7 Steps to Creating a Profitable Newsletter

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Finding Customers / April 13, 2014

email newsletter

What’s the point?

That’s the question I asked myself after another newsletter didn’t produce results.

Sure, I was “keeping in touch” with my leads and prospects.

I spent a couple of hours writing great content, optimizing for various devices, tweaking headlines and when I finally hit send, nothing happened.

After months of getting no results with my email newsletter, I finally found myself asking “what’s the point?”

The Problem with Most Email Newsletters…

Or at least the problem that I faced was I was afraid to use my newsletter as a sales tool.  I didn’t want to be one of THOSE companies.

You know, the companies that send spammy, over hyped, promotional garbage that you delete without opening or unsubscribe from altogether.

And I didn’t want to be one of those companies.

My emails were full of helpful information and tips that folks could apply to help with their business.

I told myself “If I just keep producing great content and build trust, people will eventually call me and want to do business with me.”

But that happened far too seldom.

I tested and tweaked my newsletters until I finally hit on a formula that would generate sales leads without being spammy, over-hyped, promotional junk.

It’s what I call the…

The Sales Bridge Newsletter

If you are like me and create content heavy email newsletters that are meant to build trust and relationships, then all is not lost.

According to the Neilson Trust in Advertising report, 84% of all consumers trust a recommendation from someone they know.

And more specifically, 56% of consumers trust an email newsletter they just signed up for.

The Sales Bridge Newsletter is a way to help bridge the gap between building trust with your email list and making a sale without being spammy.

Below is a 7 step process to create a Sales Bridge Newsletter

Step 1:  Eliminate Clutter

One Saturday, Sheena Iyengar, a researcher at Columbia University set up a free tasting booth to allow customers to try jam. She had 24 flavors available for tasting.

The next Saturday, she set up six flavors available for tasting.

According to her book The Art of Choosing, when she had 24 flavors, 60% of the customers stopped by to taste, but only 3% bought something. When she had six flavors, 40% of the customers stopped by, but 30% bought something. This turned out to be an increase in sales of 600%.

Unfortunately, most email newsletters have far too many distractions that take away from the ultimate goal of the newsletter.  Distractions like elaborate headers and multiple links to various pages take away from what you want the reader to do.

Make sure every image, video, and paragraph moves the reader closer to the one thing you want them to accomplish.

Step 2:  Create a Headline that Gets Opened

The easiest way to create a headline that gets opened is to promise to solve a problem that your market has.

The email that I’m going to break down was written for marketing consultants who are looking to generate more highly qualified sales leads.

After working with consultants for some time, and being one myself, I came to understand that their three biggest problems were standing out from their competitors, getting their potential customers to notice them, and closing deals.

For the title of this email, I promise to tackle all three of these problems.

“Positioning, Exposure, and Making the Sale”

Step 3:  Grab their Attention

Once the email is opened, you’ll need to get your audience’s attention so they keep reading.  The easiest way to do this is to reinforce what they’re going to learn by reading your email.  I like to use an “if… then…” statement.

For instance:

“If you’re a marketing consultant looking to generate more highly qualified leads, then I’d like to quickly share with you a brief marketing plan that can help you find more high paying customers who value your time.”


Step 4:  Brief Background

Now you need to give your email some credibility so your readers actually believe what you’re saying.   One way to do this is to introduce 3rd party data from a reputable source.  This will tell your readers that these aren’t just your ideas and theories, there’s actually science behind what you’re saying.

“According to a recent survey on Hubspot, the three biggest challenges consultants face are not generating enough leads, variable cash flow, and difficulty signing up new clients.

This simple three step marketing plan will help you with all three challenges.”

Step 5:  Useful Content

This is the meat of your email newsletter.  This is where you solve the promise you made in your title.  For this newsletter, this comes in the form of the first two steps of the marketing plan.

“Step 1:  Positioning

Actually, this is already complete.  I spent the past few months working on the positioning of the boot camp.  What started out as a product to show marketing agencies how to gain exposure, turned into a product that shows marketing agencies how to sign up higher paying customers.

It went from being a “marketing course for marketing agencies/social media consultants/etc.” to a “sales course for marketing agencies/social media consultants/etc.”

I did this simply by asking all of you what you wanted and made the changes.

I’m not naive enough to say it’s the ONLY one of its kind, but I’m not competing with all of the other “social media marketing” courses out there.

Step 2:  Exposure

Now that the positioning is set, I need to tell people about the course.  The two ways I’m going to do this at first are guest posting and Facebook ads. (I’m guessing you aren’t surprised…)

Some of the publications that I’m going to target are:

  • Blog 1
  • Blog 2
  • Blog 3
  • Blog 4
  • Blog 5

I’ll also target business blogs and freelancer blogs and I’ll write 2 posts a week.

As far as Facebook ads go, I’ll start with a budget of $100 a week.  That should translate into at least 300 clicks per week.”

Step 6:  The Bridge

This is where you transition from marketing collateral to the sales process.  One of the features of the product I was selling was giving consultants a step by step breakdown of how to enter a sales meeting and seal the deal.

The third tip of the email directly correlates to this feature.

“Step 3:  Make the Sale

We’ve created our unique selling position.

I know how I’m going to tell everyone about the product.

Now it’s time to make the sale.  For me, making the sale is all about identifying the pain and then showing you how to solve the problem.

After talking to customers this was relatively easy.

Here is the pain of my typical customer:

  • They want to work with companies who won’t weasel every last possible nickel out them
  • They want to work with companies who won’t demand their first born child
  • They want to work with companies who treat them with respect
  • And they are tired of writing proposals and then hearing nothing.”

Step 7:  Call to Action

The final part of the email newsletter is to get your reader to take some action.  This doesn’t have to be a hard sell.  Just a simple statement saying what you want the reader to do next.

“Click here if you’d like an even deeper breakdown of the sales process so you can find clients who will pay you what your worth, treat you like a business partner, and pay their bills on time.”

Your Turn

Creating an email newsletter is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

Unfortunately, too many companies are so afraid of selling to their list, that they never capitalize on the huge potential of customers that actually want to buy their products and services.

By following these seven steps, and creating the sales bridge newsletter you can create an email newsletter that will be profitable without annoying your subscribers.

Greg Digneo is on a mission to help B2B companies create email newsletters and email blasts that generate revenue without being spammy.  If this is you, then check out his new video series where he shows you how to Double Leads with Your Next Email Newsletter.

Image Credit: www.pinpointe.com

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.