How to never ghost your email list (and actually enjoy writing your newsletter)

Do you find you're always stopping and restarting your email list? Use these 5 tips to get in a consistent groove AND have fun while you're at it.


Almost everyone I speak to struggles with writing their list consistently.


You know how important it is to nurture your subscribers so you're not that person who only shows up to sell something. But keeping up is hard. Sometimes your email list takes a back burner to client sessions and let’s be real...social media.


And sometimes you don’t know what to say and overthink what you should send.


The key to getting consistent and also enjoying your email list comes down to these five things:


  1. Remember why you started your email list in the first place

  2. Set your non-negotiable newsletter schedule and stick to it

  3. Create a process that’s easy for you and one you can repeat

  4. Diversify your content

  5. Loosen up, we’re not doing brain surgery




1. Why did you start your email list?

Was it to make a ton of money? That’s what some of my Mailchimp students said:


  1. Gaining sales from past clients and getting those back/in our door.

  2. Make me a crap ton of money with automatically set-up processes that allow to me to spend more time on my products and services

  3. Getting more people to buy my products.


Making money is a reason but it’s rarely what will keep you showing up in the long run.


Usually what gets you to show up are the answers that some of my other students said:

  1. Keeping me in contact with clients who do/don't have Facebook current on our offerings/updates

  2. Helping more and more people!

  3. Creating value/audience


Helping people, keeping in touch and creating value.

These deeper long-term reasons ultimately fuel the results for you to “make a crap ton of money.”


If you're rooted in serving you'll show up more.


For me I like sharing stories and creating a deeper connection with my readers via email. In fact I started my email list before I was ever on social media.


What helps me stay accountable is picturing the people on my list. People like Curb Ivanic and Andrew Coates and Mark Young, who told me he saves my emails they're so valuable.


THAT keeps me going.


My goal is to serve the heck out of my subscribers so when I show up to ask for money I’ve given them consistent value first.


Call it your “why” or whatever, but staying focused on your drive to help people and create a relationship with them will motivate you to show up. The money follows.


I aim to get at least one reply with every email I send. That’s how I know I’ve helped at least one person, and that keeps me going. This external accountability is huge.


Dig into it whatever it is for you and remember your bigger reason. And then move on to Step 2.




2. Set your non-negotiable newsletter schedule

How many clients have you met with that haven’t worked out in months? Maybe even years? And they want to hit things hard and workout five times a week. They feel like 20 minutes of walking isn’t a “real” workout and unless they’re dying and dripping sweat it doesn’t count?


You know five workouts will be way too much for them to stick to. Two or maybe three short workouts is where they should start from.


Same with email. If you keep ghosting your list it’s probably because you’re trying to do too much too soon without realistic starting goals.


You may need to get honest with yourself like your clients have to about where they’re starting from.


Sending a bi-weekly newsletter is a perfect place to start. This gets you in front of your audience enough to not be forgotten and you can send two REMARKABLE emails a month vs. trying to toss together an email just to get it out the door.


You can put some thought behind what you’re sending and truly serve your audience.


Once you’ve got this down you can build up to the goal of a weekly newsletter (that’s my goal too) and eventually even more -- 2 to 3 emails a week can be done if you’re really dialed in with your content and process.


Which brings us to number three.



3. Create a process and repeat it

Just like your clients are shooting for a big goal (lose 20 lbs), getting there depends on their day to day process -- cooking the chicken, drinking the water, getting the movement and going to bed instead of binging Netflix (I lost a week of sleep over Yellowstone).


As my friend Mike Howard says, get obsessed with the process and detach from the outcome.


That’s what you have to do with your email list.


Make a process for it AND attach it to your current workflow so it becomes part of what you do, rather than an afterthought. Regardless of how many opens or clicks you get, or how many people are on your list, it’s your process that’ll help you keep showing up.


You can opt for a weekly email and your process could look like this:


  • Friday (Planning): create your outline and write your ugly first draft >> 30 minutes completed directly after social media planning (or breakfast)

  • Monday (Editing): edit your email copy with fresh eyes >> 30 minutes completed directly after you post on social media (or client check ins -- it just needs to be something you do every Monday)

  • Tuesday (Execute): set up your email in your tool (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, etc), test it out and schedule it >>> 15 minutes complete in admin time block (or something you do every Tuesday)

  • Thursday (Go Live): email goes out (nothing to do here, yay! Automation working for you). Check your email in the afternoon and respond to any replies, just like you would for social media.


**Rinse and repeat.**



Another option is to batch planning your emails for the entire month:


  • Last Friday of month plan content for upcoming month

  • Choose four email topics (see topics/content in step 4)

  • Write outlines for your four weekly emails. Your outline can be: an intro story, what’s the takeaway/point of email, call to action (reply, watch this, read this, buy this)

  • Every Friday morning at 8 am: complete first draft for your email that will send next week

  • Monday mornings at 8 am: edit email copy, set up in tool and schedule


**Rinse and repeat.**



I like to do a combo where I plan my emails and social media for the month and then work on them in weekly batches.


Right now I’m committed to a bi-weekly newsletter so I plan two blogs a month and my process looks like this:


  • Plan emails and social media for upcoming month on last Friday of month (ex: on May 28 I will plan June)

  • Outline what blogs /video content I will need

  • Write blog #1 to send in email #1 (I like to write my blog first then my email to go with it). I write in planned one-hour blocks throughout the week (Monday, Thursday and Friday).

  • Create blog post on my website on Friday. Draft email copy directly after.

  • Edit email copy on Monday with fresh eyes, build, schedule

  • Email sends Tuesday


Then I repeat this process again for my second blog and email of the month.


My goal is to build up to a weekly email by September when my kids go back to school full time. Right now if I have the time I’ll send a third email and this is a bonus and makes me feel like I’m crushing it (vs. trying to do weekly and failing every week). But my minimum non-negotiable is every two weeks.


To get consistent you have to figure out your process that works for YOU and be ready to adjust as you go. You’ll probably need to adjust a few times and keep fine tuning your process. I’ve found I need different processes for different seasons (kids in school, kids out of school).


Whatever you do, don’t miss your non-negotiable. Setting up your process will ensure you never miss writing your list and you’ll reach your bigger goals.


Here's a link to my content schedule so you can see what it looks like. Just a simple google doc with a monthly snapshot view.


Next up is what content to send in your newsletters so you don’t get bogged down.



4. Diversify your content

The natural inclination is to “Teach” in every email and link your reader to your latest blog, video or other content you’ve created.


Teaching emails are fantastic and showcase your expertise.

But keeping up with a new blog post or high-quality video content that you produce every single week can wear you out fast, and cause you to dread your email list...which sometimes leads to ditching out on it.

Beyond your overwhelm there’s another reason why you shouldn’t “Teach” in every email. It can also wear out your subscribers.

Think about it -- you’re asking them to do something in every email. They need to read something or watch something, which takes their time.

You’ll make it easier on yourself and end up connecting more with your subscribers when you mix in these 3 other types of emails.

They don’t require blogs and they get higher engagement (more opens, more clicks, more replies → REPLIES are gold).

STORY EMAIL

This is a relationship builder and helps your subscribers get to know you better. The more they get to know you, the more trust you can build. Share something funny, inspiring or encouraging. Make someone smile with a funny gif or meme.


You can start with your story and connect it back to a teachable moment for your reader, asking a question at the end -- “Reply back, I’d love to hear your thoughts about <your topic>.”


LIFE UPDATE

Share what's happening in your life or business. Did you move this year? Did you get married? Bring your subscribers into the journey with you. It's just like social media where your followers like to see behind the scenes and feel included. You can do the same thing with your emails and ask your subscribers to share back with you.


For example if you moved to a new city your call to action can be: “where’s a good place to go hiking in Spokane?” Or -- “what’s your favorite restaurant in Spokane that I should check out?”


Point of View (POV) / IN THE NEWS

Give your point of view on something controversial or big happening in the news related to health and fitness. These are often polarizing so you may see more unsubscribes while also deepening your relationship. You can debunk a popular myth, like how doing a fasted workout does NOT burn more fat. Or share why a certain supplement is a waste of money. This shows your subscriber how YOU think differently and creates a strong connection with them.


Click here for examples of Teaching, Story, Life Update and POV / In the News emails.


And lastly…



5. Loosen up


Your email list can be your superpower. It can help you sell to 100 people or 1,000 people with one well written email.


But we’re not doing brain surgery. If you loosen up and stop worrying about your emails being epic and focus on serving it'll be way easier.


Think about your email list like a two-way conversation and you’ll have way more fun with it.


Remember the people on your list. Pick one of them and write directly to them. It’ll help you stay laid back.


And once you start getting replies and engagement back from your emails you’ll actually look forward to it. If you think getting a DM is fun, just wait til you get a flood of replies.


Remember, people are reading their emails alone on their phones and computers so they are picturing YOU on the other side of the email. It can be a very fun experience for both of you if you show up for it.


Just starting out? Check out how to embrace your small list and make it your secret weapon.