May 1, 2012, 5:00 am

Kick Ass Newsletter Review

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: newsletter
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A few months ago, I started a quick series on the importance of having a newsletter. I do believe that a mailing list should be part of any business model, regardless if you want to make money online or not. To be honest, my financial newsletter at work always brings me new business. A newsletter is a privileged means of communication with someone you know. It’s a way to:

–          Gain credibility

–          Stay in your client’s mind

–          Become the #1 resource for any topic

–          Offer a quick way for your client to connect with you

–          Be proactive


I recently told you that having a newsletter is one of the things you need to do if you want your blog to make money. There is a lot of potential to make money if you publish the right kind of newsletter. From time to time, I subscribe to newsletters myself in order to gather more information and see what others are doing (learning from others is definitely a great way to improve your business as I’ve mentioned in my newsletter). About 2 weeks ago, I received the following email:



I received this mailing as I registered to My University Money newsletter in order to download his awesome ETF eBook. To be honest, I didn’t have to register for his newsletter as Teacher Man sent the eBook via email. But I was somewhat curious to know what he would do with his newsletter and how he will manage his so precious connection with his readers. I also asked him if he minded having me analyze his “welcome note”.


Do you think it’s good? Do you like it? Let’s take a look with a different eye:


The Newsletter Analysis


There some great features from Aweber that have been used in this newsletter. The first one is the use of my own name (Mike). This makes the newsletter more personal and people are more likely to read ahead. In an effort to optimize , I would also plug the subscriber’s name in the title: “So Mike, What do you think?” would have made an awesome email title. Since the email is coming from a blogger I like and he uses my name along with a question, I would definitely jump on this email to read it.


Another great feature is the not-too-aggressive ad on the left side. The Mint ad is well placed and doesn’t distract the reader from the main content. It clearly says that it’s a sponsor and that he uses the product. Another great thing is that Mint is free; it’s easier to promote a product that won’t cost your readers anything. This is perceived as a less aggressive marketing strategy. On the other hand, since the email is not about personal financial management and we don’t really talk about Mint, I doubt this ad will generate much conversion. The idea is good, the ad placement is optimal, the product review is a good idea and the product is great. But, there is no incentive to register for Mint (besides the fact that it’s free). While the product is great, it’s not directly related to ETF investing. Since you get this email after downloading a free eBook on ETF investing, you would expect to get investment related ads.


Teacher Man and J.B. ask for feedback on their book. I think this is a great idea as it leads to another way to connect with your readers. Each time I ask for feedback from my readers, I receive hundreds of emails. This is simply AWESOME for a blogger! I would have preferred that they define their newsletter first (in order to remind me why I am subscribing) and highlight the fact that they ask for my feedback (put this line at the end of your email and put some words in bold).


The newsletter layout is clean and simple. I like them fairly plain as most people don’t display images when they receive email.   A simple layout makes it less spammy and helps focus on content. The University Money logo is a good addition as it reminds you who send the email right away. I personally receive so many emails in a day that I like to know who sends me the email (as I have this internal voice urging me to delete the email before I open it 😉 ).


If I would add something to this “welcome note”, I would create a special section on University Money for my readers. A section that is “secret”. It could be complimentary to the eBook (such as portfolio models for example or ETFs lists). I think it could be a great idea. But to be honest, I haven’t done on mine yet, so I can’t really criticize them!


The other interesting thing to add would be a “best of” or “must read” articles they wrote on University Money. I did that with the TFB newsletter to show my new readers what they should expect and what they should read if they are looking for the best of TFB. It drives additional traffic to your site that is completely independent from Google. If your content is great, it will bind your new readers to your site.


In the end, I think it was well executed and that they did a great job sending this first email to subscribers. I can’t wait to see if they have built a newsletter funnel as I suggest in my newsletter email as this could be very promising.


Readers, what do you think of this welcome email? Would you delete it? Unsubscribe? Or be happy to join the discussion newsletter?


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I’m glad I read this. I’m building an email list, but haven’t gotten around to publishing a newsletter. I’m so embarrassed to tell anyone that. I plan on carving out some time tomorrow to create something. Even if it’s imperfect, I need to do SOMETHING. I’ll check out your newsletter series for reference.

Darn…We actually made some changes since sending that out. We added related links, and asked for feedback

I still have to tell the reader why they subscribed. And bold a few things. I am working on the Young and Thrifty Newsletter too, I should send another one your way;)

Thanks for the advice man!

by: The Financial Blogger | May 1st, 2012 (11:00 am)

Hey Shawanda,

Kuddos to you for working on your newsletter! It’s definitely a must! it will never be perfect but you will constantly improve it!


just got your last newsletter, awesome work 🙂 I hope my comments were useful!

I think branding is really important and the logo and colors do just that. Getting the branding just right was really important for me before sending my first newsletter as I wanted it to be consistent and for readers to quickly know who it’s from.

The first welcome newsletter is really important as you want to make sure you have the right impression. I would move the ad to the right since we read from left to right, your attention is on the advertising rather than the content when you initially look.

I built a funnel and it was thanks to you! I have 2 follow up messages and working on a 3rd one now.

We offer email and other types of subscriptions on our blog but we do not have a newsletter yet. We have yet to decide how the articles in newsletter will vary from the posts in the blog.

I want to live where those two mail boxes are – far away from everything. Then I could get a news letter about tumbleweeds and lizard crossings. Lets all cheer for the simple life folks;-)