Tired of sending a newsletter every week? Here are four alternatives

The standard way to to do email marketing is to send out a newsletter to your email list on a regular basis. If done right, the newsletter will go out like clockwork at a set frequency such as every week.

People have been doing this for years. It is a fantastic way to build an audience, connect with people and build trust.

But it can also lead to burn out. Every week you are committed to sending out a new newsletter email. Which means every week you need to write it, set it up in your email system of choice and all the other fun stuff in between. After a while, this becomes exhausting. It becomes so exhausting that many people simply give up and walk away from their newsletter.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can still help your audience without being on the newsletter hamster wheel.

There is one caveat before we move onto the alternative options. The options I’m going to outline here rely on you having some content all ready to pull from. If you are just starting out, a standard newsletter may well be your best option for a while.

Let’s look at some alternatives to the traditional newsletter.

The drip newsletter

The drip newsletter is a lot like the standard newsletter. The difference is that emails are setup in advance in a sequence, rather than sent out manually each week. When a new subscriber joins your newsletter, they start at the beginning of the sequence and work their way through. As far as they are concerned, they are getting new content every week (or the frequency that you set). But you are off the hamster wheel as you can set all this up in advance. If you get busy, it doesn’t matter, your system will continue to send out emails and nurture people. And when you do have time to write new content, you simply add it to the end of the sequence.

The drip newsletter with segments

The problem with the drip newsletter described above is that all subscribers get the same emails, no matter who they are or what they are interested in. To get around that, you can segment your list and have a different drip newsletter for each segment.

A segment is a group of your subscribers that share something in common. Let’s say you write content on three different topics. You could ask your subscribers in an email which of those three topics they are most interested in and create a segment for all three, each with its own sequence of emails.

Email courses

Email courses are sequences with a defined duration and set number of emails and are usually sent out daily or every few days. A good email course focuses on a particular problem that your audience has and provides a solution. You can use these in conjunction with a standard newsletter, or a drip newsletter. But you can also have many email courses set up so that when a subscriber finishes one, you give them the choice of which email course they’d like to go onto next.

The shadow newsletter

The shadow newsletter is a concept developed by marketing automation wiz, Brennan Dunn. This is very similar to the drip newsletter with segments. The main difference is that the system will check if the subscriber has already been sent (or read on your blog) each and every email before you send it. If they have already been sent it, it will skip that email and move to the next one in the sequence. This is a great way to increase engagement because subscribers will only get new content, even though it is still fully automated.

Wrapping up

Being stuck on the newsletter hamster wheel for a long time is not a lot of fun. Luckily, email automation allows you to send timely and relevant emails to your subscribers without needing to feel like you are stuck with the commitment of adding fresh newsletters each and every week.