When people sign up for your email newsletter, they probably know what they’re getting into. If you’re a shop, they’ll expect new product updates and sales notices. If you’re a corporation, they’ll anticipate hearing about new projects and leadership shifts. If you’re a blogger, they’ll count on a roundup of recent posts and an occasional peek behind the curtain.

Here’s the thing, though: If all you ever send your subscribers is new product listings and blog posts they’ve already read, many people will get bored and frustrated. Some will stop opening your emails. Others will unsubscribe. For most business models, a newsletter is an add-on to a larger marketing plan, a high-touch method for communicating with super-fans who love you enough to sign up for regular updates. But when those regular updates brim with hard-selling and regurgitated content, even super-fans will become disenchanted.

The fix?

Include at least one piece of content that adds something useful to your readers’ lives.

It’s incredibly easy to find a tip, life hack, or good read that’s relevant to your business and interesting to your subscribers, and including one can help solidify their loyalty. If your newsletter has sections, create a new one for this pragmatic little tidbit, and put it second or third from the top. High placement will draw in your readers, and if you make the promotional or recycled content below visually enticing, they’ll keep scrolling.

Need some concrete ideas?

  • If you run a clothing boutique, include a tip about trends, clothing care, or accessorization
  • If you own a yoga studio, highlight a “pose of the month” and explain its history and benefits
  • If you run a blog, consider a coupon code for readers or include a link to an article you’ve read and loved
  • If you work for a large corporation, throw in some trivia about your company
  • If you own a restaurant, offer a cooking tip or even a recipe
  • If you’re in a band, give some music slang definitions or little-known facts about touring

Book and music recommendations, DIY ideas, cleaning hacks, travel tips, home organization techniques … just about anything informational, practical, and interesting will do the trick.

Even though people have opted in to your newsletter, they may begin to resent its presence in their inboxes if you never offer them anything new and useful. Update them on products and services, remind them about your recent content, but give them something concrete and beneficial, too. That added value will keep your subscribers happily subscribed for months and years to come.