Let’s be honest, most email newsletters lack that special something. It’s safe to say many of them are bland, monotonous, and struggle to captivate the intended audience.
Still, if you've been putting off creating a newsletter or growing an email list, you're overlooking a huge opportunity for your podcast.
It’s not just about spreading the word to reach new listeners. You’re building a loyal, engaged community around your content that eagerly anticipates your next episode and offers valuable feedback as well as a potential channel for promoting and selling podcast merch.
But don’t listen to the poor advice that says to copy and paste your show notes as a newsletter. This article will explore five steps to creating a captivating (and effective) podcast newsletter, so you can harness the full potential of this valuable marketing tool.
Why Start a Podcast Newsletter?
A podcast newsletter is an email that serves as a direct line of communication between you, the podcaster, and your audience. It’s designed to build a deeper — and more personalized — connection between you and them.
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Your newsletter could carry exclusive content, updates, behind-the-scenes insights, and information that’s related to your podcast. For instance, if your company's podcast focuses on technology and communication solutions like Zoom or Vonage online phone services, your newsletter might spotlight recent episodes discussing innovations in the industry.
If it’s about travel, you might share relevant news, do a round-up of themed destinations, or offer insider restaurant tips.
The benefits of a podcast newsletter are extensive and include:
- -- Growing your audience: A well-crafted newsletter is an excellent way to expand your podcast’s reach. Widen your audience and new opportunities for collaboration and monetization might soon pop up.
-- Building relationships. Connecting with your audience through a newsletter is one way to make the show more personal and engaging. They also allow you to share your thoughts and feelings so your audience gets to know you better.
-- Increasing engagement. You want to keep listeners engaged between episodes, so they feel like valued members of your podcast's extended family. Newsletters can increase loyalty and encourage meaningful interactions.
-- Driving traffic to your website and social media. Your website, social media pages, and email should all complement each other. Using your newsletter, you can link to other platforms so listeners can easily find more of your content and you can build a bigger community.
-- Generating leads and sales. As with most types of promotional email, a podcast newsletter is a great marketing channel for highlighting products, services, affiliate links, exclusive offers, and podcast merch.
5 Steps to Create Your Newsletter Podcast
Now you know what you stand to gain, you need a plan. Here’s a simple five-step guide to setting up a newsletter for your podcast.
Choose an Email Marketing Provider
You can’t just hop on your regular email account and start sending off newsletters. You need an email marketing solution for that – and your choice of provider is crucial. After all, it will be the backbone of your email communications and will impact how well you can reach and engage your audience.
CMS like Hubspot and ghost.io have email marketing tools baked in, so there’s no need to add another solution if you use that already. But here are other popular third-party options to consider:
- -- MailChimp
-- Constant Contact
Make sure to read reviews to understand their strengths and weaknesses and fit the right fit for you.
Build Your Email List
It goes without saying that you need to ask your audience to sign up to receive emails. Have you ever noticed other podcasters promoting their mailing lists on each episode? There's a solid rationale behind it. A call-to-action during your show taps into your current audience, which is a great start.
That said, don't limit yourself as you can explore other channels to expand your mailing list. Spread your sign-up form far and wide — your website, dedicated landing page, customer self-service portal, and social media profiles. But remember to keep it short and simple. Only ask for information that’s necessary, such as name and email address.
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To make the most of the data you collect from these forms, segment subscribers into distinct groups. This lets you deliver personalized content based on information like people’s location or interests. So if you host a live podcast recording in a different city, you can use your newsletter to target nearby listeners.
Keep in mind you may need to offer incentives to encourage listeners to subscribe. For instance, if you host a digital marketing podcast, sweeten the deal by telling people they’ll gain access to exclusive freebies like social media templates, an interactive PDF maker, or webinar passes.
Design Your Newsletter Template
Email templates are a great way of saving valuable time and effort while building brand consistency. It also means you don’t need any previous experience or knowledge of coding.
A well-crafted template also makes your newsletter look professional and is more likely to engage audiences if it’s easy to read and visually appealing.
Speaking of which, aesthetically pleasing design elements like your podcast's color scheme and logo, fonts, and images help your newsletter stand out.
It’s easy to get carried away though. Stick with a clean, clutter-free design so you don’t overwhelm your audience. Use headings, subheadings, and appropriate visual elements to guide readers through the content and amplify important information.
Write Your Newsletter
Once you have your newsletter template in place, populate it with engaging and relevant content. This might include episode highlights, exclusive insights, repurposed material from your podcast, and behind-the-scenes content.
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Imagine you’re communicating with a friend or colleague. Keep the tone conversational and cut out unnecessary jargon. Aim for clarity, connection, and personalization. Tailoring your content when you have a wide, diverse audience isn’t easy, but using a subscriber’s name at the beginning of each newsletter makes them feel valued.
Make sure to write about topics that are relevant to subscribers, keeping in mind they’re fans of your show and subscribed for a reason. Let’s say you run a podcast about corporate communications. Following a recent episode about where and why you might track a call, you plan to send out a newsletter with additional resources for subscribers.
Avoid going into too much detail about what call tracking is and how it works – listeners will have learned this from the episode. Instead, cut to the chase, thanking people for listening and inserting or linking to the promised resources.
Overall, keep it concise. Research from Constant Contact found that 20 lines of text (or about 200 words) produces the highest click-through rate.
Create a Consistent Sending Schedule
Consistency builds predictability. If subscribers know when to expect your newsletter, they are more likely to look forward to it.
There is no definitive sending schedule. You can send your podcast newsletter weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or it could mirror your podcast schedule. Be realistic about what you can manage without sacrificing quality.
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Automation comes in handy here, as it’ll help you save time and maintain a rhythm. Look for automation features when choosing your email marketing tool, particularly ones that allow you to schedule newsletters in advance, add personal greetings, and create automated sequences triggered by specific events, such as when a new subscriber joins your mailing list.
Building a Podcast Newsletter: Key Takeaways
A podcast newsletter is the perfect partner to your show. Create one, and you can foster engagement, access a new avenue for promoting episodes or podcast merch, build a community around your show, and increase listening numbers.
Jumping in with both feet can be overwhelming. But by following our guide, you’ll have the steps you need to build an engaging and impactful newsletter. Get ready to harness your podcast's full potential and forge a deeper connection with your audience.