Your 2023 Email Marketing Experience Crafting Mistake

By Jessica Albon

Crafting experience for your Tribe

Shaping by Becky Wetherington

In my work, I’ve found there are 5 reasons most newsletters fail in their objectives. In other words, your newsletter isn’t getting you the results you want for one of these 5 reasons.

Today, we’re going to explore one of those reasons.

Newsletters are great because they let you keep in contact with people over time, letting your Tribe get to know you, like you and trust you (assuming, of course, you’re likeable and trustworthy).

But they have one huge disadvantage: people can subscribe at any time.

The relationship has a beginning, but your email marketing doesn’t

Because people can join your email list at any time, that means you might find that right as you’re in the middle of that amazing (and advanced) series, you get a flood of new subscribers who don’t understand these advanced topics… and unsubscribe. Even though they would have loved your newsletter had they subscribed two months ago.

In other words, when it comes to growing your Tribe, your email newsletter can be a liability.

That’s right, I said it: your email newsletter can be a liability.

If you want to support your Tribe, you’ve got to go deep with your content. And, if you want to support those people who are brand new to your audience, you can’t go too deep with your content.

Classic catch-22.

Luckily for you, there’s an alternative to this push pull relationship many businesses have with their email newsletter. Marketing automation (in this case, an autoresponder) can help you craft the right experience for your newsletter subscribers.

On the surface, an autoresponder and an email newsletter look pretty similar. Both go out regularly to your email list. The difference is with an autoresponder, a new subscriber always starts at message #1 and receives all of your best content sequentially.

This sequential control means you can shape their experience in a way you simply can’t when you only have a newsletter.

Of course, autoresponders have disadvantages too. The biggest of their disadvantages is timeliness–if there’s something brand new you want to share right now (say a popular social media post), putting it in an autoresponder means by the time someone receives the message, it may be months old.

Fortunately, most email marketing tools these days will allow you to blend both an email newsletter and an autoresponder.

That means you can build out an autoresponder for new subscribers to help them find their footing in your Tribe. This way you guide those new subscribers in the early days of your relationship with them, exposing them to one message at a time in a way that makes sense for where they’re at.

Then you can bring them deeper using a newsletter that goes out regularly to support your Tribe in an on-going way.

For most people, two challenges keep them from using this approach, even though they know it would be a good fit. 

  • First, they’re not sure how to organize the content. Should Widgetry Success or Widgets for People be the first article new newsletter subscribers receive?
  • Second, they get overwhelmed at the thought of writing all that content all at once. And make no mistake, shaping your Tribe’s experience with autoresponders absolutely means writing a lot of content in a short period of time.

That’s why one of our most popular packages is an autoresponder/newsletter hybrid where we create that initial autoresponder designed to take your new subscribers by the hand and usher them into your Tribe so they’re committed and ready to take action and write the content for your regular newsletter.

Of course, you can put this together on your own, but for our clients, not having to do all that writing *and* having  expert perspective and guidance is really valuable.

If it sounds like something you’d benefit from, send an email and I’ll get all your questions answered personally.