365+ Newsletter Ideas (for your handmade business)

If you’ve started a newsletter for your handmade business but aren’t sure what to send each week or month, have I got a download for you!

 

Before you jump in, I want to explain the purpose of it first.

 

You’ve probably landed here because you know you should be making better use of your newsletter but aren’t sure what to send aside from product mentions.

 

You’re also probably worried about annoying your subscribers.

 

First – do not worry about annoying your subscribers

If you’ve followed anti-spam laws and have added people to your subscriber list legally (and not just put them on your list because they’ve emailed to ask you a question or purchased a product from you), they want to receive your emails.

 

And if at any time they decide they no longer want to receive your emails, they can simply click the “unsubscribe” link (which should be included in every newsletter email you send)

 

Second – you can absolutely stick to promotional emails but you’re right to think subscribers might get bored of that

Big retailers do it all the time; send promotional emails after promotional email. However, they have huge subscriber lists and are attracting more subscribers everyday with their ability to constantly offer discounts to encourage signups. Even with a high unsubscribe rate and low open and click rate, they still have thousands of people viewing their products.

 

When you have a smaller newsletter list, you need to keep unsubscribes down and the number of people who open and click your emails high.

 

Promotional emails tend to have lower open and click rates and higher unsubscribe rates.

 

That does not mean you shouldn’t send emails mentioning a new product you’re offering or a sale you’re running; these are crucial to making money from your list.

 

But if you mix in content that provides value to your readers (instead of constantly asking them to provide value to you), you’ll keep more people on your list and opening/clicking your emails.

 

So this 365+ Newsletter Ideas list is full of non-promotional content ideas for your business.

 

Non-promotional does not mean you don’t promote your products, business or brand. It just means you do it in a more subtle way.

 

Let me share an example.

 

Around Easter, you may send an email with the subject line: “NEW Easter products”. It tells subscribers exactly what they’ll find inside the email and that it’s going to be asking them to spend their money.

 

We typically don’t open our email accounts to look for ways we can spend our money.

 

We log into our Hotmail and Yahoo accounts to read messages from people we know, to read stories, learn something new or discover something interesting.

 

Isn’t it more exciting when you see an email from a friend compared to when you see a sales email from a business?

 

If you can make your email feel more like a message from a friend, you’ll have more subscribers opening, reading, clicking and staying subscribed to your emails.

 

So “NEW Easter Products” could turn into:

  • “3 of my favorite looks for Easter Sunday” if you sell items like clothing or accessories
  • 5 steps to creating the perfect Easter table setting” if you sell home decor, kitchen or dining items, food products, etc.
  • “Cut back on sugar by giving these Easter treats instead” if you sell children’s products, food items or anything that would make a good Easter gift

 

Now you’ve piqued the subscriber’s interest and have them thinking they’ll learn something new by opening your email.

 

You don’t just want to trick readers into opening your email; you must deliver on the content you’ve promised and provide value.

 

But now you have a way to disguise a product mention in an informational message.

 

Here’s how I would do that.

 

Let’s say I sell table linens and I’ve created table runners, napkins, and placemats that would be perfect for Easter. I may send the following email:

 

RE: 5 steps to creating the perfect Easter table setting

Easter is big in my house and I always host a brunch after the Easter egg hunt. I think hosting a memorable meal involves paying attention to all the details and I like to set the table according to the occasion to indulge all the senses. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create the perfect table setting, just add a few thoughtful touches.

STEP 1 – Add a punch of color

I like to use a colorful table runner to act as the backdrop for my center pieces. These pastel runners are from my Spring line (link) and are perfect for brightening up a table.

 

STEP 2 – Add living art

Flowers are an inexpensive way to dress up your table, especially if you’ve planted tulips in your garden. Use a vase you have on hand, fill it with your favorite spring flower and place it in the center of your table.

 

STEP 3 – Add lighting

Candles create a lovely ambiance to any meal. If you have little ones, flameless candles are the way to go. Or you can enclose real candles in sturdy candle holders that keep flames out of reach and can’t be easily opened or tipped over.

 

STEP 4 – Add place settings

Don’t worry about buying colorful dishes; incorporate color using napkins or placemats. If you match the color of the napkins to the table runner, it ties everything together and makes quite the impact. Here are a few napkin and placemat options from my spring line (link).

 

STEP 5 – Add a personalized touch (optional)

Place your folded napkins on top of each plate and then add name cards with a personalized note, plastic Easter eggs with a message or small gift inside, or a decorative item on top of each napkin. It adds a special touch to table settings and keeps guests entertained as you bring food to the table.

 

*Insert photos of Easter table settings using your tips and products

*Links to products mentioned

 

I’d love to see a picture of your Easter table setting if you use my tips or products! Please hit reply if you have any questions.

Have a great Easter!

Erin

 

Now you can see how you can create an interesting newsletter that provides value to your subscribers AND promotes your products in a way that doesn’t make subscribers feel like you’re constantly selling to them.

 

With this technique in mind, I’ve created the free download 365+ Newsletter Ideas. Please sign up for my weekly newsletter below if you’re interested in receiving it!

 

What to send to newsletter subscribers as a handmade business
A year of newsletter ideas for your handmade business
How to email subscribers every week without annoying them


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11 Comments

  1. Brianna Sedy says:

    I market one product and one product only: kitchen/dish scrubbies. What category is this, and what sort of theme might my newsletter follow? Should I add more products or is there a way I can still make it work?

    1. Made Urban says:

      Hi Brianna,

      That’s a great question and one I think many people will have; wondering how to find enough newsletter content for their type of product.

      I definitely don’t think you need to add more products; there are lots of successful businesses promoting one product only. If you’re finding success with it, stick with it.

      The category would depend on your product/brand/USP (unique selling position; what makes your scrubbies different/better than others?)

      For example:
      -If you sell dish scrubbies that look better than a regular sponge, you may share kitchen home decor tips (HOME DECOR category in the download)

      -if your dish scrubbies preform better than a regular sponge, you may focus on cleaning tips. (you may find some ideas under FAMILY/PARENTING category in the download)

      -if you promote your scrubbies as an environmentally friendly(er) version of a sponge, you could share environmental/natural/organic/etc. kitchen cleaning tips. (ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY category)

      You could even use all 3 ideas and put more emphasis on the one that’s best fitting for your brand/USP.

      For example, let’s say your brand focuses on natural cleaning solutions but you also launch the scrubbies in the season’s hottest color. You may send:

      Newsletter #1 – “5 ways to make your kitchen sink more environmentally friendly” (e.g. use natural products for cleaning the sink, reduce water waste, and of course, use a reusable scrubbie)

      Newsletter #2 – “This is spring’s hottest color…how to add a punch of it to your kitchen” (e.g. add coral through tea towels, scrubbies, flowers, etc. suggesting environmentally friendly products/ideas)

      Newsletter #3 – “3 dish cleaning products that are horrible for the environment” (e.g. mention common products and alternatives, such as sharing a recipe for a natural dish soap and suggest using it with one of your scrubbies).

      If your brand/USP/product doesn’t produce a ton of newsletter content ideas, you can send a newsletter once a month or 2x/month, alternating promotional and non-promotional (email 1 announces a sale or product launch, email 2 shares a tip)

      Hope that helps!

      Erin

      1. Tina Hanks says:

        Great information. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Brianna Sedy says:

    Thank you! That is very helpful.

  3. Christine says:

    Hi Erin:

    I make Christmas ornaments (out of wheat) and sell them in November and December only and at craft shows only. Occasionally I run workshops in wheat weaving but only about three times a year. I know newsletters are important but I do not see how I can write something every month on something so seasonal. I add something new every year but certainly not every month. Any ideas? Thanks.

    1. Made Urban says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for commenting! Great question. I think a lot of handmade businesses wonder how to come up with enough content for their newsletter.

      You’re right, when selling a seasonal product once a year, a monthly newsletter can be hard to keep up with. But you’re also right in that a newsletter is still important 🙂

      You want to be able to remind shoppers and existing customers of your business when the holidays come around.

      I would consider sending a quarterly newsletter and ramping it up to monthly or 2x/month as the holidays approach. You can communicate the frequency in your welcome email and make subscribers aware that you send a quarterly newsletter but send a few more emails around the holidays.

      You could even turn that into a benefit and and share something playful on your signup form, like:

      “I won’t fill your inbox throughout the year but I’ll remind you to start your Christmas shopping early next year”

      To come up with content, think about the interest of your ideal customer. Perhaps they’re interested in decorating. So although you don’t sell Easter decorations, in the 2nd quarter, you may send something like:

      • Easter decorating tips

      You’d also want to think about segmenting (a.k.a grouping) the subscribers on your list. Then you can select a segment (e.g. “workshop subscribers”) to receive an email about your workshops and the other segment (e.g. “Christmas ornament customers”) to NOT be sent that email

      The person who purchases your Christmas ornaments is likely a different subscriber than someone who signs up for your workshop.

      A person signing up for a wheat weaving workshop is likely interested in DIY and being crafty. So you could send content such as:

      • How to weave a basket
      • Fabric weaving 101
      • Harvest wheat wreath DIY

      Or other crafty content and DIY’s that are somewhat related to the type of craft you teach.

      Although you may not be making a sale from emails like this, they allow you to stay fresh in subscribers’ minds so when you do send an email pitching a workshop, more people open it and hopefully sign up.

      I hope that helps!

      Erin

  4. Yvonne Conti-O'Brien says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for the terrific advice. I sell homemade cookies. My question is more about zones. My cookie of the week or zone one is centered because the flow is from both sides at our farmers market. I have been selling out every week and this is our slow season. Should I stick with this? Also, I usually send one email a month. I would like to send 3. I can’t send recipes so suggestions? My cookies are baked love, from scratch and all hand stirred. Thank you.

    1. Made Urban says:

      Hi Yvonne!

      Yes absolutely; if your zone 1 is working for you in the middle of the table then stick with that. There are no hard rules, just suggestions. You know what works best for your business and customers 🙂

      In terms of your newsletter, what to send depends on your ideal customer and your brand; why do people buy from you? Why do they love homemade cookies? What are they purchasing them for?

      For example, if you sell big boxes of cookies, your customers are likely purchasing them for entertainment purposes so your newsletter topics may focus on timely entertainment tips.

      E.g. “Picnic in the park checklist – everything you need for a perfect meal” Your cookies would obviously be the perfect mess-free, utensil-free dessert 😉 or “How to create the perfect dessert tray for Super Bowl”.

      You could also offer recipe ideas that incorporate your cookies. For example, how to turn a chocolate chip cookie into an elegant dessert that’s quick, easy and perfect for any dinner party (maybe adding whip cream and fresh fruit or crumbling them on top of a cheesecake or brownie with warm chocolate sauce), how to make ice cream sandwiches using your cookies, how to make a chocolate chip milkshake with cookie crumbles on top, etc.

      You’ll find the right mix of promotional vs. non-promotional emails as you start sending them and see what gets opened and clicked and what doesn’t. Your 3 newsletters may be:
      1 – If your subscribers are local one email may share where they can buy your cookies this month (e.g. new stores you’re in, markets you’re at, how many custom orders you’re accepting)

      2 – share the cookie flavor of the month and what you’d pair it with. You could even share your favorite family recipe for the pairing food. For example, an email announcing a pumpkin pie cookie for Thanksgiving could include your family recipe for amazing stuffing or sweet potatoes. Or a hot chocolate recipe that goes with your December flavor.

      3 – may share a personal story about how you add love and simplicity to your life in ways outside of baking (since your cookies kind of go back to “the good ol’ days when things were made by hand, which makes me think of baking in the kitchen with mom. What are some other ways families can create memories in the busy, high-tech world we live in?).

      I hope that gives you some ideas! The download does have a food section with ideas that may also help.

      Erin

  5. What platforms do you suggest for email newsletter?
    How do you put the unsubscribe button in?
    Thank you so much
    Gail

    1. Made Urban says:

      Hi Gail,

      I personally use Convertkit but started with MailChimp as it was the cheaper option when I started my newsletter. However, Convertkit has recently introduced a free plan. There are many other options out there but those are the only two I have experience with and can speak to.

      I made the switch from MailChimp to Convertkit because they have more options when it comes to creating signup forms (MailChimp’s forms didn’t look great on mobile, and half of online shoppers shop on their phones). Convertkit also allows me to better track and sort subscribers, and has a better system (in my opinion) for creating sales funnels. Here’s an example of how you can create a sales funnel on Convertkit: https://www.madeurban.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-sales-funnel-for-your-handmade-business/

      Here’s a guide to get started on MailChimp: https://www.madeurban.com/blog/how-to-start-a-newsletter-for-your-handmade-business/

      When you use an email service, they automatically add the unsubscribe link to each email you send (because it’s a legal requirement to have one)

      I hope that helps!

      Erin

  6. Rachel Roy says:

    I’ve been really struggling with how to write a newsletter. Your Easter example is fantastic, and I think I can run with that. I have ideas how to mix in other Homestead activities, so this was just the push I needed. I think I’ll start to push a newsletter in January.
    Thank you!

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