Online Newsletters – A great business decision

I always extol the merits of doing a well-done online newsletter. Done correctly, they can help bring in much more business for you and increase customer loyalty. It’s a way of bringing your website to your clients and prospects rather than waiting for them to come to you. And as a continuing dialogue, it helps keep your name up front. I started one of the first in Australasia, and it’s still going strong –  Current Newsletter

I’d like to give you a few ideas and strategies to make your online newsletter (and social media posts as well as your print newsletters too) more valuable and more productive for you.

Because the last thing that you want to happen is to lose your valuable permission. Once that person hits the unsubscribe button, or sends you an email saying “please take me off your list”, you’ve lost them forever.

What’s a newsletter?
Like the name implies, it’s news. It’s information, it’s something of value to your readers. It doesn’t have to be very long, or frequent (in fact I don’t think you should do it more frequently than once a month). The more information that it includes that is relevant to them (not you) the more you’ll find your newsletter forwarded to friends and the less unsubscribes you’ll get. Our newsletter has been spread almost entirely through word of mouth.

Be honest
Don’t have people sign up for a newsletter and not meet their expectations. It’s a lot of work producing a newsletter. But there’s immense reward. But if you’re not prepared to put in the effort, instead ask people to sign up for updates, or sales or specials.

Their shoes, not yours
Put yourself in their place. They don’t care about you or your company. Not at all. Make sure everything you write is towards making “them” more successful. Write in benefits, from their perspective. Go through your email (and your website for that matter) and eliminate as many I’s, we’s, us’s etc that you can. And write personally, stick as many “you’s” in there that you can.

Get enough information from individuals when they sign up to allow you to target. Don’t make people pass their eyes over something not pertinent to them. If your services are regional, then you must create a regional newsletter. I’ll give you an example. When I run a seminar in Auckland, I only mention it in the version that goes to the Auckland region. The same for Sydney, no one in NZ or the rest of the world will have mention of this in their version of the newsletter.

Yes, this method does take more time, but I promise you, your email list will grow and grow. And I consider a targeted email list one of the most valuable business assets today.

Other modes
If you do want to sell something – a book, a course, golf clubs, financial services, software…., you can mention it briefly in the newsletter, but I’d recommend a completely separate email in addition, for the full whammy. By having different types of email formats, you keep the interest up, it doesn’t get buried with the rest of the articles and it stands alone and gets the attention it deserves..

Frequency & co-ordination
Remember that email is just one part of your communication package. Be sure to co-ordinate with your social media and print mailings AND with staff. If you’re a recruitment company you don’t want four consultants emailing in volume to an employer.

Value = Eyeballs = Success
In summary, by being honest, by reining in your desire to spread your company gospel, by working hard to get interesting information for your audience you’ll keep your readers happy, spread your newsletter like wildfire, and help increase your overall income.

P.S. Don’t forget in every issue you send to include a subscribe, unsubcribe option, a privacy statement and importantly ask them to share your newsletter on to friends and colleagues.