How to launch a newsletter (Part 1)

Waste Consultants helps companies reduce and manage waste disposal and recycling expenses.

In fact, they’re so good at helping businesses with this (less than desirable) task, that they operate on a pure performance basis.

This likely means that embedded in their service is a deep level of expertise on the subject at hand.

Which is why I was intrigued to dig into this great question I received from Andrea Suarez, their Content Marketing Manager (shared with permission):

“I’m about to launch a monthly email newsletter and am thinking through the best way to go about list-building. I was thinking of downloading our list from our CRM software, announcing our newsletter, and including a line about how “if you want to opt-out, please contact me.” But I’m curious what your opinion is?

Maybe we should just make the email list opt-in only through our website? Maybe it doesn’t really matter one way or another? Not really sure what would be best for long-term growth…and also want to be wary of pissing people off.”

So first things first, my (clearly unbiased) opinion on this move:

launch newsletter part 1 thumbs up

Next, let’s set the stage with my almost-4-year-old’s newly minted favorite question:

Why?

For firms like Waste Consultants, a regular newsletter (when executed properly) is likely to accomplish a number of objectives simultaneously, which can include:

  • Deepening existing client relationships and increasing perceived value, which means increased retention, lifetime value, and everything else that comes along with an overall better working relationship.
  • Building trust, credibility, and awareness with new prospects, which means more qualified opportunities entering your sales pipeline, as well as higher-quality sales conversations (read: easier).
  • Establishing a framework for feedback, refinement, and the exchange of valuable information about your target market through regular conversation (like the one that’s happening right now in this email!)

If we had to sum it up, our overarching objective is to demonstrate and develop expertise. And email, in my humble opinion, happens to be an excellent medium for doing just that.

Now, right in line with some of our recent topics of discussion, the #1 thing that tends to kill off an otherwise promising new newsletter is…

Lack of focus and momentum.

There’s a certain escape velocity that any new newsletter needs to achieve in order to avoid being yanked back down to Earth by way of self-doubt and listlessness into a pile of burning rubble and half-baked content ideas.

So with that in mind…

Let’s wrap up Part 1 of my answer to the “how to launch a newsletter” question with an inventory (Part 2 will cover more tactical recommendations).

What assets do you already have in place that could give you a head start?

As in, what can we do to give you a leg up to kick this thing off with a bang?

(Side Note: This “asset inventory” terminology borrowed from a recent discussion in our Expertise Incubator cohort. Thanks, fellas!)

These assets could be contacts in your target market you can address directly (like the CRM contacts Andrea mentioned).

Or connections that might provide some initial visibility (e.g. referral partners with email lists, clients with strong networks, peers willing to collaborate, etc.)

Or intellectual property and resources you’ve already developed that are ready to roll as a content development starting point.

Essentially: anything that either (a) reduces the required effort, (b) increases the likelihood of success, or (c) amplifies the desired outcome.

So what would this look like for your firm?

Brainstorm a list of what those things could be and tomorrow we’ll apply this thinking to Andrea’s example and compare notes.

P.S. Unless my counting system broke down somewhere, this appears to be daily email #100 for this year. To which I feel… like I feel on pretty much any other Tuesday morning 🙂

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