Stuck on what to say in your emails to customers? Posted on 08 Sep 20:32

The one trick to knowing whether you should hit send

Have you thought about emailing your list of customers or readers with regular updates and news but aren’t sure what you should say?

Today I want to tell you about a very easy method you should use to see if your content is up to the test. OK, ready for it?

Your email newsletter should be, above all, useful.

That’s it. Begin with Usefulness.

Only you know your particular audience, so what’s useful for a recent college grad making her way in the Big Apple on a budget is different than the homeschooling Dad in the Midwest, right?

Usefulness comes in different shapes and forms. Your email newsletter should do some or all of the following:

  • entertain and bring joy
  • inspire, motivate, and empower
  • educate and enlighten
  • create a sense of exclusivity
  • make it easy for your customers to purchase your products

Your goal is to provide value. Give your best ideas away. Bring a smile to your reader’s face. Give early access to purchasing tickets for an event, or send an exclusive, subscriber-only coupon code for a deal. And mix it up! You can do all of the above over a series of emails.

The trick is to balance the selling and the giving. I see business owners making one of two mistakes:

  1. You are selling too much. It might be tempting to sell, sell, sell in every message, but don’t forget your long-game. You’re building trust with your readers and establishing a relationship. You’re listening to their questions, asking them for feedback, and adapting your offerings. And, yes, ultimately you’re going to sell your products or services.
  2. You are selling too little. Get this--by selling your products and services, you’re helping your customers. I’ll say it again: When your customer makes a purchase from you, you are helping them. They don’t want to be making the thing, doing the thing, or researching how to do the thing themselves. You are helping them. Truly. Their purchase is just the next logical step in the context of a broader relationship where you have provided valuable, insider content. So make it easy for them. Tell your readers exactly why and how they can buy from you.

It’s a balance, and if you’re ever unsure if you should be putting out a particular piece of content, keep coming back to the idea of usefulness:

Is this offering, article, story, link, promo, (or whatever you’re sharing) actually useful for my subscriber?

I have a feeling that if you ask yourself this question, you’ll get to the right answer, every time.

Your Turn

Establishing a relationship with your customers over email is a fantastic way to turn your subscribers into real fans and paying customers. Ready for the next step? In my free ebook, How to Create Email Newsletters Your Audience Can’t Wait to Open, I get into the details of list management and newsletter creation. You can access it for free right here.

Written by: Rebecca Pitts

Rebecca Pitts is a writer and children’s products designer. She is the founder and creative behind Hudson + Daughter. Each month, she sends an exclusive letter to friends who write, make things, or want to. Join her list here or visit her online home at