Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Monica Snyder
If you wanna stay consistent in your reader's inboxes, then listen up because I'm about to share with you the fastest way to write email newsletters. There are three things that you need to do.
I am going to show you each of these in this post, so that you can get those newsletters written and in your reader's inboxes, building trust and working for you.
What is an Email Newsletter?
Real quick, I want to define what a newsletter is. Because when I ask people, they all give me a different answer. So I just wanna make sure you and I are thinking the same thing.
I am talking about an email newsletter that is delivered to an inbox that has something that your reader finds valuable.
Notice that I didn't say that you wanted to talk about or that tells them all about your products or services. I'm talking about things that they find valuable.
And that's how you write an email that your subscribers are going to want to open again, and again, and again.
I know because I have been sending a newsletter for a couple of years now called the “2×2 Thingamabob Tuesday” and I get replies all the time saying things like
“I love your newsletter!”
“How do you come up with these ideas?”
“How did you know I needed that this week?”
Things like that are what you wanna hear from your readers because you want to make this newsletter all about them. And that's what will set your newsletter apart.
So now that you know that, let's jump into the three things that you need to do to write newsletters fast.
Step 1 - Decide on a Framework
The first thing you need to do to write newsletters fast is to decide on a framework. Now, what does that mean?
That just means that you need to pick a way that you're going to produce these newsletters every week so that you don't have to think every week about how's it gonna look? what's the layout gonna be? Things like that.
And once you start doing this and using a framework you're going to get into a groove of getting the content together for that particular framework.
Now, there are three newsletter frameworks I love to use.
- The Yarn Newsletter Framework
- The Golden Arches Newsletter Framework
- The Sofa Newsletter Framework
The Yarn Newsletter Framework
The yarn is a storytelling framework. If you can tell a story and relate it to your product in every single email, that is gonna be gold.
My mentor Perry Marshall does this in his daily email. They're probably around 400 words long, and it's a quick story of him or a customer or something he read in a book.
It doesn't really matter where the story comes from, as long as it turns and relates to the product or thing that you want to sell or promote.
Now, you don't have to promote every day if you're doing a daily email. You can be building up anticipation for something or something else, but be sure to always have a goal for that email that makes your readers wanna open it. And that serves your business by selling, or promoting, or getting somebody ready to buy something, or just, you know, making them have an aha moment so that they know, like, and trust you more.
The Golden Arches, a Curated Newsletter Framework
The second type is a curated framework. So you're going to put together three to four things that you think that your readers will love.
This could be as simple as just linking to three or four things or you can give a short explanation of why you're linking to it and why you think your reader would find it valuable.
I call this the golden arches because it reminds me of McDonald's and their “I'm Lovin' It” slogan, because you wanna give your readers something that they are gonna love so that they keep opening and reading your emails.
Noah Kagan does this very well. He sends out a weekly newsletter with three things that are curated that he thinks his readers will like. And guess what? One of them is always a link out to something that he promotes or something that he has a vested interest in.
Now, this framework is so easy to produce, because you don't have to actually create the content. You simply need to gather it up and give your readers a little bit of juicy tidbit to send them off to that link.
The Sofa, a Custom Content Newsletter Framework
The last framework is what I call the sofa, because it has got sections of content that you create for your reader.
Now, this is very popular amongst the big editorial newsletters, like theSkimm or Morning Brew. But they have entire teams dedicated to producing that daily newsletter. So do not feel like you have to do that much.
The sofa newsletter is produced by you and your content and your ideas.
Now you can also throw in the stories and the curated contents from the first two frameworks, but this one has more like different sections for your reader.
This is how I produce my newsletter, the “2×2 Thingamabob Tuesday” every week. It has four sections:
And that's how I've structured my newsletter using the sofa framework.
You can structure yours with any kind of sections that you like. You can put in tips and tricks, stories from your dog, anything that you think that they would like, etc.
I do encourage you to add an inspirational section, because everyone likes inspiration.
Add in Content from Your Readers
And I think that it's super cool too if you could do reader generated things. theSkimm does this really well. They celebrate people's birthdays and people's wins in a certain section of their newsletter. And I just think that is really super cool.
If you have a bigger audience, that is a cool way to include your readers in the email so that they open up to see if their name is inside.
So you're gonna choose one of these three frameworks to get your email newsletters written fast. You're gonna pick to tell stories with the yarn, or you're gonna pick to curate content with the golden arches, or you're going to pick sections to produce your own content in sections every week.
This also helps your reader know what to expect and knowing what to expect is a great way to build trust and consistency.
Step 2 - Simplify
Now, the second thing that you need to do in order to produce a newsletter quickly is to simplify it.
Please, please, please do not go building all these beautifully designed email newsletters that you think that people are gonna read and open.
Here's the deal. People do read and open them, but they don't have as much connection as a plain text email with a few images thrown in. Those feel like they come from a friend and they build trust faster.
That's why you'll see all these newsletter examples that I'm showing you follow that framework. But also, because it makes it way easier to create the newsletter.
If you only have to worry about popping in a couple of gifs, or maybe creating one image for your newsletter, then that is going to make it so much easier and so much faster that you're going to get it done way more consistently and stay in that inbox, which is gonna build trust over time.
So simplify the production to get your emails written quickly.
Step 3 - Create an Ideas System
Now you've heard me in the first two, and you're probably thinking how do I handle putting together even a curated newsletter or the stories, or like, where does all this content come from? And that is where step three comes in.
Create a system to gather ideas on a regular basis.
Because here's the thing, inspiration is not gonna strike when you sit down at a blank screen. It just doesn't work like that.
That's why you have to develop your own system for gathering ideas as they pop into your head.
And when are they gonna pop into your head? When you're cooking, when you're driving, when you're in the shower, right? Like they're not gonna pop into your head when you're sitting down at a screen forced to write.
So think about those places where you get the most ideas and what you have available in order to capture those ideas.
For me, I use my phone a lot and so I will pop them into Slack. Yep, that's right, I'll just send myself a Slack message. And then I know to go look at my Slack when it's time for me to write my newsletter.
Now, another way that I do this is if I'm cooking, or in the shower, I will talk out to my Alexa device and I have her hooked up to a to-do list.
Those are my two systems for idea gathering when I have inspiration strike, because it comes from so many random places.
How Do You Choose What Goes in the Ideas System?
Now, how do you choose what goes into the system? Well, I'm here to tell you don't be choosy.
Just put every idea that pops into your head that you think, oh my readers would like to know this.
Now here are some extra tips.
If you're talking to somebody and they were like, oh I didn't think about it that way. That is a clue that people don't think about it that way. And that should go in your inspiration file.
Now, if you're talking to my mentor, Perry Marshall, and he loves to do this, like he carries his notepad around. And if you say something like that to Perry, he's popping it out and writing it down. So if you have to physically take paper with you to like meetings and stuff, do that as well.
Because I'm here to tell you that those brilliant ideas they just flitter off into the oblivion if you don't get them down on paper or into some sort of system.
Another good time that I actually gather inspiration is if I'm doing a training or watching YouTube videos. I will see somebody do something and I think, oh, my readers would need to know that.
It's also how I curate some content, because in my newsletter, I do actually send out curated content as well.
So as you go along in your daily work, just be sure to get into this habit of writing these things down.
It'll take a little bit and it'll feel a little uncomfortable at first, but keep going because then when you're sitting down to write your newsletter, you're gonna pull up this list of ideas you had, and you're gonna be like, oh I'm gonna use this, this, and this one. And hey, there's kind of a theme here even, and this is cool.