One of the biggest hurdles for food content creators when it comes to email marketing is… knowing what to send. What do you write about? How do you keep your emails interesting? Let’s start with some helpful tips for planning out email content for food bloggers.
One of the biggest reasons potential clients approach me to help them with their email newsletter marketing is that they’re tired of trying to figure out what to send to their list over and over again.
Everyone I work with is a food content creator. They might be a food blogger, YouTuber, Instagrammer, cookbook author, chef or even a food brand. What do they all have in common? They love food. And sharing food and feeding people. A few even love writing about food. But most of them would rather be in the kitchen than writing emails.
Because they don’t know what to write about. So let’s talk about planning out email content when you’re a food content creator!
The first steps to creating engaging food email newsletters include figuring out what your goals are and putting a plan together to help you achieve them.
STEP 1: TAKE STOCK OF WHERE YOU ARE WITH YOUR EMAIL LIST
Before you know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re at in your business. It’s time to ask yourself a few questions:
AND REMEMBER: no judgement here. All we’re going to do here is collect some data so no mean self-talk if you don’t like your answers!
- When was the last time you sent your list an email?
- Are you emailing your list consistently? How frequently?
- When did you last clean up your email list?
- What happens when somebody signs up for your emails?
- Do you have any products you are promoting or should be promoting? Like these…
- digital downloads like meal plans, checklists, shopping lists
- traditionally published books
- classes or workshops you teach (remote or in person)
- physical products (spice mixes, branded utensils, t-shirts/merch)
- affiliate links
- an app
STEP 2: WHAT ARE YOUR BUSINESS PLANS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
Outline your plans for your food blog or food content business for the next 12 months. A few things to consider include:
- Do you have plans to diversify your revenue beyond ads?
- Will you be launching any products, services or events this year?
- Are you writing a book or having one released this year?
- Will you be actively growing your affiliate revenue?
- Do you have existing products/services etc that you want to see perform better?
- Are you actively trying to grow your traffic?
- Do you want to add more value to brand clients?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to focus on your email list.
STEP 3: TIME TO WARM UP THAT EMAIL LIST
We’ll address things like cleaning up your email list and automated welcome sequences in future articles. For now, let’s focus on getting an email out and establishing some consistency.
If it’s been a while since you sent your list an email, now is the month to do it.
Haven’t sent an email in a while (more than a month)? You will get unsubscribes. You may get a LOT of unsubscribes. Don’t panic, or stress. This is normal – people forget they signed up, their lives change or they’re no longer interested.
Take a deep breath and let them go. It’s short term pain for long term gain. And commit to emailing more often!
Sit down this week and draft a short email:
Give your list a big cheery hello and let them know you’ll be dropping into their inbox more often going forward. If you’ve decided how often, tell them. If you haven’t, don’t worry about it – the important thing is to open up communication now!
Give them a reason to stay subscribed – if it’s been a while since you last emailed, you may even have a lot of subscribers who’ve never received an email from you. Let them know what kind of content you plan to send them this year: recipes, kitchen hacks, shopping tips – whatever works for your niche.
Sending an email to your list where the only thing you’re doing is asking for money (aka “please purchase my new thing”) when they haven’t heard from you in months is pretty cheeky. Don’t be that friend who only shows up when they want something. Keep that list warm!
ALREADY EMAILING YOUR LIST REGULARLY?
Fantastic! That’s half the battle. Take a moment to review your send frequency and do a list cleanup.
✅ SEND TIP: Now is a great time to re-introduce yourself to your email list (it’s good to do this once a year actually!).
- Send a fun email with 5 random facts about yourself
- Give some hints about what you have in the works for the coming months
- Ask for some feedback – what would they like more of? Less?
STEP 4: PLOT OUT YOUR FIRST QUARTER OF EMAIL CONTENT
The easiest way to stay consistent with email newsletters is to plan for it. You don’t need to map out the whole year. Start small.
- decide on a send frequency (you can change it at any time)
- roughly map out the big food celebrations for the year but focus on the current quarter
- create an email content plan for the next quarter using those food celebrations as a guide (check out my seasonal email suggestions for food bloggers by month here). Leave room for flexibility in case things change
- if possible, write a month’s worth of emails at a time (they don’t need to be long!)
- if you already have a product or service, include a mention of it – just a short blurb in the footer of the email as a reminder that it’s something you offer. Do NOT make it the focus of the email.
- repeat the process each month of the quarter.
✅ SEND TIP: deciding on a send frequency trips up sooooo many people:
- There’s no right or wrong frequency and it will depend on your audience.
- Don’t be afraid of experimenting
- Consistency is key
My recommendation for a minimum send frequency is once a month. Any less and you risk people forgetting they signed up and then reporting you as spam. Most of my clients do a weekly send with once every other week being the second most common choice.
Follow these 4 steps and you’ll be well on your way to becoming more consistent with your email list and more engaged with your subscribers!
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