A New Renaissance of Email Marketing?

Over and over again over the years, I’ve heard various people declare email to be “dead”. Dead in terms of an important vehicle for marketing and reaching an audience.

To these people, followers on Youtube or TikTok or Instagram are more important. Only the old crusties worry about sending newsletters, right?

Well, not only are those people incredibly short-sighted and full of you-know-what, but I think it might be going the other way again.

I think there is an ongoing resurgence in interest in email marketing and the recognition of WHY it is so important. Here’s a few observations…

We’ve seen email newsletters like Morning Brew and The Hustle succeed and then be acquired for millions of dollars. I think Morning Brew went for $75 million? And cases like this have spawned a renewed interest in the idea of publishing a weekly or daily newsletter.

Shaan Puri started up a crypto newsletter called The Mild Road and sold it for 7 figures within a year. Right now, you’re seeing new newsletters focused on AI doing similar things. These people are taking the hot topic of the moment and quickly growing email lists around it and publishing newsletters. Entirely new platforms such as Beehiiv have sprouted up to enable others to do this more easily.

Justin Welsh publishes a weekly newsletter called The Saturday Solopreneur. He has been preaching for years the importance of “de-platforming” your audience off social media and getting them onto your email list. He primarily uses social media to grow his newsletter and has specific strategies for doing it. He then turns around and sells ads in his weekly newsletter. $3K a pop and 2 ads in each, totaling $6K per week. Not bad, right?

Did you see that Elon Musk announced that Twitter would soon provide a way to export the email addresses of your Twitter subscribers so you can put them on your own email list? That’ll be a really cool development, too.

See, I’ve talked many times about the importance of digital sovereignty. It is about OWNING the assets of your business. And, you do not own your follower list on Youtube, TikTok, Twitter, or anything else. While Twitter is now a lot less likely to turn you off, the others have well-earned reputations for de-platforming people. They just don’t like you one day and delete your list.

People see this. And it has raised all kinds of alarm bells and raised awareness of just why it is so important to OWN your own list and control your own lines of communication to your audience.

Not only that, these social platforms have gotten increasingly more annoying. More chocked full of ads. Causing more digitally-induced ADD. And many people are just fed up with it. In comparison, email feels more personal. More private. And despite the issues of email deliverability and open rates and all that, your reach is a LOT higher to your email list than it ever is on social media.

So, consider this…

In the past, I have talked some about this newsletter model. I recognize the power of it. And I love the simplicity. Here’s how it would work…

Instead of blogging in the old-school way, you instead turn your homepage into a big squeeze page. Remove all clutter and just focus attention on the opt-in to your newsletter.

Your blog would, essentially, be archives of your newsletter. People could see the posts, but everything about how the site is built focuses on the opt-in to the newsletter. The newsletter becomes your primary publishing vehicle. Keep things simple.

What do you do in that newsletter? You obviously need to make it valuable. Content curation is highly valuable right now. Taking your niche and curating the best content and resources is very valuable and people will opt in for that. You may want to go the unique content route, which is mostly what I do here. Actually, here in The Edge, you’ll see I do some of both. I give you a unique article every week plus curation of what’s going on in the WordPress world via the “Tech Talk” section.

Gotta make your newsletter valuable and entertaining. Make people look forward to seeing it. You don’t want it to blend in and become one of those emails they just delete.

For monetization, you can consider paid ads in the newsletter as it grows. Or just keep it focused on your own offers. Up to you. Newsletter owners are out there selling ads for $25-$50 CPM right now (that’s per 1000 opens) so there’s definitely money there if you’re doing an engaging newsletter.

So, something to think about. 🙂

I will also add…

I know there’s third-party platforms that enable this. Beehiiv, Sparkloop and others. And to be clear, these platforms can be quite handy because they can help grow your list faster than if you were to do it all “in house”. I have one client that I helped transition his list from ConvertKit over to Substack awhile back and his email growth rate skyrocketed over there. That said…

If you’re going to use one of those platforms, be sure to intentionally get your email list OFF of those platforms. And imported into your own platform. This way the list is your’s.

Never forget the importance of owning your own data. Those third-party platforms hold advantages and using them may be a great idea for you. Just make sure to get your data so you’re not completely dependent on them.

So, what you think?

Could you start an “infotaining”, published newsletter in your niche? Then, anything you do on social media or anywhere else basically has one purpose. To build your list.

There’s power in simplicity.