After last month’s “April Showers,” it’s time for the good stuff: May flowers, sunshine, and the impending summer season (at least in the northern hemisphere; you down south are bundling up for winter!).
May is generally a pretty good month to be a blogger or site owner: it’s usually the start of the lucrative summer season with high traffic and high ad revenues. We’ve gotta take advantage of that and bring our most devoted readers back – and that means email!
As part of my series about what to send your list each month, here’s the May installment. Below you’ll find at least one theme for each week of May, plus a bunch of back-up ideas so you have no excuse to get stuck with “blinking cursor syndrome.”
Let’s dust off your newsletter list and get up to weekly emails – with these May newsletter ideas, I promise your community’s gonna love it!
🎧 Want to listen instead? Check out the audio version on the Site School podcast!
May Newsletter Ideas for Week 1 – May 1-7
May kicks off with a series of “holidays” you might want to observe with your community, depending on your niche and the topics you cover by email.
First off is May Day on May 1st; this day has a number of different meanings in different cultures, so you might write about your own experience of May Day, or share historical information, recipes, or travel resources for another part of the world.
The first week in May also includes May the 4th day, when Star Wars fans celebrate by watching the films, nerding out, and saying “May the fourth be with you” (a word play on “May the force be with you,” of course). Depending on your audience and which day of the week you email, you might want to use this with another topic too.
There are lots of options around Cinco de Mayo as a theme too – you could share recipes for people celebrating, games and activities for families, or discuss cultural practices (and their misappropriation) – there’s a lot of flexibility here if this topic sounds interesting to you.
Finally, the first week in May is Screen-Free Week; this might seem counterintuitive given people will be reading your email on a screen, but as in months past (like March), you can provide value in your email while still encouraging people to step away from their devices.
There are also a number of other events you could focus a newsletter around in the first week of May, including:
- National Self-Employed Day (May 4th)
- African World Heritage Day (May 5th)
- National Space Day (May 5th)
- The Kentucky Derby (May 6th)
- National Tourism Day (May 7th)
May Newsletter Ideas for Week 2 – May 8-14
There is a natural theme for the second week of May that you may want to tap into if you’re in North America – Mother’s Day – though, of course, this won’t make sense for every niche. (In my travel niche, I’m planning to send some old photos of me and my mom and share how she helped inspire me to be the traveler I am today.)
If you don’t like the idea of tapping into Mother’s Day, or maybe that theme isn’t personally fitting for you and your experience with motherhood, there are a few other days in the second week of May you could consider focusing on:
- May 11th is National Twilight Zone Day, which seems like a great time to throw a curveball email about something outside your niche and play off the theme.
- May 13th is National Train Day, which is great for everything from travel to family to toy niches.
Finally, the second week of May is American Craft Beer Week, which also works for a number of different niches.
May Newsletter Ideas for Week 3 – May 15-21
The third week of May kicks off a new season: Graduation.
High schoolers and university students will begin the ceremony of crossing the stage this week; the season continues on into early June, so you might swap this out for another topic if you have a graduation coming up in your own life and can use it as a theme later.
In any case, graduation is a great theme because it’s all about transitions and learning; every single niche – or even just tapping into our own growth as small business owners – can use this theme at some point during the next few weeks.
For other ideas:
- May 18th is International Museum Day
- May 20th is World Bee Day – there are lots of themes available here, whether it’s about bugs specifically, the products they make (honey! honeycomb!), things you can make with honey/honeycomb, or the threats to bees and pollinators.
May Newsletter Ideas for Week 4 – May 22-29
The fourth and final full week in May has another good theme if you’re in the U.S.: Memorial Day takes place on May 29th, 2023. At any point leading up to this date, you could send an email using the themes of this day to share a message that’s meaningful to you. It could be about honoring those who’ve fallen in service to the country, the start of summer, or just what you’ll be doing with your day “off” (though if you’re anything like me, you might be working to catch up!).
There are some other special days you might want to plan your newsletter around:
- While we’ve already noted Mother’s Day, it turns out Brother’s Day also occurs in May (on the 24th).
- That day is also National Scavenger Hunt Day; one idea that could be fun is sending your subscribers on a scavenger hunt to different pages and posts of your site in exchange for a prize. (And you get a prize of return visitors and ad revenue!)
- May 25th is both Geek Pride Day and National Wine Day and I’ll just be over here sipping a nice Shiraz while I play D&D…
- National Road Trip Day is on May 26th, which is another good opportunity to talk about the start of the summer travel/holiday season.
Extra Days & Other May Newsletter Ideas
As May has 31 days, you may find yourself in need of additional ideas for a 5th newsletter this month. Here are some more suggestions:
- Even if you don’t cover health or wellness, mentioning that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month could work for a lot of audiences – most of us know someone who has been diagnosed and can do it as a feel-good reminder that shows we care about our community.
- Speaking of caring, May is also National Mental Health Awareness Month; this might not relate at all to your audience or niche, but there’s definitely a way to tie it in – we’re all human, and we all have struggles. It’s sharing our humanness in emails that really bonds us with our community.
- Finally, May is a big month for food “holidays” (as every month). Unsurprisingly, some of the main foods that are celebrated this month are summer-focused: hamburgers, strawberries, and barbecue are the ones that top my list!
That’s quite enough to inspire you to put together four (or maybe five) emails this month. Have any other questions about coming up with May newsletter ideas? Let me know in the comments below!