Newsletter Superstar

How To Become A Newsletter Superstar

If you haven’t seen our VIP List lately, you should check it out (view recent sample). We’ve made some recent changes and I’m very excited with the response. In this piece I’d like to lend you a little advice on replicating our success.

We Learned To Send Better Content

Our success has several factors. First, give your list valuable content. I know you’ve heard that before, it sounds like blogging, doesn’t it? We started out sending only blogging tips. That was okay but I wanted more for our list so I made it a mission to stay up to date and informed on news and events that matter to bloggers. I found that I can share important news, advice, trends and events without taking up much of our reader’s time. Two or three lines will cover most items.

Form Partnerships

I’m ecstatic over how well our Newsletter Partner program has worked. Right now we have three weekly contributors, myself, Sheryl Loch and Mitch Mitchell. Mitch covers blogging and writing and Sheryl usually writes video tips for bloggers. Sheryl is also indispensable behind the scenes and keeps me from looking foolish most of the time. 🙂 This partnership has expanded into to our weekly live video discussions using Google Plus Hangouts on Air.

This is a very easy method that can be replicated by other bloggers. You can share content with each other or just stick to helping promote one another. You can offer featured guest spots on each other’s newsletters, just like we see on blogs.

Test Times And Content

I use AWeber($) and the split testing features are amazing, as are the analytics. It’s easy to test things like layout, send times, subject lines and almost anything with AWeber($)Finding the right time of day and how many sends a week works best for your list is the place to start. Continuous testing sounds exhausting but it only takes minutes and is important; everyone changes and our lists are no exception.

Say What You’re Going To Do and Do What You Say

Let subscribers know what they should expect and give them exactly that. We send out two issues each week and no more than three. A third mailing is a rare exception and is only sent when something important happens that subscribers need to know about and time won’t allow us to wait for the next issue. Now what would happen if I just started sending just sales copy all of the time?

Build Your Reputation

Where have we heard that before? If the money is in the list then your reputation is extremely important with your newsletter, ezine or email marketing. Either way you go, you can only build a honest reputation by being honest. Make sense? Never send an affiliate link because you’ll profit from it, send it when it will help your subscribers. How many times can you get away with recommending complete junk? I’ve unsubscribed to many email marketers and affiliate marketers because the products they promote are garbage.

How I Stay Informed

I read and I read a lot. I’ve become so much smarter since I decided to improve our newsletter. I went in and cleaned up my Google reader and subscribed to relevant and dependable feeds. I have that reader on my smart phone so I can keep up with all that great content. I’m not here to promote Google Reader or RSS feeds, I just like the ease of scanning subjects before clicking on an article. You can use any method that works for you; the point is to become knowledgeable in your field. Whatever your niche is I’m sure there are resources you can use. Just last week I had someone mention they were in a tough niche that no one with any authority was in. I introduced them to Google Alerts and now they have a ton of material and news to read.

Bonus Tips You’ve Heard Before

  • Use call to actions.
  • Include a prelude at the beginning of your newsletter. This will show in the preview pane of certain email clients and help open rates.
  • Keep your list clean by removing those that never open your emails.
  • Offer something relevant and of value for new subscribers. This will increase the need to clean your list but it will build quicker.
  • Write for your audience and avoid standard sales copy.
  • Proofread your copy and double check links before sending.
  • Avoid transparent email marketing ploys like intentionally inserting a mistake so you have an excuse to resend later, that doesn’t fool anyone.
  • Use a reputable email marketing service or autoresponder($) right from the start. Trying to move your subscribers from a free service later just doesn’t do well. You will lose a lot of your list. I use and recommend AWeber($).
  • Keep your subscriber’s time in mind and get straight to the point. Too much reading will increase unsubscribes and spam complaints.
  • Encourage people to unsubscribe if it’s not their cup of tea. It sounds like a crazy thing to do but it helps keep a clean and reputable list.

Your Thoughts?

Do you have a newsletter? Do you prefer running a newsletter or an email marking list? Do you have any tips of your own? Any questions? Your comments are always welcome here.


  1. Twitter: berget
    I am receiving your newsletter and it a great resource. I am also using Aweber, but you’re using the pro version (I think it’s called Aweber analytics), right? It’s a lot more expensive, but do you believe it’s worth the extra money – I’ve been thinking about upgrading.
    Jens P. Berger recently posted..How to measure success in 2013My Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I do Jens, I think it’s only $10 more, isn’t it? I’ll have to look to be sure. I love to see who’s opening and clicking and all of the other stats. I use these stats to unsubscribe people who no longer open the newsletter, for example. Thanks for the kind words and thank you for being a subscriber. 🙂

  2. One of the things I am working on this year is growing my newsletter. I usually have relied on other methods, but never really promoting my newsletter. It is one of those things that I never thought of as I have done well with what I already have. However, for those who prefer newsletters to keep up to date, this is important and just another testament that using various media to reach your audience works.
    Nile recently posted..2012 Blog Rockstar AwardsMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I just subscribed Nile and I look forward to seeing what you send. I’m enjoying our newsletter, it takes a little extra work but I get to share things that may be a little “short” or off-topic for the blog. It’s trully a great way to deepen reader ralationships.

  3. Hey Brian, Happy New Year mate. Your newsletter is one of the very few that I have subscribed to and the only one that I find really informative. I’m very impressed with what you guys put out and not at all surprised considering the caliber of the people behind it.

    I don’t have a newsletter but I do have a small bunch of loyal and growing subscribers. I don’t plan to make any money of them but I do hope they continue to read my posts and contribute to the comments section.
    Sire recently posted..How To Buy The Perfect GiftMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Thank you Sire, that’s very kind and I really appreciate Mitch and Sheryl with all they do both on the newsletter and our videos.

      I’m on your list and I like being the first to know when you post to your blog. I actually get your Friday Funnies on Thursday night (my time) so I feel like I’m way ahead of the crowd. 🙂

      • That is funny, and you know out of the few mailings I do every week the Friday Funnies gets the most clicks. Good to know that I’ve hit on a great series that people love to read and actually look forward to. No money in it but it’s nice knowing I’m bringing some enjoyment to people’s lives.
        Sire recently posted..Sire At The Renowned 2013 ConventionMy Profile

  4. Twitter: Lisapatb
    I really love how you guys do your newsletter. It is very informative and covers a variety of topics. I haven’t really started mine yet. I’m hoping to start it with an eBook in the coming months. I totally agree that too much writing will lose people since most don’t have a lot of time to read a lot. This is the first time I’ve read encourage people to unsubscribe. Not a bad idea if they are not opening them. Thanks for the info as I’ll be entering into this area soon.
    Lisa recently posted..Content Curation Made Simple to Promote Your Blog PostsMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      lol It sounds a little crazy asking people to unsubscribe at the top of the newsletter, but we have a zero spam report record. I shouldn’t have said that because it will change now. lol But it’s true, if they don’t want the subscription any more, I want them to unsubscribe rather than hit that evil spam button.

      Thanks for being a subscriber and for all of your support Lisa. Let me know when you get that list going, so I can be one of the first to subscribe. 🙂

  5. Twitter: WebsiteWriter
    Thank you for this, I’ve been trying to build a helpful newsletter for website designers to share interesting new ways to get them more clients.

    It really is a labour of love for me and I’ve been looking for ideas about to get the word out about it. I already have two blogs for my own business so I wasn’t too keen on starting another. It’s tough maintaining so many blogs, writing articles, and visiting forums too.

    I was surprised to see this post pop up in my Twitter feed. I guess I’m just “tuned in” to newsletter marketing ideas right now. lol

    Thank you.

  6. Sure, pop in a video with my face on it to get me over here. lol

    I have a newsletter but I don’t use an autoresponder. I’ve been putting it out for 10 years and I’m wondering just how many people aren’t opening it at this juncture. I’d move to an autoresponder except I hear that you have to ask people to resubscribe, and I’m hesitant to do that because it would be crushing to learn that only 20 people are actually opening it after all these years. Still, I might have to do it to see if it’s even worth putting out the newsletter anymore; what’s your thought on that?

    And our newsletter has grown, changed looks and modified content in the last year and a half; at least that long right? It’s nice seeing some folks here saying nice things about it; that makes it all worthwhile.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Pros And Cons Of NewslettersMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hold still Mitch, I’m going to make you famous. 😉

      I’m a little biased Mitch, I think you should go with AWeber if you use my affiliate link. lol Seriously though, I lost a lot of subscribers when I moved years ago. I’m glad I did but it was tough. I had no choice though, the list management company I was using shut down.

      I’m not sure how long but I know we have 134 newsletter issues and 66 videos. It’s amazing how far a little collaboration can go.

      Now, It’s getting a little spooky that we keep posting on the same topics at the same time. lol Pros And Cons Of Newsletters

  7. Twitter: iteachcash
    Valid points you’ve made here, Brian. The point is to treat your subscribers like people in a valuable relationship. The fact that we use a different platform (the internet) has made a lot of people lose sight of the fact that they are still dealing with real people with real emotions. I just imagine myself talking face to face with my subscribers and then I don’t do a lot of the dumb things that reduce the effectiveness of my newsletters.

  8. Well, as we all know that content is the king and a newsletter needs to contain some really interesting content for the people to read it with interest again. Eventually it seems a bit difficult to write from the point of view of people but it is a good option to attract attention.

  9. I would really like to start a newsletter too but I am really concerned that there will be too much time and effort involved. I guess like what u shared i must really write for my audience, then it will really inspire me to blog the best content for them.

  10. Twitter: rightnowtravel
    Brian, you guys seem to have fun with videos and I sometimes laugh with you.

    You need dedicated people and people who understand the goal of the newsletter and HOA.

    I enjoy reading your post about the HOAs and watching them. thanks
    Michael Belk recently posted..AIG threatens to join lawsuit against the U.S.My Profile

  11. A newsletter should be interesting enough for people to take interest in reading it. Just writing lengthy content is not going to help. We can surely include some nice tests and games in the newsletter instead of just keeping it restricted to the news.

  12. HI Brian

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. I greatly believe in that but haven’t started that. Will start working on that after 6 months or so.

    sapna recently posted..Naive Blogger – After President, The Busiest Person on Planet(An Infographic)My Profile

  13. i am writing a newsletterr..ur tips would help me a lott..thnx

  14. Twitter: FerbHinlor
    Hi Brian, whoa! When I read “encourage subscribers to un-subscribe” it’s really shocked me up and scared. But if inactive subscribers don’t like that cup of coffee. We really have to encourage them to left that coffee.

    Thank – Ferb
    Ferb recently posted..10 Questions to Answers Before Starting a 2nd BlogMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Sure Ferb, It’s far better they unsubscribe than hit that spam button. Alot of people just hit the spam button so they don’t see it any more but that hurts us. I see those newbie marketers that ‘hide’ the unsubscribe link by burying it well below the other content and I can’t help but laugh. They haven’t got a clue what they are doing.

  15. Twitter: internetdreamof
    Newsletters are something that I haven’t gotten into it.

    That’s ok since I have more important aspects to cover on Internet Dreams.

    If your list grows to a large number, then it is about time to talk to them 🙂
    Samuel recently posted..7 Cool WordPress Plugins!My Profile

  16. Twitter: vikramkumar1000
    Hey, I am very fond of Newsletters and i also want to add this to my website. But it seems a good newsletter service have some charges. Can you tell me some free Newsletter services.

  17. Hi there,

    I really love the way you put your newsletter together, it’s friendly and informative. I’m in the process of setting up my own newsletter at the moment – and hope that with a bit of practice it turns out to be as good as yours.

    Melanie Egerton recently posted..6 Quick Tips To Increase Website TrafficMy Profile

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