Email marketing specialist and founder of the agency Little Green Duck, Katie Skelton, joins the show to delve into the value of a weekly newsletter. In fact one of her clients called her “a massive email weirdo” so she’s just our type of guest!
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Katie started her copywriting business in 2018 and discovered a passion for connecting with people and building communities through writing, particularly on social media.
During the COVID-19 period, when most interactions were online, she organized networking sessions and had a membership program, which further fueled her interest in community-building. Gradually, her focus expanded to include email as well, as a means to continue connecting with people and nurturing relationships.
Where to Begin with Community Building through Email
Katie suggests starting with clear objectives and strategy when building a community feel with an existing email list. Begin by asking yourself two important questions: what do you want your email newsletter to achieve for you, and what does your audience want and need from you?
It’s essential to create content that makes people feel like they are part of your world rather than being sold to. Considering people and treating them as individuals is crucial in building a community-oriented approach.
Writing Content to Build Community
When asked about the types of content that can be included in a newsletter to create a sense of community, Katie says you have to consider what the audience wants and needs and address their struggles or interests.
Instead of focusing solely on company news, you can curate content from various sources that are relevant and valuable to the audience. Always think from the audience’s perspective and provide content that benefits them. Focusing on your audience’s needs and interests will make your newsletter more engaging and successful.
More Community Building Email Tips
Include bite-sized content in your newsletter to cater to different preferences and increase engagement. When asking questions in emails, make it easy for recipients to answer by keeping the response length short. You can have yes/no questions or multiple-choice options to make it easier for recipients to provide feedback.
Providing options rather than asking open-ended questions increases the likelihood of receiving responses from your audience.
If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with community – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?
If you neglect the initial work of defining your strategy and objectives, you have only one opportunity to engage with people via email. Therefore, it’s crucial to dedicate time to asking yourself those fundamental questions and doing the necessary groundwork.
This enables you to make promises to your audience that build trust right from the start. Though it may seem intimidating, this step remains incredibly significant.
Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve community performance?
Monitor specific metrics for a period of 60 to 90 days and consistently review them on a monthly basis. Take the time to look at the previous month, observe trends, analyze different factors like subject line length, open rates, click-through rates on different content, and the level of engagement through replies.
Then identify the content that resonated the most with your audience and prioritize creating similar content moving forward.
If someone listening wants to learn more about community is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?
Katie has two recommendations:
Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in community?
Be mindful of the need to produce content that caters to shorter attention spans. While long-form content such as books and podcasts still has its merits, it’s important to acknowledge the rising popularity and impact of short-form content. It’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on.
Katie on Social media:
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