Why you need a personal newsletter

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

DoorI send out a personal newsletter on a reasonably regular basis containing stuff you’ve almost always already seen. Why do I do that?

One simple reason: it’s about throwing mattresses.

Some of you get the most value from me on Twitter. When I fling very small, 140 character mattresses at your head, they go in nicely. If I threw a big honking Facebook update at the door, it’d bounce off.

Some of you get the most value from me on Facebook. Some of you get the most value from me on LinkedIn.

And some of you absolutely, positively need me to throw mattresses in the form of email, in the form of a newsletter that rolls everything that’s happened up into a tight, compact format that’s your preferred medium because it just works better for you. What percentage of you is that? Fairly significant. As of this writing, I’ve got just north of 6,000 connections on LinkedIn, 25,000+ on Twitter, and over 9,000 active readers in email. If any one of those channels wasn’t working, if there was no one who wanted a mattress thrown at them that particular way, then chances are there would be no one listening. Thousands of people don’t connect in any given medium to avoid listening.

Here’s a simple suggestion: find a way to integrate a personal email newsletter into your usage of social media and online marketing. Depending on who your friends and acquaintances are, you might just find it to be an incredibly powerful medium for communicating what you’re all about. I’ll give you an example: when I ran a financial services audio podcast, I had a fairly good size audience. I thought I was doing well, reaching a few thousand people a day with useful information. The day I added an email subscription option for exactly the same content, I saw a 25% increase in my audience immediately, because a large minority of them were more comfortable with email than anything else. What’s of interest is that the folks tuned in by the RSS feed didn’t go down. The new channel didn’t cannibalize from my existing audience, but rather tapped into an entirely new audience that wasn’t listening prior to the addition.

Try throwing your content mattresses as many ways as you can practically support. You might be surprised at the results.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


4 responses to “Why you need a personal newsletter”

  1. That’s a good point. Sometimes I like to think that you should save certain material for certain online properties (and sometimes you have to because of the limitations) but it’s probably better to cater to the comforts of your readers instead of trying to force them to follow you across multiple mediums.

  2. I never considered doing one Chris, but I think I may try it and see how it goes. It is definitely something that can be measured. By the looks of your numbers, it appears that everything went up. Thanks.

  3. Chris, the speed bump in between me and a newsletter was the creation of another obligatory item on the to-do list. I can see that by slightly altering positioning as a “personal newsletter” it might allow more liberty for the selection of content. Also, making a selection of material from recent posts eases the content creation burden. Great idea. Can you send a link to your latest edition?

  4. […] Why You Need a Personal Newsletter: Some interesting first-hand stats on adding a newsletter to your web strategy from Christopher S. Penn. It led to a 25% increase immediately for him. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This