You probably don’t need to be told that email newsletters are an effective way to market your business or organization. For years now, business coaches and mentors have been discussing their benefits and excellent return on investment. But for those who have only dabbled or who haven’t even started, email newsletters can seem like a complicated, even mystifying, concept. Here, I’ll share four simple tips that are sure to help your email newsletter be a great success!
Benefits of email newsletters
Before jumping into the tips, let’s quickly review why email newsletters are great marketing tools. First, they are economical. Depending on the email newsletter service you choose, you could pay a few cents or even nothing to send email newsletters. There is no huge monetary outlay up front. Second, they can be targeted. If you’re following FTC regulations (and you should be!), your email list only contains the addresses of individuals who want to be on your list. Therefore, the recipients already have an interest in your messages and are a more receptive audience. Third, they keep your information active in customers’ minds. A regular email newsletter arrives in email inboxes and reminds people about you and what you offer. With these benefits and more, it’s easy to see why email newsletters are a terrific marketing tool.
Tip #1: Keep it simple.
An effective email newsletter doesn’t have to be a treatise. In fact, the shorter the better. Most people don’t have time to read all their emails, so if yours is short and to the point, you have a greater chance that someone will read your message. Its other benefit is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time coming up with new content each issue, either.
Tip #2: Make it useful, interesting, and valuable.
Just like with your website, the content of a newsletter should also be useful. Will you discuss ways that you can meet your customers’ needs? How about using trivia and interesting tidbits of information that pique a person’s interest? Do you have a natural sense of humor that keeps people laughing? Can you provide top ten tips for saving money or three suggestions for a better garden? The more useful, fascinating, or entertaining your email newsletter is, the better chance you’ll have a readership that looks forward to receiving your newsletters.
If you’re worried about creating content on a regular basis, keep a running list of newsletter ideas. Jot them down as you think of them; then, you have a resource when it’s time to write. You can find ideas everywhere: customer questions, online discussions, news items, networking events. If someone is asking or talking about a subject (especially if they have misconceptions), chances are others would be interested, too.
Tip #3: Keep it regular.
Your newsletter should follow a regular schedule. Choose a frequency pattern, and stick with it. For example, your newsletter (like mine) could be released the first Monday of the month. Perhaps it’s every other Tuesday. A regular schedule helps your readers know when to expect your newsletter, and it also helps keep you on track to send your issues on time.
There are plenty of online recommendations about the best time of the day/week/month to send your newsletters, so I won’t get into them here. They can vary by business or industry, so you can look around and follow your own instinct. And if you’re worried about being too frequent, I’d recommend starting every other month and then making it more frequent when you’re comfortable.
Tip #4: Don’t be a spammer!
Everyone I know hates spam. Don’t be a spammer! The FTC has very clear requirements if you’re planning on sending email newsletters. Basically, make sure you always have someone’s permission to add them to your list; provide subscribers a way to opt out of your list in every marketing email you send; be clear about who you are and how someone can contact you by mail. Most email newsletter services make all of this very easy for you.
Now is as good a time as any to get started sending email newsletters. With these few simple tips, you’ll be ahead of the pack when it comes to getting the most out of your newsletters.