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When you sit down to write an email for your list, do you ever think to yourself…
How do I know if this email will be helpful?
Trust me, you are not alone. Everyone has those thoughts at least once (usually several times!) when creating email content, including me.
In fact, asking if something is helpful is actually Step 1 in ensuring you’re not wasting your readers’ time. You’re the gatekeeper of what they get from you — and props to you for wanting it to be worth their time!
But if you ever sit in front of a blank screen like, “Uhhh, what do I write about this week?,” I’ve got tips to help you determine what to write about that will be valuable to your readers.
I suggest keeping a list of any and all questions your audience may have in a content bank.
A content bank is where you drop any and all content ideas — topics or helpful resources you could write or share about — so you don’t forget them.
My content bank includes questions people have asked me — whether they replied to an email of mine or asked it during a live presentation — insightful podcast episodes (even if I’m not the guest), and general topics that I haven’t written about on my blog yet. (Here are some other ways to learn about your audience!)
It’s hard enough for me to remember a conversation I had yesterday, let alone a slew of blog or email ideas just swirling around in my head — not a trustworthy place to keep them!
So to combat all that swirling, I suggest you keep all of your email content ideas in a pensieve — erh, I mean, a content bank.
(For non-Harry Potter fans, a pensieve is where you can store some of your memories when your brain feels too full.)
Now, when I’m ready to write an email, I’ve got a list of audience-inspired ideas for email content ready to pull from. Then it’s simply a matter of asking, “What can I answer for my list this week that will help them feel more confident sending emails?”
Once you get your content bank in place, you’ll feel more ready to sit down, write an email, and know you’re sending valuable content to your list each time you hit “send.”
For more on how to create a content bank and organize your ideas, dig into this blog post for how I do it.
You can also grab my Airtable Content Calendar template (it’s free, so make a copy for yourself!).
Readers need clarity — their time is short, your content is new to them, and they simply want to learn, be inspired, feel connected, and/or be encouraged.
To write clear, engaging emails, ask yourself these two questions* before you draft up your next email:
“What is the One Big Idea of this email?”
“What do I want someone to do, think or feel after reading this?”
These questions force us to clarify our message and get to the point.
Then, once you’ve written your email, ask these questions AGAIN. Your readers will thank you, and you’ll create even better, more helpful content they’ll be grateful is landing in their inbox.
For more about how to create engaging content that drives your readers to take action, check out this podcast interview I did with Emily Reagan of Unicorns Unite.
*More on what the answers to these questions could look like are in this blog post.
Email marketing is a space where you can share your knowledge with readers, ask them to connect and help them improve their lives/work/relationships in some way.
If you feel a bit hesitant about sharing what you know — as if you’re claiming to be a spokesperson for Some Certain Expertise on The Internet — then it’s okay to take a pause. That’s a lot of pressure!
But take a step back. Realize that you are not the ONLY voice speaking to your audience about this topic — and you’re allowed to speak about YOUR experience, what YOU have found to be true, and be helpful as heck by walking others through what you know.
That’s it, that’s all we’re asked to do. You and I are not running for office. You’re simply sharing what you know, helping your audience better understand something, instilling trust in your readers, and providing solutions to make it easier for them.
For a full-fledged pep talk from yours truly, Mr. Rogers and I have something to say about it here.
What is ONE topic you could write about today that would be helpful to someone?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you’d write about to help someone on your list in some way!
If you’re not welcoming new subscribers and pointing them in the direction of your best, most beloved content — or you feel like the one you have isn’t doing the trick — it’s time we fix that. Use this free 5-part framework to make a meaningful & lasting first impression as you write your first welcome sequence for new email subscribers!
FYI : I sometimes talk about and link to tools, sites, books, and resources that I LOVE. Sometimes those companies give me a little gift for sharing if you choose to purchase something through my affiliate link. I promise to be straightforward with you and to only share things I personally use and would vouch for 100%.
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We’re Duett, an email marketing agency specializing in email strategy, email copywriting, and email automation setup with a special place in our heart for bloggers (especially those who make delicious food). If you’re a content creator craving to authentically connect with your audience so you can build lasting relationships, increase site traffic, and put your best offers forward — Let’s Duett!