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Ok, I teach Mailchimp as a system. But there’s an art to the newsletter that I have far far from mastered. I am resistant to writing newsletters. But the big question for me was why?

Finding joy in newsletters

I love Mailchimp as a system, even with the flaws and all. But what I’m still learning is the art of newsletters. Sure, I’ve got the tech-side down pat, but what makes a great newsletter? What inspires people to write newsletters? And, what inspires people to read them? Those are more elusive questions – not tied down to a series of steps, not bound up in a bit of code.

So, I’ve been keeping an eye on what inspires me to read someone’s newsletter and I’ve noticed a trend – I tend to read newsletters from people that I know – either through Facebook groups, or from events, or other social media platforms. I’ve already connected with these people somehow, and I’d like to connect with them further.

What’s so special about connection?

Like many of my clients, I work from home. I don’t go into an office each day and spend 6-8 hours with a group of people. It can make things lonely. Although, as an introvert, I must admit, I’m not too bothered by this fact most of the time.

However, I will say this – community is important for women who run creative businesses. Most of us are too small to compete for top page rankings on Google. Most of us rely on referrals and connections to drive most of our business. I’ve never had a client randomly find me on the internet. It’s all been through communities that I’m part of – especially Facebook communities.

Your newsletter list isn’t (despite what some marketers might say) primarily a place to push your products and services. I know from my experience that newsletters that are always selling me something without making an effort to give me value, irk me and I unsubscribe after not too long.

For me, I want to feel part of a community, so it’s not just about getting value – it’s also about connection. I think it’s important to take time to craft newsletters that foster connection. I’m not interested in being duped into buying a product once off, nor am I interested in duping other people into buying something they don’t want or need. I want to build connections and help people. That means taking the time to show them how I am and what I do.

“Marketing” tastes like orange juice and toothpaste

I HATE “marketing”. Yup. I hate it like I hate drinking orange juice after brushing my teeth. To me, and I know others will disagree, but the word just feels sleazy. It feels like I’m tricking people. I don’t like it at all. And, quite frankly, it has never worked for me (possibly because I’m so resistant to the whole idea).

But connection does work for me. Being genuine works for me.

And those are the emails that I open and I read. Those that build connection. Those that tell funny stories. Those that are genuine. And when those newsletters do include something for sale, I don’t feel like I’ve been tricked.

So, before you send out your next email – ask not how you can sell but how you can connect.

A dream you dream along is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.