How to restart emailing after a long gap
👉 without agonising for hours!
A question I get asked a lot is about how to restart sending emails to your list after you’ve not emailed for a long time.
It’s an important question because most people hit this at some point.
You get busy. Other priorities take over and you miss sending your regular email. Then you miss another one. Then another.
And all of a sudden it now seems like ages since you emailed. It feels embarrassing to start emailing again out of the blue and you start asking yourself all sorts of questions:
Do I need to do anything special?
Should I apologise?
Should I explain why I haven’t emailed for a while?
And because the answers to these questions aren’t obvious, you delay emailing again. And it gets even longer since you last emailed and even more embarrassing…
Here’s how to break out of the cycle and start emailing again:
Step 1: Recognise that the main barrier is your own psychology. The reality is that with rare exceptions, you’re a tiny part of your subscribers’ lives. Most won’t have noticed you haven’t emailed. None will be upset if you start again. No need to lead with an apology or explanation - that’s way too self-important. Just send them a useful email.
Step 2: Write a simple, valuable email. Don’t set yourself an unrealistic goal like writing your best email ever to make up for the missed ones - you’ll end up getting stuck trying to come up with something brilliant. Instead, just write a simple, valuable email.
What works well is an email just like this one: a short how-to guide for a common problem your readers often have. Look back on questions you get asked a lot or problems you often work on with clients that are annoying, but relatively straightforward to solve if you know what to do. Then lay out the answer in simple step-by-step format.
Step 3: Just. Press. Send.
OK, check the spelling and grammar first to fix any stupid errors. But don’t hesitate or worry if it’s good enough or do endless rewrites to make it even better.
Just press send on a decent email - then rinse & repeat. While you’re on a roll, write another two simple emails that solve bite-sized problems.
Now you’re back in the habit.
Now you can start getting fancier. Maybe write a bigger email covering a more complex issue. Start to add in personal stories to make a connection. Work on your writing style. Make your emails more persuasive.
(Shameless plug: you’ll learn how to do all that and a lot more in my Effective and Engaging Email Newsletters Course)
But the most important thing is to get back in the saddle. And that comes from realising that your readers don’t suddenly hate you because you didn’t email. They won’t get a useful email from you and think “where’s he been? How dare he email me again after so long?”.
They’ll think “oh, this is useful”.
It’s not a lot, but “oh, this is useful” week after week, month after month compounds into “this is the person I want to work with”.
So get going!
PS a quick bonus tip: on your first email after restarting I wouldn’t have a sales call to action.
Normally you can (and should) put an offer into almost any email if you do it right. But this is one time where just re-establishing your value takes priority. And more importantly: worrying about an appropriate sales call to action in that first email is yet another thing that could cause you to procrastinate and avoid sending it.
PPS I recorded an episode of the “Rattle and Pedal” podcast with Jeff McKay and Jason Mlicki about email marketing recently. We talked about a lot of topics I don’t normally cover: how to differentiate yourself from the huge wave of AI content that’s coming. How a larger firm can add personality to their emails. Why it’s important just to get started.
You can listen here: Rattle & Pedal Podcast.