Less ‘news,’ more ‘letter!’
To wrap up the month of Joyful Writing in June, this week, I am talking about all things email content with my very special guest on Coaches Go Social.
If you have a business, you know about ALL of the writing you have to do.
At one point or another, I bet you’ve had the thought, “I’m SO NOT a writer!”
My guest will most likely disagree with you since she is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of the book Everybody Writes: You’re Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.
Yes! That’s right! My guest this week is none other than Ann Handley!
I met Ann when she was a keynote speaker at Social Media Marketing World back in early March.
Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, which is a HUGE online resource filled with training programs, online summits, and a ton of free resources and training events.
She is a LinkedIn Influencer, has just over 450,000 followers on Twitter and MarketingProfs has around 600,000 members. People, literally, are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what she writes next!
She’s an amazing person and an expert in marketing content.
I am thrilled to have her on the show!
This interview gave us a chance to catch up! She shared how she got started writing when she was just 8 years old. She told me how she used her backyard bunny, Bun, as a great conversion story, and how her daughter, a recent college grad, is following in her content creation footsteps.
And this was all before she shared her amazing insights into how to approach email newsletters!
Phew! What a show! (Watch ALL of the goodness above).
When it comes to creating ridiculously good email content, Ann made the distinction between an email newsletter and a transactional email.
Email newsletter – A vehicle for nurturing and growing your audience.
Transactional email – A sales email when someone orders something from you.
“The email newsletter is vastly undervalued by so many of us in business…Ultimately, you want to bring your audience closer to you, and the best way to do that is through an email newsletter.”
Ann drilled down on exactly what we should be focusing on…
She says, first, focus less on the “news” and more on the “letter.”
“The email newsletter is a really unique opportunity you have as a business owner to connect directly with the person who matters most. They want to hear from you. They’ve checked the box that says, ‘Yes! Send me your newsletter!’ That alone is such an achievement in business. We should really be respecting that space.”
But thinking about writing to an audience, of say, 30,000 people (oh my!), can be downright paralyzing! Ann gives the advice to write the letter with just one person in mind.
Even Warren Buffet does this!
Ann shared that when Warren Buffet sits down to write his yearly shareholder letter that is read and dissected by thousands of people, he focuses on what he would say to his sister, Doris if they had an afternoon together.
Ann challenges businesses and content creators to find their Doris!
And ask yourself how can you help that person? What do you actually want to say to them?
“I think when you shift your mindset from a distribution strategy to the letter strategy, less news and more letter, I think it changes the way you communicate.”
Ann also suggests considering the frequency of your letter. To her, a monthly newsletter seems like too much time has passed. Ann says if you can swing it, try every fortnightly or every other week.
Once you figure out who your Doris is, use your voice and personality in your letter.
“It will make you a whole lot more accessible and friendly. And it will just make it more fun to communicate and to read.”
Ann’s own newsletter is a great example of this! If you aren’t ready signed up, just go to annhandley.com/newsletter.
If you want to talk even more about email content or if you just need some positivity right now, let’s set up a time to chat!