ID-100146161You’ve probably heard over and over again that your list is your retirement fund.

Your mailing list is in fact the most important thing to cultivate and it’s the forgotten communication tool that needs to be awakened.

Time and time again my clients will ask me what they’re doing wrong when clients and revenue aren’t easily flowing into their business. It’s when I ask if they’ve been sending their newsletter regularly that I hear a wince, a sigh and a “Do I really need to do this? I don’t want to bother them”.

In my initial client intake forms I ask new clients to let me know if they send a newsletter, how often and how many are on their list. The usual responses are: sometimes, once a month and less than 20.

In our first session I usually need to break it to them that they need to wake up their list.

That’s typically when I hear a wince, moan or outright argument as to why they don’t think they need to.

“What are you afraid of” I ask.

“I don’t know what to say to them, I don’t have enough content and I don’t want to bother them”, my clients say.

Listen, if you’re saying the same things I’m here to reassure you that you won’t be bothering your mailing list if you keep producing valuable content AND….(and this is important) make a connection with them.

No one likes being blasted with constant promotions but what people do like is making a connection and feeling like the person who’s communicating with them understands them.

I’ll never forget in my first two years of college at the University of San Francisco as a Speech Communication and Media Relations student, my professors drilled in the simple principles of communication. The main take away was that people want to be understood. Once the connection is made, the barriers release and communication can occur. Simply put, they want the connection to be real and it’s when that happens that the relationship can go to the next level.

Understand how to speak to your market and they’ll respond.

Now instead of being fearful of what to write, whether you’re “bothering” your mailing list or feel like you have nothing to offer; start thinking about how you can make the connection with them.

So how do you do that and wake up the list that’s waiting to hear from you?

Smart Step 1: Understand them 

The easiest way to make a connection with your market is to “get inside their head” and know what they’re thinking. Know this and you can better communicate with them.

Here’s where your market research comes in. Whether it’s in conversations, comments on your Facebook page or research you do on your market – find out what you can about your market.

Know their buying habits, hobbies and biggest struggles.

This way when it’s time to wake up your mailing list with a new article you’re primed to give them something they want.

Smart Step 2: Provide Great Content

Here’s where people usually get tripped up. “If I give everything away they won’t want to buy from me.”

To that I say, “Nope, not gonna happen.”

Heard of ? Michael Stelzner is living proof and he even wrote a book about it. Give, give and keep giving content to gain your market’s interest and trust. Then once it’s time you can begin to transition them into buying from you.

The psychology of this is that you’ve given such great information that when it’s time to present an offer the market will be primed.

So give great content in your newsletters and throughout social media and your market will repay you when you start making offers to them. 

Smart Step 3: Mail Consistently (but not too frequently)

To really wake up your mailing list you need to get them in shape to hear from you again. Consistency is the key. Set a mailing schedule and stick to it. You decide the frequency and if you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew simply send out a newsletter monthly and stick to it.

Conversely, don’t bombard your mailing list once you got them to wake up. Gently introduce them to you again.

If you haven’t mailed in a while then make your “reintroduction” newsletter a “Hey, I’m back…” one. Tell them that you’ve been up to great things and you’re letting them know what you’ve been up to and what’s ahead. Most importantly, ask them how they are!

Don’t worry if you have some unsubscribes – I know how it feels when you think you’ll never get more readers, but I’m here to tell you they’ll keep coming if you offer great content and keep building your list!

So get your fingers typing or your pen writing and let’s see you wake up your mailing list!

When’s the last time you sent a newsletter to your mailing list? What stops you from doing it?


Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles /


  1. Thanks for this post Jeannie. Understanding your subscribers is really key . . . and can be a little tricky. In addition to the market research, I’m finding that I need to re-frame my perception of email marketing because it can feel a little one-sided sometimes. Asking questions, using games, doing surveys are all great ways to invite your subscribers to share a little bit of them with you too. Breaking that unseen virtual barrier can simply be an invitation for others to share.

  2. Great post, Jeannie!
    I love your metaphor of “waking up” the list. I started out sending it once a month. Then I decided to increase it to twice a month. I guess the only thing I struggle with is getting folks to actually open and click. I know the statistics- once the list starts growing the open rate actually gets smaller… but I just wonder- what is fun content? What is content that is gonna get them to open? You know what, it may not even be the content… what I wonder is how do you come up with a good subject line that gets people opening? :- ) Thanks for a fun and energizing post.
    Have a healthy day,

    • Thanks so much Elizabeth! It’s really an art to get your readers to open your newsletter but I’d say the more you play with your subject lines the better. Split testing can be really effective. Have you tried using questions for your subject line? That works very well.
      A secret to coming up with “fun” content is to know your market so well that you know what they will find interests them. The other thing is to show the human/personal side of you too. Honestly, the more you do that the more your readers will open your newsletters. Like in your case they’ll want to know more about your fitness routine, what you do in your down time. Where you’d go for a retreat – that type of thing. The more you let them in the more fun it can be.
      As far as good subject lines I like to look at my article and then find a more thought provoking one line question that sparks interest around it. Does that help somewhat?

      Have a great weekend!

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