3 ways to make your email subscribers feel special

Make them smile

When I announced that I was launching a monthly email newsletter, one of my blog readers asked: “Why do you need a newsletter on top of everything else?” Which is a fair question. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, post new content to my blog every day, have a column in the local daily paper, do weekly TV appearances, and make myself available to readers via email. I’m kinda everywhere. And I’d been blogging for six full years without offering a newsletter. So why would my followers want or need one now? Ask yourself, “Should I be concerned making my email subscribers feel special?”

Hearing that question made me realize I’d have to make this mailing distinct from all my other communications. More than that, I needed to make my newsletter subscribers feel special, in-the-know, privy to exclusives. So I did. And realized later on that doing so not only kept my current subscribers happy, it created a viable pitch for new subscribers.

Here are some newsletter tips to make your subscribers feel like they’ve got super-secret backstage passes.

3 tips to make your email subscribers special

1. Get personal.

Regardless of platform or business model, your customers and fans will always be hungry for behind-the-scenes, personal tidbits. If you make leather goods, include some shots of your tools, workshop, or prototypes. If you own a restaurant, describe your process for procuring ingredients or testing new recipes. If you’re a blogger, share a few anecdotes from your off-screen life.

I dish about everything from figure flattery to body hair on Already Pretty, but I make a point of keeping my personal life private. And I still won’t talk about my family or my health in the newsletter, but I offer a few cat photos, review books I’ve been reading, and talk about side projects. My newsletter subscribers LOVE these peeks behind the digital curtain.

2. Offer exclusive content.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I see so many blogger newsletters that just regurgitate recent posts. Which definitely drives traffic to your site, but doesn’t feel at all exclusive or personalized. Consider writing a short article that will be seen only by the newsletter audience: Review a recently purchased tool/garment/appliance, tackle a seasonal topic that relates to your business, do a roundup of tips. Something quick, useful, and for subscriber eyes only.

3. Create subscriber-only deals – make your email subscribers feel special!

Email Subscribers Feel Special

Such a simple, effective practice. If you sell products or offer services, give your newsletter subscribers a percentage off — either on an entire transaction, or on a highlighted item or offering. If you have vendor partnerships, work with a new vendor each month to create a subscriber-exclusive coupon code. In the latter case, you not only give your readers a special deal but also have the chance to plug and support your vendor partners.

If you’re able to offer any of these perks on a regular basis, you can leverage them to encourage new sign-ups. When you talk about or promote your newsletter, always point out that it includes behind-the-scenes peeks, brand new content, and subscriber-only discounts. Make it clear that your newsletter readers are part of an exclusive club … that just happens to be taking new members. Right now. And also always.

Image by: SimplySteff, via Compfight cc

Sally McGraw
Sally McGraw is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, editor, and blogger. She is the creator the popular daily blog Already Pretty, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a Huffington Post contributor, and the author of several books about style and body image. Sally is also a ghostwriter and editor who specializes in non-fiction books and book proposals. She believes that writing is like solving a living, breathing, ever-changing puzzle, and finds the challenge exhilarating. Her favorite word is "crepuscular."