Newsletters, or Ezines, have always been a great tool for business. I have used several for my businesses over the past few years, and have had a lot of success with them. But in today’s economy, are they still effective? And now when it seems everyone is sending email in greater proportions, can you really gain business with ezines?
Yes. The key to building a great business is to create regular marketing strategies, and use them again and again. Give your prospects and customers what they want, and you’ll be successful.
Whether you’ve been sending ezines for years, or are new to the whole process and are wondering where to begin, let’s look at 7 basic concepts to get you going in the right direction.
1. Setting up your system. Yes, you can create a simple email, and send it to a list you build through your Outlook or other email program. That’s okay with a few subscribers. But it’s not feasible once you have several hundred or even several thousand subscribers. You’ll not only risk shutting down your Outlook, but the server your email account is handled through may also shut you down for spam violations.
The best way to get started is to set up a newsletter program that makes it easy for you to create your ezine, and keeps you in compliance with spam laws and verifications. I’ve used Aweber for years, and love their service.
2. Speak to your customers. Never write an ezine from your perspective – give your customers what they desire. You may know the technical terms and buzzwords. Yet these may completely frustrate your readers. Give them the information in language they understand and will motivate them to move forward with you.
3. Personalize your message. People like to do business with people they know. While you don’t want to make half your newsletter personal, it is nice to add a paragraph or two at the beginning talking about what you’re up to.
4. Send out regularly. What can your readers handle? An ezine every week? Maybe every month? Part of having a successful ezine is knowing when to send, and what to promote. If you’re sending personal information to working moms, and they typically sign up from their home accounts, twice per month may be adequate. If you’re sending business tips to professionals, they may like a daily tip. Learn what they like, and always deliver at that interval.
5. Time your ezine. How long does it take to read? Is it a 5 minute tip, or a 15 minute novel? Most people are busy, and can’t spend long periods of time reading. Condense your information, and make it readable.
6. Be light on the selling. Your ezine is all about information and developing a relationship. But that doesn’t mean you can’t promote too. Find one thing to focus on in every ezine, and sell it lightly within your content.
7. Proofread and check. I’ve hit the send button many times, only to receive my own copy and notice a spelling error or find a broken link. Check your content before you hit the send button. Better yet, have a second pair of eyes proofread.