Publishing an email newsletter is a commitment. It is a commitment you make to your business, to your readers, and to yourself.
And there may come a time when you want to take a vacation from that commitment. Maybe you want to take an extended month-long vacation and travel through Europe. Maybe you just want to focus on getting some important project done for your business. Whatever the reason, there is a right way and a wrong way to take a vacation from your newsletter.
The Wrong Way to Take a Vacation
The wrong way to take a vacation from your email newsletter is to simply stop publishing on your established schedule. Yet, this is exactly what one of the newsletters that I regularly read did this summer: she went from publishing weekly to only once a month through the entire summer.
Why this is wrong:
- The need that you fill with your newsletter doesn’t stop during your vacation. If you aren’t there to fulfill that need, your readers will go elsewhere.
- Your readers will forget about you. People have surprisingly short memories. The only way to keep you and your business in their minds is to continuously put yourself in front of them.
- Your unsubscribe rate will go up. Once you resume your regular publishing schedule, you will likely see your unsubscribe rate increase. This is a direct result of the two reasons above: either people will have forgotten who you are or they will have found another provider for the same information. The result is the same: they will no longer see you as necessary.
The Right Way to Take a Vacation
You don’t have to be married to your newsletter publishing schedule forever; you can take a vacation. The trick to making it work for both you AND your readers is to do it the right way.
Follow the example set by daily radio shows: replay your best stuff during your vacation.
You might think that reusing your old content will be boring to your readers. The truth is that every issue is not read by every reader, the content will actually be new to the majority of your readers.
Prepare newsletters to go out during your vacation:
- Go through your old issues and pick out the topics that are still timely and valuable to your readers.
- Do any updating to the articles, if necessary.
- If you publish notes with your articles, write new ones that reflect current events.
- Load your updated newsletters into your Email Service Provider account and schedule them to go out during your vacation.
- Announce your vacation to your readers. Make sure you include a mention of the fact that you will be publishing the best of your previous issues while you are away.
It’s quite an accomplishment to keep to a rigorous publishing schedule, so that vacation is a well deserved one. Just make sure that you continue to meet the needs of your readers while you enjoy your rest and relaxation and your vacation doesn’t have to hurt your business.
What other tools do you use to cover for you while on vacation? Please share them in the comments.