Why do you need a newsletter? It’s a question we’ve heard a few times, so we thought it’s useful to share our answer with everyone.
The question is often a bit more complicated: Yes, I am a knife maker who wants to go pro. And I have or am building an Instagram account or Youtube channel. Why do I then need a newsletter?
It’s a good question. Let’s look at it.
Yet another Newsletter?
Newsletters don’t have a great reputation. Many newsletters are being sent too often, and become annoying.
And then they’re emails so they’re sometimes associated with spam.
Also, it’s work! Yet another thing to take care of. After all, someone needs to write, prepare and send those letters. That someone, more often than not, will be you.
You need some sort of service or software to send them.
So, the question is legit: do you really need one?
The common answer: A marketing channel
Common wisdom goes something like this:
A newsletter is a great way to reach your fans, you can share, share, share. It’s a marketing channel alongside your social media and you gotta have it.
While that’s not wrong, it misses the point.
Who sees your content?
Anyone working on creating a following on social media fights on problem. There is just too much content going on.
That’s why the social media giants of the world filter, filter, filter. Someone who follows you may never see a single post from you in their feed. That’s not conspiracy but just how social media works.
Social media gives you more of what you already like so you stay online longer. (And they can show you more ads.)
Need to get a message out?
What happens when you really need to get a message out to your fans? You post—and hope.
Or … that’s right, you send a newsletter. Because here’s the thing: Newsletters are a form of push communication.
(Which is why they can become annoying quickly, so use them with respect to your fans!)
Almost all other forms of communication are pulling: they wait for your fans to do something.
- Website? Your fans need to visit it to see your message.
- Social media: your fans need to be online and be shown your post.
The problem goes deeper though:
All the social media accounts in the world have one thing in common: they’re controlled by someone else, a private company.
Those private companies decide if your posts are shown, and to whom, and if your account stays alive.
The last point deserves being repeated:
At any point in time those private companies can and do block accounts.
Maybe a jealous competitor reports your account, or a fan you rubbed the wrong way. Maybe an algorithm decides you’re a religious fanatic and need to be kicked out.
Of course, you can try to get your account reactivated. There are many stories out there from people who tried to reclaim their once popular accounts, waiting for months and months, sometimes without success.
So, the question is:
How important is your Instagram account or Twitch.TV channel to your knife making business?
If that’s the main way you talk to your audience, then you need a backup plan.
If that’s where you get traffic to your store from, then you need a backup plan.
As a business owner, it’s your job to manage risk. Being at the mercy of a social media giant without clear arbitration and recourse processes in place is reckless. Not having a plan B is reckless.
The key to a newsletter is not that it’s yet another marketing channel. The key is not the fact that you can push out messages.
The key is that it is a mailing list: you have the addresses of people who want to hear from you.
That is 24-karat gold.
(And also a reason you should backup those email addresses.)
You want to earn a living by making knives? Here is the prime reason why we recommend you build up a newsletter / mailing list:
Like any insurance, it doesn’t come for free. But when the time comes, you’ll be happy you took it.
Interested in other ways to mitigate your risk? Check out this blog post about how to manage the risk of losing your Instagram account.
Not sure how to setup a newsletter?
It’s not particularly hard, but also depends a bit on your situation, for example if you have a website. Reach out to us on Instagram!
And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter! Yes, now you know why—and why we won’t spam you. Once a week only! 🙂
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