Spread the Word 

Tips on how to produce and promote a successful e-newsletter

A timely, information filled e-newsletter offers your clients and associates not only a way to remain in touch with you but also positions you as an expert in your field! E-newsletters are also wonderful marketing tools, helping you to promote your services or products at a fraction of the cost of other materials. Here are tips on what is needed to create a successful e-newsletter and how to promote it.

1. Consider your audience and your objectives. What do you want your reader to know about you? What kind of information would be helpful to them. Do you also want to provide an offer, have them fill out a survey, or let them know what you are doing.

2. Create an “editorial” calendar. Have article topics/ideas for at least 2 issues “in the can” before you launch the first issue.

3. Create a subject line that attracts the recipient’s attention and motivates them to open it.

4. Have a main article.  Make sure it always provides information that your readers will find valuable. 

5. If linking to your website for the content, keep your summary short. If you include your main article in the body of the e-mail, also remember to keep it concise and to the point. People want to get information quickly.

6. Begin each issue with a personal note. This gives the newsletter character and puts a face behind the writing. If you are sending it in html format, by all means include a photo of yourself. End it with a concise description of what your business does.

7. Have a call to action at the end.

8. Promote yourself but subtly. No flashing banners, no red type. Just well written articles and content. Mention your e-books, reports, any workshops you’ll be giving. Your call to action at the end of the newsletter should be brief and to the point i.e. “We have over 10 years experience writing newsletter articles, contact us for a consultation on writing yours”. Don’t forget to include your website’s url!

9. Select an e-newsletter service supplier. If your list is small, you can start by using your e-mail program and your internet provider. However as the list grows and you will also want to know stats as to how many have been opened, so go with one of the services. Constant Contact http://www.constantcontact.com/ is top notch, easy to use and great for small businesses and so is Campaigner http://www.Campaigner.com (this writer’s experience is only with Constant Contact, and cannot vouch for any of the other ones). For handling large list e-mailings there is Bronto, http://bronto.com/index.html and Exact Target http://email.exacttarget.com/ETWeb/default.aspx. They all offer design templates and list management.

10. Build your list and get permission. Put a “subscribe” box on your website’s pages. Make it easy for visitors to opt in. Never subscribe anyone without their permission. Within the e-newsletter include information on how to unsubscribe. Make your unsubscribe instructions easy to locate. 

Now that you have created your e-newsletter here are 6 quick tips on promoting it:

1. Tell everyone. Send a sample to your clients, associates, and friends. Use the back of your business cards to provide information on how to subscribe.

2. Put a signup button on EVERY page on your website. And make it easy for a visitor to signup. Ask for only the most basic information such as name, e-mail address, company name, title, and phone number. Nothing turns a person off more than having to fill in field after field on a form.

3. Offer a free goodie to a new subscriber. With so much e-mail these days, an incentive is a positive way to motivate a website visitor to sign up. It can be a free article, a report, a resource list, an e-book, or a 30 minute consultation.

4. Be sure there is a sample of your e-newsletter on your website. People like to try before signing up. Have an index to all your articles, not only will this give them the feel for your content but enhances your site with valuable information.

5. Plug your e-newsletter in your sig file. After your usual contact information at the bottom of all your e-mails, be sure to include a line or two plug for you e-newsletter and how to signup.

6. Use it as a networking tool. This is a way to provide something of value. At a networking function let people know about your newsletter. As a followup and to keep you in their radar, send a sample issue, saying that this might be of interest (and giving them the option to then signup).

Are your marketing materials working for you? Is it time to launch that e-newsletter? Contact us today for a free consultation.
                                                                  © 2007 Leona M Seufert