How to launch a media-level newsletter, not just another marketing email with Ashley Guttuso

14C7608F_23 - Camille Trent - Content Logistics - Ashley Guttuso - Quotecard 3

Episode Summary

If you want your company to grow, you need to have a strong online presence. In order to do so, you need a well-thought-out content strategy. But creating a plan that drives success includes having a team of professionals experienced in connecting with your ideal customer across different platforms.

We all use email as the primary channel for business communication, but many now believe email is not an effective way to connect with your audience. However, most people are subscribed to at least one newsletter and it’s still a marketing tool worth considering.

In this episode of Content Logistics, Ashley Guttuso joins our host, Camille Trent, to discuss the recent rise of the newsletter, the ways SaaS companies should use them, and the difference between approaching your audience via social media versus sending them a newsletter.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

Email Is Not Dead; Bad Email Is Dead

“Dennis Shiao, who puts out the Content Corner newsletter, and I spoke together at Content Marketing World. We did this great interactive thing at the beginning of our talk, talking about newsletters and email in general.

We had people look at their phones and the emails that were stacking up in there while they were at this conference and raise their hand if they had emails they knew they would never read, that they were going to delete, and we asked them why. And the response to why should be very obvious to people, and it’s obvious to you as a recipient, but it’s not always obvious to you as the sender.

[…] The reason people don’t open emails or delete them right away or unsubscribe is when they are about the company and not the recipient. Anything that comes and is not delivered to serve the recipient, is going to be less important to you.
So you could look through your email right now, and you could say, ‘This one has value to me; this one does not.'”

Give Your Readers an Option to Choose Whether They Want to Receive Certain Emails from You

”That should be clear, the thing that they signed up for should be the thing you continue to send them. So I think that’s where some marketers get into dangerous territory because they’ll use their newsletter to get people on their mega list.

And then, in addition to that newsletter that you love, you’re suddenly getting five emails a month that have nothing to do with that newsletter, where they’re trying to sell you something. And the smarter move would be to segment the highly engaged people from the newsletter and to potentially ask them, ‘Hey, would you like to now know about our events or our webinars,’ or other lists that you might want to add them on to but get them to opt into those.

Don’t force a broad opt-in to everything you send because then it’s going to wreck that relationship you’ve built with them.”

When Should SaaS Companies Launch a Newsletter?

”I think that, in SaaS, newsletters can play a big role in customer success and customer marketing. And I don’t think that I even have a good definition of who should always own this.

I think that it has to be a collaboration between the marketers, the success team and even a little bit of sales to start thinking about where your customers are when they’ve signed the contract and are done onboarding. At what point am I sending them a newsletter that combines editorial content and product update content? […] I don’t think you should be hitting them with a lot of your newsletter content and product stuff until they are actually in phase one of using the product.

[..] The role of the newsletter in SaaS that content strategists should be thinking about is how do I connect with someone wherever they are and continue to give them opportunities to connect. And do I need to change that when they’re a customer versus when they’re a prospect?

I feel like social and newsletters work together during the buying phase. And the newsletter is almost the next step because that’s the point at which they have said, ‘I want to hear from you.’ To subscribe to a newsletter says, ‘I don’t want to miss what you’re publishing.”’

A Piece of Advice For Teams Considering Launching a Newsletter

”You need at least one person who is good at writing and researching, contextualizing content, especially if you’re going to be doing a curated newsletter. [..] So you need to have a person who can strategize and understand what would be valuable to your audience and what your goal is with this newsletter, and how you’re going to achieve that.

So tech-wise, you need an ESP that you can send this newsletter through, and you need to have either done your research on the best tool for that or start doing the research.

[If] you want to launch a newsletter, you need to assess the competitive landscape and figure out what your differentiator is going to be — your unfair advantage, who you are as a person, or what your brand wants to be known for in this space.

I can tell you what won’t do well is just going and finding competition and copying them and hoping that your brand’s version of the same thing that this other brand is doing is going to win. [You] need to figure out a reason for people to need you, not just like you.

If you want newsletter traction, and you want feedback that helps you iterate, don’t send it just once a month because it’s not often enough to be habit-forming for your recipients. It’s not going to be frequent enough for you to be immersed in it enough to get a good feel for how it’s doing.”