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I’ve written about how I think early internet marketers kinda ruined email connections for the rest of us with their spammy, yucky inundation of our inboxes with their advertising.

I’d like to talk about being a person who connects with others’ newsletters as part of your own newsletter strategy.

This is part revolution, part bringing about the changes you want to see. Do you wonder if people are actually reading your newsletters? Like sure, you can see the open rates and the click rates, but everything feels a little distant and disconnected. You’re not sure if people are really engaging. You become disillusioned with writing newsletters and slowly it slips to the bottom of your to-do list, a place that you very rarely visit.

That’s because current email newsletter communication is one way. For too long email has been about forcing advertising in people’s faces – there’s been no real expectation of communication. Almost no-one responds to newsletters. It’s almost seen as being a luddite thing to do. It’s not the “done thing”.

Ditch the hotmail address – sign up with your business address

Did that make you tense up? Freeze? Think, “Oh god, no! I can’t handle more emails in my business inbox?”. I hear you. There are strategies for dealing with the inundation of newsletters from people, but hear me out.

Here’s why I sign up with my business email and make an effort to respond to people’s newsletters with whom I want to build connection:

  • You become a more familiar name/business. By using your name and your business email, when you reply to someone’s newsletter, they can see who you are and what your business is.
  • Few people actually reply to newsletters. This makes you unique. It’s something different from liking or commenting on Facebook or Instagram. It’s more special.
  • Feedback. As someone who sends emails out into the ether, there’s nothing more rewarding than someone replying. It means my content is being read and engaged with! Sure there are “open rates” and “click rates” that indicate some level of engagement, but it’s not the same as a conversation.
  • Connect with those with whom you want to work or be known to – whether that’s someone who’s services you want to purchase or with whom you would like to mastermind, or even someone who has expressed some interest in your offerings. By fostering these connections through responding to their emails, you’re more likely to be at the front of their mind/known to them.

Action steps

  • For those people you want to connect with, make sure your business email is on their newsletter list, not some random hotmail/yahoo one.
  • If you don’t want the newsletters clogging up your inbox, create a filter so that when they come in, they go into their own folder straight away that you check periodically.
  • Start replying to other people’s newsletters. This doesn’t have to be whopping essays. Just – “Thanks for your tips in this newsletter. I’d never thought about xyz. Keep up the great work!” can be enough.
  • Add a call to reply to your own newsletter template asking people to respond.
  • Thank people who do respond to you. Let’s face it, you don’t have oodles of time – but a simple thank you to people who do respond helps them to feel more connected with you also. And if they’re potential clients – even more so.

graphic of people on a coffee break with text overlaid