There are a lot of posts about podcast newsletters that are going to tell you to copy and paste your show notes and send them off as an email.
This isn’t one of those posts.
Here, you’ll learn how to write a podcast newsletter that doesn’t suck.
More specifically, we’re covering…
- What’s a Podcast Newsletter?
- What’s the Purpose of a Podcast Newsletter?
- How to Create a Podcast Newsletter
- Podcast Email Newsletter Example
Let’s do this.
What’s a Podcast Newsletter?
A podcast newsletter is an email sent out regularly to promote your podcast. You can send a podcast newsletter out for every new episode or as a roundup for multiple episodes.
Your podcast newsletter should do more than just promote your show, however. It should add value to the listener’s experience. Ultimately, your email newsletter should grow your podcast audience.
What’s the Purpose of a Podcast Newsletter?
Your podcast newsletter can serve several purposes:
- Create a deeper connection with current listeners.
- Build an audience around your podcast.
- Attract new listeners.
The first and probably most obvious reason to send out a podcast newsletter is to deepen your relationship with listeners.
These are the people already listening to your show. They’re your #1 fans. In addition to your podcast, they likely follow you on social media.
These fans are willing to subscribe to your newsletter because they realize the value your content brings to their lives. You’ve built a trusting relationship with them, so they’re willing to invite you into their inbox.
Building an Audience
Similar to creating deeper listener connections, your goal may be to build an audience.
[READ: Trying to grow your podcast audience? Here are 14 creative ways to do it.]
In order to build an audience of like-minded individuals, it’s best to focus your show and its content on an industry and not your company. Think more thought leadership, less infomercial.
Take Outreach.io for example. They didn’t name their podcast or its content after the company. They named it The Sales Engagement Podcast. Their podcast newsletter is also modeled after the people they want to serve — sales professionals.
Unless they’re users of Outreach.io, people probably wouldn’t consume content directly related to the sales platform. Your podcast and newsletter are more valuable to them if they’re centered around an industry or a specialty — not your company or product.
Attracting New Listeners
If your newsletter offers more than just your episode show notes, you may be able to attract new listeners through it.
That means you have to offer more value than simply recapping the episode. You have to add some depth to the content.
Taking a more value-driven approach to your podcast newsletter will also benefit your listener relationships and audience growth. So that’s a plus.
How to Create a Podcast Newsletter
Now that we understand the purpose of a podcast email newsletter, let’s get into how to make one.
Choose an Email Marketing Tool
If you use a CMS with a built-in email marketing tool, like HubSpot, you don’t necessarily need to choose a different solution. However, if you’re not crazy about your CMS’s email tool, you have a lot of other options to pick from.
Email marketing tools include…
Many email marketing services offer free versions or trials of their product.
When choosing the right email marketing solution for your podcast newsletter, take into account the features you want and the budget you have. You could start with a free tool that meets your needs and upgrade to something more sophisticated later.
Collect Email Addresses
If you don’t already have them, you’ll need to figure out how to collect listeners’ email addresses.
You won’t be able to access listener information via podcast directories, or listening apps. What you’ll need to do is create a lead magnet of sorts.
A lead magnet is something of value that a user receives in exchange for their email address. Now, if you do it right, the lead magnet could be the newsletter itself. In fact, this is the best way to compile email addresses.
How do I create an email list for a podcast?
Here’s how it works:
- You launch a podcast that targets your audience’s industry or specialty. The show continuosly offers valuable insights and advice.
- As part of your new podcast launch promotion plan, you create a dedicated website or page for your podcast.
- Your podcast begins to attract more and more listeners.
- You decide to launch a podcast newsletter so you embed a form field on your podcast’s site for people to subscribe.
- On your podcast, you tell listeners what they can expect from the email and where to sign up for it.
- You send out an inspiring and highly informative podcast newsletter on a consistent basis.
Ideally, this ☝ is how you develop a mailing list.
Otherwise, you could make a downloadable offer that people exchange their email for. But you might be sending someone your newsletter who really doesn’t want it.
Might as well send it to people who do.
Write the Newsletter
Now for the fun part.
You’re probably wondering…
What should a podcast newsletter include?
It really depends on whether your podcast newsletter is based on one episode at a time or a roundup of multiple episodes. If you release new episodes once a week, you can get by with one per newsletter. If you publish more frequently than that, go with a roundup format.
But, no matter what, it has to have value. For a successful podcast newsletter that actually performs well, it cannot be a half-assed, copy-and-pasted version of your show notes.
I mean, would you want to read that if it popped into your inbox every week? It’d be easier and less annoying just to subscribe to the show on your podcast listening app. Use a little creativity.
Here are a few for-sure things your podcast newsletter should include:
- Intriguing subject line
- Guest’s name and job title
- Valuable insights
- Links to listen to the episode in all major podcast players
It also helps to include a quote from the guest and any relevant images.
One Episode Newsletter
If you release new episodes once a week or less frequently, base your podcast newsletter on one episode.
Either listen to the episode again or look back at your notes. What are the golden knowledge nuggets? What are the pieces that people will get real value from? That they can take and apply to their own lives or work?
It’s essential to include actionable tips in your newsletter — not just a recap of the episode. Give the reader a reason to listen to the whole episode.
Try to get at least three main points. Then, start writing.
Check out this example if you get stuck:
Podcast Email Newsletter Example
Subject: Demand Gen Marketers: Start thinking like a CMO.
Hey [First Name],
Traditionally, demand gen marketers haven’t been see as CMO material. Now, those “new-age” demand gen practitioners are ready to move into the C-suite.
And product marketers are feeling the heat. 🔥
- There’s been a resistance to demand gen marketers becoming CMOs. Many B2B companies are still stuck in their traditional product marketing ways. But buyers want more than to just be told that they need your product’s features. They want more connection to your brand than the product.
- The CMO can’t be single-threaded. They need to have a set of diverse skills — skills that often come with being a demand gen practitioner. To create demand, you need to understand how to execute in a number of mediums. You also need the ability to show how those initiatives tie directly to revenue.
- The CMO has to be able to collaborate. Someone dabbling in demand gen has to work with people across multiple departments. The creative people, salespeople, CS people, ops people. A good CMO knows how to collaborate with different departments in order to execute a campaign.
So, whether you’re a demand gen marketer looking to evolve into the CMO, or you’re considering a new CMO, keep these three things in mind.
“Get as much experience as you can if you want to be recognized as a full-stack marketer. Sit in those meetings, volunteer for those projects.” — Christelle Flahaux, VP of Marketing, FortressIQ
Today, being CMO takes more than knowing your product and market really well. You’ve got to be able to orchestrate lots of different campaigns. And, show how the results of those campaigns directly impact revenue.
Demand gen marketers tend to be well-versed in both of those things. At least, they should be.
Listen to the full episode here or on your favorite podcast player.
As you can see, there’s more to writing an engaging newsletter than simply copying and pasting the show notes.
[READ: Wanna know how to really get and keep your readers’ attention? Use humor.]
Episode Roundup Newsletter
If you choose to do a multi-episode roundup, find one knowledge nugget per episode.
Even though you’re discussing different episodes, it helps to tie all of them together somehow. This makes for a more cohesive experience for the reader. Try to make it as story-like as you can. Give it a beginning, middle, and end.
Someone who does this on a whole other level is Jay Acunzo, host of Unthinkable with Jay Acunzo. His weekly podcast newsletters round up his recent episodes in a true storyteller’s fashion. Jay’s emails are undoubtedly valuable and pleasingly entertaining.
You can subscribe to Jay’s newsletter, Playing Favorites, here.
Most email marketing tools give you the option to add personalized tokens to your emails.
Emails that use the person’s first name are more likely to be opened. So, when you’re entering email addresses into your tool, make sure to include the person’s first name. You can also include a form field for the first name in addition to the email address on your podcast’s site.
Time to send that baby off into the ether. 💌
Well, maybe send a test one to yourself first. Just to make sure all the links work, there are no misspellings, etc.
Consistency is Key
The thing with newsletters — and podcasts, to be honest — is you’ve got to be consistent to be successful. You’re not going to see earth-shaking results right away with a newsletter or a podcast.
You have to keep at it, though. Keep experimenting and keep improving.
As long as you’re dedicated to the value of your podcast newsletter, it will eventually gain traction.