations fuel new customer expectations, and those expectations spread. That’s why you should be relentless at looking at innovations and asking: when customers see this, what will they expect of us?
American author, former dot com business executive and all-round legend.
Seth Godin writes a daily blog — and these emails simply bring the latest post to your inbox.
Squarespace expert and online educator with a calm and clear attitude. Almost a bit like the Bob Ross of web design.
A mix of Squarespace news, web design tips and personal news about Kerstin’s life as an online solopreneur. Delivered roughly every 10 days.
Early Bird Special 30% Off
Expires on Sunday, July 21 @ Midnight PST
Many have been waiting for this: Squarespace Classroom MS is almost ready for launch! Thank you so much for your patience in waiting for this course, between my illness earlier this year and our recent move it took longer than O wanted. Trust me, my boss was not happy! 🙂
For those of you who are not aware: I have teamed up with MemberSpace and created a course that shows you step-by-step how to host an eCourse on Squarespace with membership functionality. How does it work?
1. You sign up with MemberSpace.
2. You build your course in your Squarespace website.
3. You hide your course pages behind MemberSpace’s paywall.
4. When customers purchase your course they create an account on your website with their own passwords that they use to log into your course.
You can set up recurrent membership fees or one-time payments. In all cases course participants will have their own account and individual logins.
CLASSROOM MS LAUNCHES ON MONDAY, JULY 22
-> More info & early bird special
4. Consolidating my Facebook Groups
Currently I manage four Facebook groups and this is simply too much. I’ve been agonizing over this for a while because I did not want to take away this perk and also because I do enjoy the interaction with my students which also helps me understand where people are struggling and then I can adapt my courses accordingly. Going forward there will be two groups: the Classroom group will stay as it is, and the three groups for 101, 201 and BizBox will be consolidated into one main group over the next few days. This actually makes a lot of sense because many of my students take multiple courses anyway. Access to this main group will only be available for Designer Pro and Professional Plus bundles. Purchase one of the individual courses before August 15 and you still get access to the main group.
(What changes happen in your industry that you could pass along to your readers?)
Squarespace Expert, Graphic Designer & Creative Entrepreneur and so f*cking cool that we’re almost a little frightened of her.
Irregular musings on brand design, creativity and life as a service-based solopreneur.
-> I think half the key to separating yourself from everyone else is to stop giving a fuck what everyone else in your industry is doing. This has been a through-message of my work for almost 10 years… And I know without a doubt it played a big part in getting me to where I am now.
A Danish, independent web usability research institute that conducts original large-scale research studies on all aspects of the e-commerce user experience.
Whenever they publish a new article, it’s sent straight to your inbox. They usually email about twice a month.
(Note: Unfortunately, e-mail and RSS don’t support advanced layouts and features. If the graphics in this article look strange, you may want to read the article in your web browser.
Search UX: 6 Essential Elements for ‘No Results’ Pages
9 UX Requirements for Designing a User-Friendly Homepage Carousel (if you really need one)
The ‘Order Returns’ Experience is Critical for Customer Retention — Yet 54% of E-COmmerce Sites Have a Returns Interface with Usability Issues
E-Commerce Sites Need to Respond to Some or All Negative User Reviews (87% of Sites Don’t)
The digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences. Often sent by their CEO, Clark.
A curated collection of InVision blog posts, plus a smattering of design articles from around the web and one or two global design vacancies.
In fact, the longer you read, the more questions you’ll have. And that’s a good thing.
(There are love languages in design??? How DO screen readers work???)
WHAT WE’RE READING
Can one small design space save New York City from itself?
The 4 “love languages” of design
Arc is hiring a multimedia designer — via Authentic Jobs
Josephine Lohmar Self’s incredibly detailed stop motion animation explores grief
How screen readers work
I’m self-employed — what are my money options?
Which takes us to the third point:
Fancy a up of Tia?
2001: A Case Odyssey
NICE TO MEME YA
Audio killed the library star
Muzli’s weekly design inspiration #219
We didn’t know llamas could move like that.
Zendesk is a customer support ticket system and help platform. “Relate by Zendesk” is their online magazine and email newsletter, and also the name of their customer experience conference.
An infrequent newsletter collecting the best features from the online magazine.
(“Yeah, but that’s easy for THEM“, I hear you say. “They serve a specific audience!“
— Here’s the thing: So do you. The very fact that people have subscribed to your emails means they have something in common — a desire to know and learn. What is it and how can you give it to them?)
Would you pay for customer service from a human?
Some wireless companies are charging a premium for choosing to speak with a phone agent over self-serving. You might wonder if this is our future, but ICMI’s Fancy Mills says it’s not likely.
The Hiut Denim Co. make jeans in the Welsh town of Cardigan. They proudly make the best jeans they can — not the most they can. And they send a weekly newsletter called The Scrapbook Chronicles.
A cult newsletter whose open rate exceeds almost any industry standard. In the words of Co-founder David Hieatt,
It is one of those rare newsletters that is actually looked forward to. Hiut Denim Co regularly receives gifts through the post thanking them for sending it out. And it delivers results. It has grown the Hiut Denim Co 25% each year for the last three years. And each year for the last three years, it has turned a profit.
David MacGlashan at The School for Social Entrepreneurs. His work is epic! Thanks to Annie Moon for recommending his emails to us.
A weekly roundup of news that affect the social enterprise space. Mainly geared to UK businesses, but some of the content is valuable to do-good businesses anywhere in the world. Plus, it’s extremely entertaining!
And now, the news: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You
Featuring the word ‘kumquat’ for the first time: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You
Home again home again jiggly jig: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw! Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You
Small talk: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You
Post this nonsense to Twitter
Share this drivel on Facebook
A bit of panic earlier this week. I didn’t really have anything to put in this newsletter. What’s the first thing you do when you find yourself in such a situation — scour the internet looking for relevant articles? Put out a call to your colleagues for items to be included?
Nope. The correct answer is that you waste some time Googling ‘has there ever been no news?’ It sounds a ludicrous question (the best ones often are) but it turns out there has indeed been a day with no news: 18th April 1930. The BBC news announcer simply said ‘there is no news’ and then they filled the rest of the time with piano music. It sounds like bliss.
Fortunately, some good stuff has come in. We can leave the piano music for another week.
Medium is an online publishing platform with a paid membership that allows deeper engagement with Medium content, wider access to articles and various other perks. Siobhan O’Connor, VP of Editorial, sends regular updates highlighting the most interesting content from the community.
A weekly “member-only newsletter of hand-picked stories to keep you informed, sane, and entertained”.
These frozen dinners served as floats that usually saved me from drowning in a sea of cultural whiplash. (How Frozen Dinners Sustained My Immigrant Family by Samantha Mallari in ZORA)
Optimistic beliefs and forceful determination may not move mountains, but they can help boost self-discipline and improve performance. (What Does Willpower Look Like in the Brain? by Erman Misirlisoy in Elemental)
If a book changed someone’s life — whatever the topic or style — it was probably worth the investment. (What If I Said No? (And Other Questions to Consider Daily) by Ryan Holiday in Human Parts)
Ethical Consumer is a not-for-profit UK magazine and website which publishes information on the social, ethical and environmental behaviour of companies and issues around trade justice and ethical consumption. (Information taken from Wikipedia)
A weekly newsletter from the Ethical Consumer team, containing the latest info about their product guides, news and discussions, updates on campaigns and boycotts as well as competitions and special offers.
Ditching supermarkets? Who’s with me?
Even the PS had an opinion — not on supermarkets this time, but on what matters in making a magazine: getting it just right.
PS: For those of you expecting our latest magazine round about now, I’m sorry but it’s been delayed by a couple of weeks because we are taking extra time to get the new design just right.
Liedewij, fellow writer and co-founder of Sprinklr — a Dutch startup that wants to make cities greener. The team sell house and garden plants, many of which are organically grown. Their online shop lets you choose plants based on criteria such as pet & child safety, light preferences and size. You can pick up your plants in Amsterdam Noord or have them delivered during a dedicated time slot. And if you’ve got a killer thumb like Sabine, the Sprinklr app teaches you everything you need to take care of your green house mates.
A twice-monthly email from Liedewij with product and company news, as well as a course on looking after your new plants when you place an order.
No, the insects in the Netherlands are not doing well. No, the soil is not doing well. And binding CO2 and biodiversity in general are also going downhill …. But this is supposed to be a happy newsletter and so it is! We now have a package of native plants with which you can take action even if your space is small: Indigenous Paradise! Fourteen native herb plants (6 species) and three different native shrubs (Elder, Blackthorn and Dog Rose). Also nice: they don’t necessarily have to be in the open ground, they can also be in pots / trays. Yes, balcony and roof terrace lovers, we’re thinking of you!
It was an educational summer for us. We knew that sustainable entrepreneurship is just a bit more difficult than just ordinary entrepreneurship. But we were once again confronted with the facts.
There’s no good e-commerce supply chain for organic garden plants. So we decided to set it up ourselves, through our “bio hub”. Thanks to that hub we were able to sell a lot of organic garden plants and many people could easily choose organic, and that was great. But getting it done was quite an investment. Read about the dilemmas and ups and downs in our blog.
Phew, that’s a lot of inspiration.
Take courage, dear reader. Emails can be immensely powerful.
So, start sending emails. Start sending better emails. Start sending more of them, too.
And if there’s another brilliant email newsletter we didn’t include, let us know! We’re collecting the best ideas for a follow-up post (and we’ll add a link crediting you).