My Email Newsletter Production Process

Text of my newsletter from 21st February

Prefer to listen?

If your business is new and you’re not yet building a subscriber list, I recommend you get started.

Today, I’m going to talk about email subscriber lists but, depending on your market, you may need to build a WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal list.

You need to talk to your customers on whatever platform they use most and, here in HK, some market segments respond better to WhatsApp messages than email.

So, focusing on email: for some businesses, your email subscriber list could well be your most valuable asset.

Email marketing has been the most profitable marketing channel for years. The ROI (USD31 for every USD1 spent) is way better than any other channel, and it doesn’t require a ton of cash to get started.

Basically, all you need is an account with one of the email service providers.

These capture and store your subscriber details and enable you to send a pre-set sequence of emails, one-shot emails, and to segment your list so you can send emails targeted at a specific sub-group of your subscribers.

MailChimp is a popular service provider and they have a free plan, although that is rather limited in what you can do. They have paid plans for when you need the extra functionality.

You need a landing page with a sign-up form, and most email service providers offer those as part of their plan.

So with just that set up, you’re in business.

In fact, I know of businesses where this is all they have: an account with an email service provider, that gives them a landing page with signup form and manages their subscribers.

There are two approaches to email marketing: the first is sending out an email only when you have a special offer or something important to tell your subscribers.

But the second one is the reason why email marketing is so effective: it enables you to develop a level of trust with your subscribers by adopting a newsletter approach, where you’re sending out useful information regularly.

Your subscribers are your potential customers and, if you can successfully build a level of trust with them, they are way more likely to buy your products or services.

This is what makes email marketing so effective.

The process I use

The downside of adopting the newsletter approach is the pressure of coming up with useful, interesting content on a regular basis.

I struggled with this for a long time, and I came across the solution by accident: I stumbled into a process for producing each edition.

It’s an 8-day cycle, and I’ve set it out below:

  1. Every day, during my normal work, I capture links to good articles, interesting people and useful tools that I find, and I add them to a ‘swipe’ file that I’ve created. Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will never be short of material!
  2. Each Sunday I review the swipe file and choose the articles that I want to send out in the next edition
  3. Each Monday I write the introductory section for next week’s email. Mostly, the idea for this section is triggered by one of the articles I’m linking to
  4. Each Thursday I edit the entire email and choose the Fun Flashback video
  5. Each Friday I set the email up on my email service provider platform, and schedule it for the following Monday
  6. Each Monday the latest edition goes out

As I said: I stumbled into that process by accident – the initial idea for developing it came from a comment someone made during a Zoom call.

The biggest benefit is that I no longer experience the pressure of sitting in front of a blank screen wondering what the heck I’m going to write!

This week’s links

A couple of articles on email marketing, a video on content distribution (I really liked this one) and one on how Tik Tok is creating material to help businesses get the most out of their platform.

Growing a local newsletter

Continuing the email marketing theme, Ryan Sneddon explains how he started a local newsletter that he grew from 61 subscribers to his first edition to more than 9,000 now:

Ryan Sneddon: growing a local newsletter

25 Email marketing tips for 2022

Marilia Dimitriou offers 25 tips for email marketing success in 2022:

25 email marketing tips for 2022

Don’t sleep on content distribution

A 30-minute video in which Ross Simmonds explains why content distribution, rather than content creation, should be where you’re focusing your efforts.

He also links to a content distribution checklist of strategies and tactics:

Video: content distribution

How Tik Tok is helping small businesses to grow brand awareness

Kristina Monllos explains how small businesses are using Tik Tok to grow both brand awareness and sales, and Tik Tok is working with small businesses to create educational content that helps them use the platform more effectively:

How Tik Tok is helping small businesses


Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and I am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.

Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

Smart, current and insightful tips from:

Ross Simmonds

Marketing Guy

Useful resources

Social media scheduling and management

Scan and file invoices, receipts, etc. Makes year-end reporting a breeze

Fun flashback

Back to one of my favourite entertainers: BB King, live at Nicks in 1983, with ‘Never make your move too soon’.

Love the interplay between BB on guitar and the sax player in the middle:

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Martin Malden

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