A carefully crafted newsletter strategy will build trust in your customers and prospects and make them want to do business with you. Here are 9 easy tips and newsletter ideas to make your newsletters more interesting, and easier to assemble and send out.
1. Build Your List – Everybody you meet should be given the option to join your newsletter. Several of my clients just finished the Austin Home and Garden show. They took in hundreds of contacts. I hope they don’t make the mistake of thinking all these people are ready to be their customer, RIGHT NOW. But there’s a good chance that many of them are looking for valuable information that will help them make their buying decision when they are ready. If you do these types of shows, make your first post show contact an invitation to receive your newsletter… with no obligation. Also send out a Free Case Study featuring a customer testimonial and interview. They will appreciate the valuable information.
2. Keep On Schedule – Give yourself deadlines and stick to them. Schedule time to do your research and write your articles. Develop a reserve of content so that you can easily find womething to include instead of having to constantly write under the pressure of a deadline.
3. Use Digg and Google Reader – These are great services for finding content. Mark your favorite articles so that you can always come back to them. You can include links in your articles to those articles or you can use the information to write your own. Here’s a great article: “How To: Use Google Reader Like A Rockstar”
4. Summarize Your Blog Posts– Keep your newsletters short. Post your long articles, with details, pictures and links on your blog for everybody to see, and summarize those posts in your newsletter. Use trackable links in your newsletter so that you can see which posts are most popular.
5. Automate – I use Aweber to manage my newsletters because they have automated the entire process and made it a no-brainer for me. You can choose whatever look and feel you want from their templates. They create the summary posts from your blog entries, and they provide the subscription forms for you to capture contact information. Plus they have all the trackable links and reporting that I need to analyze each mailing. There are many services out there to choose from, but Aweber is a recognized industry leader. That’s why I have used them for the past 5 years.
6. Write Case Studies about your Customers – Talk about a Win. Win, Win! Your readers love success stories. They want to know how others have solved the problems they are facing. Who better to tell the story than your satisfied customers? Third party testimonials are very powerful… when they are authentic. Your readers will love the stories. Your customers will appreciate the recognition, and you will get the benefit of the great press!
7. Sell by Teaching – People don’t like to be sold. But they do like to be educated, and they will buy from the experts they trust. Make at least 75% of your content informational and educational, and no more than 25% of your content should be “Salesy”.
8. Include Resourceful Links – People love to find good new resources, articles and videos. Share your favorite places with you list. They will appreciate you for it. By the way, have you bookmarked my $1,000,000 Rolodex”? There’s tons of goodies for you here!
9. Pay Attention to Your Numbers – You want to keep track of each mailing and track its performance. Pay attention to how many were sent, how many bounced, how many were opened, which links were clicked, what time of day and what day of week the mailing was sent. Track different subject lines and content. You will soon learn what is most effective for your readers. Once again, Aweber is a great service that makes this easy for you.
Remember, building trust is a function of time, frequency and quality. Use your newsletter to keep in front of your audience on a consistent basis, and they will turn to you to solve their problems and do business with you.