In our last article, we talked about why e-mail is your best marketing tool that you have at your disposal. It’s ridiculously cheap, you can directly reach hundreds or thousands of people at once, and you have a good chance that your audience will see it. After all, 91% of us open our e-mail at least once per day. And yes, on multiple devices too. Studies have shown that for every $1 you put into your e-mail, your average return will be $44.25 in sales. That’s a pretty awesome return.

We’re a big fan of Constant Contact as a great e-mail platform. It’s easy to set up, they have lots of great mobile-aware templates that you can customize for your own business, and they’ll even let you use it for free for 60 days.

Unfortunately, the hardest part about having an e-mail newsletter, and something I struggle with too, is not the technology. It’s “I don’t know what to say!” It’s the same with any content that you create whether it’s in your blog, a YouTube video, an e-mail or a web page. “What do I say?”

Sometimes my ideas just dry up, or I just don’t feel inspired by what I’m thinking of creating. Urgh. I feel your pain.

I’m a big advocate of create it once and reuse it. My personal process is to create the blog post first, and that then gets posted into my newsletter, sent out on social media, and published on my LinkedIn Pulse page. I also used to create a quick two minute video about that particular topic too. Then I’m only putting effort into one topic, and I just repurpose it and make a small change to fit the other mediums.

But what do you say or write about?

Here are a couple idea-generating ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Ask Your Readers

This is easy. If you already have a list of people that read your newsletter, just ask them. “What do you want me to write about or what topic do you need help with?” It can be that easy. Sometimes asking the question in a negative slant can get better answers, like “What’s the biggest challenge you’re having with your online marketing today? What’s that one thing you can’t figure out?”

You’ll be surprised by the answers your readers give you.

Use Google To Generate Ideas

Google is very accommodating when it comes to being helpful and suggest ideas for you. Start typing in the search bar, and they’ll start giving you ideas on what other people also searched for.

Let’s say you’re a dog trainer. Go to Google and start typing “how to train a dog ” (with a space at the end), and Google will suggest:

how to train a dog to sit
how to train a dog not to bark
how to train a dog to come
how to train a dog to stay
how to train a dog not to bite

Now you instantly have five topics to create a blog, newsletter, or video about. Get creative about what your customers may be searching for. I did this for a client earlier this year, and in 20 minutes came up with 75 topics in their field. Now they have a topic for every week of the year, and then some. They couldn’t believe how easy that was to come up with.

What News Does Your Business Have?

What kind of newsy things are going on in your business or your industry right now? Do you have any workshops, webinars, or other types of events that you’re providing that your readers might like to attend? Are you going to be exhibiting at a big tradeshow? Let your readers know.

Are there industry changes that people need to know about? You know your industry well, but your customers probably don’t. So what kind of things do they need to know about that could affect their life?

One of my clients does OSHA safety training. When OSHA comes out with a new publication or tool or update on a rule, they write a blog post, put it in their newsletter and sometimes even make a press release out of it. Easy.

Look In Social Media

Use your social media platforms to see what topics are being discussed or are trending. Search hashtags to see what people are talking about. You’ll find an endless stream of topics to put your own spin on.

If you’re not sure how to do this, ask someone to help you, and I guarantee you’ll find a rich set of ideas.

So use the simple tools at your disposal, and get creative ideas that your readers want to hear about.

By the way, what’s the #1 online marketing challenge you’re struggling with today? Tell me below in the comments!