E-mail Newsletter Demons, and One Simple Way to Get Past Them

Writing email newsletters can be a gruesome business.

There are demons aplenty to get past.

Black Painting #9

It’s not just the time spent writing it, it’s the time afterwards checking and re-checking, to see if it’s fit to send.

There’s all the time you fritter away beforehand trying to delay the point where you have to sit down and write the thing.

And there’s all the gunk you have to listen to and clear out of the way:

  • Where do you start?
  • It sounds too pushy
  • It sounds too formal
  • It doesn’t sound like me
  • Where do you finish?
  • It’s too intrusive
  • It’s not friendly enough
  • It doesn’t sound natural
  • Do I write to everyone? or to one?
  • I wish it was a blog post
  • I wish I hadn’t started this list
  • Why do people say they’re a good idea?
  • I wish I got feedback from recipients
  • Why does it always take so long?

And so on…

And I know I’m not alone.

There are a lot of different issues in here of course, including how you’re using your email newsletter and how it fits (or doesn’t) with other things you’re doing via a website and/or other forms of social media.

And getting clearer on the answers to those points will help to get rid of at least some of the gunk.

But the simplest and most powerful change that I’ve made in the way I approach the writing of email newsletters, the one thing I want to pass it on to help make the writing of the beasts easier, quicker and more enjoyable:

Write it in email

Rather than going to the interface of your service provider with all its paraphernalia of tracking and monitoring clicks and double opt-ins and all the rest of it…

Go to your email. Open up a new message to send, and start writing there.

It shifts your writing state, and softens your language to the kind of language you’d be using if you were sending someone an e-mail.

Which is, after all, what you are doing.

Only once your message is 99% done do you then go into the big and scary newsletter service provider, and drop your text into the message boxes there.

All I can say is: it works for me. The last few I’ve written took me a fraction of the time they used to take, and I dispensed with all the angst too.

If nothing else… it’s worth a try as a way of tip-toeing past the beast.

Do you have any other tips and strategies for getting round the email newsletter writing demons?

Photo Credit: Black Painting #9 by CapCat Ragu on Flickr

This post is a contribution to a week long mini-series on writing and fear, in the lead up to Halloween.