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Writing to your Email List (What To Put + Finding Your Style)

Let’s say you’ve successfully coaxed visitors to sign up for your email list. You’ve started your blog, written your first blog posts, created a simple freebie, and added an opt-in form. Now what? Should you actually be writing to your email list?

Do you just watch the numbers grow? Block out any nagging thoughts about communicating? Be chuffed people have signed up and leave it at that?

Decide there’s so much else to think about such as how you’re going to make money blogging, surely a welcome email can wait. There are only 10 people on the list …

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Writing to your email list

You need to Start Writing to Your Email List Right Now

I’m sorry to rain on your parade. An email list without a welcome email or sequence and regular broadcasts is … there’s no easy way to put this… completely pointless.

All that hard work, creating your freebie, adding it to a sign-up form, testing out your new form to make sure it’s working correctly… is a waste of time unless you start writing to your list.

And I mean now! Not next week or the week after. It’s something you have to jump in and do straightaway.

I know it’s a tough one. I still find it hard writing to my list and I’ve been email marketing for years.

Writing to a new list is tough for everyone, especially if it’s your first time and you have a brand new blog. But it has to be done.

Your List Expects a Welcome Email

There’s a statistic flying around the internet “74% of subscribers expect a welcome email”. I can’t find the source and I don’t want to deceive you. But think about it – would you expect a welcome email?

The answer is probably yes but there are far better reasons for sending out your welcoming missive. This is the time when your subscribers can remember who you are.

Just think about everyone’s creaking overloaded in-boxes. Having access to a person’s precious inbox doesn’t mean they’re going to read your emails.

Oh no! Your carefully crafted broadcast, the one you spent hours putting together, has to be anticipated, favoured, longed for, (okay I’m over-doing it a bit here), to stand out from the crowd and be opened and read.

When you write immediately to a brand new subscriber, open and click rates will be far higher and you’ll have a greater chance of building relationships.

How to Write a Welcome Message?

If you’ve just started this blogging sideline (or just opened your first small business), it’s okay to send a brief individual message to your new subscriber.

Just think how chuffed they will be to get a personal email! To be a valued subscriber not just one of a crowd.

A personal email doesn’t have to be long: “Hi I’m Alison and I’m chuffed to bits you’ve signed up for my list. I will be sending out my tips weekly and I hope you find them useful”.

Brief, friendly, welcoming and lets your new subscriber know exactly what to expect. Of course you can add in a little bit about yourself, explain what your business is about – reassure them they’ve done the right thing signing up to your list…

Before you know it you’ll have enough material to send out a Welcome Email automatically and be able to create your first sequence.

Using ConvertKit For Your Email List

I use ConvertKit for my email list. I find it’s on a whole new level to other platforms I’ve used in the past and works brilliantly for bloggers. Plus their how-to guides are excellent and take all the pain out of setting up your sequences.

ConvertKit has a FREE plan for your first 1000 subscribers and comes with so many features to help you grow your list quickly. It’s easy to add downloadable freebies to your opt-in forms and you can edit a sequence of emails all in one screen saving huge amounts of time and effort.

Finding Your Writing Style

I follow a lot of bloggers in my niche (and I recommend you do the same – it’s a good way to keep on top of what’s current). It’s fascinating how these successful bloggers all have such different writing styles and ways of writing to their email lists.

Brief and To The Point Emails

There’s the brief and to the point writer. I’m aware I probably fall into this category myself which could be why I enjoy these types of missives.

I’m always short of time so I tend to scan read an email – so the shorter the better. It’s a fallacy that all emails need to be long and rambling. Quickly pointing your reader at the latest blog post can work really well.

The Trickster

This is my description of the writer who sets the scene by making out he or she is really hopeless at something but they stumbled on a solution.

I’ve seen it work well for affiliate marketers who’re promoting an experts course or ebook. It’s the “I did this dumb thing but I followed this amazing course and you should do it too”.

I call it the trickster because usually the person making out they are dumb is a hugely successful blogger. There’s a tendency in the blogging world to play down intelligence and college qualifications as a way of relating to readers. Unfortunately it seems to work.

The Friend

Now bear in mind that my tastes in the emails I receive fall into brief and to the point. I do try to be friendly when I write to my email list but I have my limits.

I have a lot to learn from “the friend”. These types of bloggers write they emails as if they know you personally.

In no way am I passing judgement here. If this approach works for you – use it. Just remember some people on your list may not share your interests.

Let me give you an example. Some of the Mom bloggers I follow start their emails talking about potty changing and getting little ones to sleep.

Now that’s fine if the vast majority of your readers have young children. My son has now grown up and my interest in nappies evaporated years ago.

It could be difficult if you try to expand your blog to a different interest group.

I’m just saying make sure you have a match before talking about what you did at the weekend. Some people may just be looking for useful information.

Conclusion – Writing to your email list

If you haven’t started writing to your email subscribers, start now. If you only have a few subscribers it’s better to send a personal email rather than worry about setting up a welcome sequence (and not doing it).

Your welcome email should thank the reader for signing up, be friendly, maybe give a bit of background about yourself and your blog or business.

It’s important to tell your reader what’s in it for them. Your welcome email doesn’t have to be super long.

Find your writing style. There’s no best answer to the type of emails you should write. The overall aim should be helpful. Just think about how is my subscriber benefiting from this email.

Alison Wright

Sunday 12th of May 2019

Hi Peter Yes there are quite a few techniques, story of self, story of us and story of now is one of them. There are marginal gains to be had using questions in headings and putting part of the heading in a bracket. From my experience the best way to get people to open your emails is when your followers value being on your email list. Just straightforward relationship building. The first few emails you send to a new subscriber are the most important. As for ending an email it probably depends on the nature of the email. If it's a call to action you can add a brief reminder in your sign off "don't forget to..." Otherwise it depends on your business whether you can go for friendly but informal or something more traditional.


Sunday 12th of May 2019

What is the best way of starting a sales email? And what is the best way of ending one?

I was at a social event recently and I met a guy who said he had the secret. He said that there are many ways to not start your email, but only three good ways. The third best way is to pose a question that is of immediate interest to your readership. The second best way is to hit your audience with an amazing factoid. But the best way of all is to begin with the grown-up version of "once upon a time", which means tell a story.

Alison Wright

Thursday 9th of May 2019

Hi Donna There isn't any hard and fast view on this. I usually publish a post at least once a week so I have a reason to email. If you have something to say every week then by all means write to your list. I think weekly helps people remember who you are but there are people I follow who's emails I always read even if I only receive them sporadically. There are other people who's emails I never get around to reading even when they're sent out regularly. It's all about creating great content for your target audience. Aim for the fans and ignore the rest!


Thursday 9th of May 2019

Hi Alison,

It seems like you and most other lists I am on write to their group on a weekly basis. My plan was to write once a month in a newsletter and in between for "breaking news" if something occurred. I'm thinking perhaps I should rethink that strategy.


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