Does Your Business Need a Newsletter?
Have you ever thought about it?
If you don't have a business newsletter yet, have you ever thought of the importance of having one?
Why is it so vital to one's healthy business dealings?
Let's explore some important factors even if you do have a newsletter.
If you are not yet using a newsletter as a part of your marketing efforts, then you are missing out on new potential and already existing customers becoming valuable long-term buyers.
Communicating with your subscribers as well as customers is vital for their continued involvement. It's hard nowadays for someone to remain interested in your business if they never or rarely hear about it. Hence, a newsletter is the best way to keep them involved in your business and show them your appreciation for their subscription.
When you have a customer buy from you, but no newsletter to follow up, then you are virtually handing him or her back to your competitors. On the same note, when you have a visitor coming to your website and not capturing his or her name and e-mail address, it's a lost marketing effort. Of course, if the service was good and the product memorable, they may come back.
But, what if they lose your website address? What if they just forget about you? What if you have a new product that your existing customer may wish to buy and they don't know about it?
A newsletter will prevent these things from happening. It's a good way to connect with people, and eventually they will connect with you and your website.
Having your own opt-in newsletter or loading purchased e-mails in your autoresponder. Which is the most effective and less troublesome?
Your own opt-in newsletter is the most effective and the only choice nowadays. When your visitors give you their name and e-mail address, they're telling you that they agree to receive further e-mails from you. Therefore, if someone forgets that they've subscribed and complains that you've spammed them, you've got a proof that they've voluntarily given you their personal info.
But, when you purchase leads and load them into your autoresponder, you don't know how those e-mails were harvested off the Internet. Those poor people might have opted-in somewhere, but certainly not for your newsletter. You're a toast if only one person complains that you've spammed them.
Also, when people personally opt-in to your newsletter, they will be more acceptable to your further e-mailings as opposed to people who haven't gotten a clue how they ended up on your list.
What do I write about? - you might be asking yourself.
What's your business, service or product about? What's your niche?
That's the reason why your subscribers gave you their personal info. That's what they want to hear more about. Your job will be to constantly improve on that subject and deliver information that will be both educational and informative to your subscribers.
My newsletter deals with the Internet marketing industry. My subscribers are expecting information on that subject. Therefore, for each issue I pick a different topic directly related to it, and I write about it. If I don't have enough knowledge or experience, I improve on it and then deliver the info.
And, you don't need a long newsletter. A sale alert or announcement of a new service or product can do just as well. Only, don't over do it and misuse it. You would very quickly lose your integrity.
Subscribe to several competitors' newsletters and see how they do it. That will definitely give you some ideas. Don't copy their format, but adapt a format that will be suitable to you.
Keep your newsletter consistent.
It's amazing the amount of newsletters that thrive online. Because of this, subscribers can forget which ones are legitimate and which are spam. And people often subscribe to multiple newsletters on top of the spam e-mails that they get on a daily basis.
Keep your format consistent at all times so your newsletter becomes visibly familiar. When your subscribers see the subject line of your e-mail, they will know immediately that it's your newsletter.
Also, indicate that the subscriber requested the information and provide an unsubscribe link in EVERY issue. You must do this if you want to limit complaints or spam reports. And nowadays, you're obligated by law to provide unsubscribe link and your physical mailing address in each one of your e-mails sent to your subscribers.
How often would you want to send it out?
That depends on various factors. Some businesses contact their subscribers as often as every day, others as infrequently as several times per year. You can do it once per week, twice a month or once a month.
More often, and your subscribers may unsubscribe or routinely delete your messages. Less often, and you're allowing your competition the chance to win over your potential customers.
What works for you depends a lot on what you are selling, what information you can give to them, how often your subscribers will want to hear from you, etc. But most importantly, your time availability. How soon can you get the newsletter ready?
The newsletter is an excellent integrity builder. It builds you as an expert in the field.
More than 90% of the people will not buy from you the first time they see your ad. They will want to get to know you and see if they can trust you. Only then will they consider buying from you. If you don't have a newsletter, how else are you going to build the trust with your visitors?
Your newsletter will prove to your subscribers that you or your business is not a "fly by night." You're serious in what you're doing and you mean business. They will begin to trust you and slowly but surely become your valuable long-term subscribers and buyers.
What's your subscription ratio? With other words, how many people are subscribing to your newsletter every month vs. how many are unsubscribing?
When you see more people unsubscribing from your newsletter in one month than people subscribing, you're either doing something that they don't like or you're not providing quality information.
The way you treat your subscribers will be the same way they treat you. You treat them with respect, they will return same respect back to you. You give them value, they give you value. You take care of them, they take care of you.
You give them crap, ??? boy oh boy. They will give you 10 times more crap back to you. It takes a long time to build the credibility and the trust, but you can lose it all in one simple e-mail.
I saw it with my eyes when one supper-affiliate tried to take advantage of his subscribers by trying to profit from them while delivering sad news. Hundreds of them unsubscribed in one day and many of them sent him nasty e-mails back.
He was a topic of nasty conversations in many forums.
The quality of the content in your newsletter is the other determining factor of the ratio between the people subscribing in one month vs. the people unsubscribing. What is quality, you might ask?
Quality content is useful content. It addresses a need or solves a problem. So, ask yourself what problems or needs your subscribers have, and use that as a starting point for developing quality content.
But, don't be too constrained. People have a need to laugh, learn, get informed, and so on. For example, typically useful content might: save time or money, entertain, inform or educate.
A good rule of thumb would be to provide the information that will be useful to your subscribers. Only, don't stop at "good enough." After you're done writing your newsletter, read it yourself.
If you get the "WOW!" feeling, your subscribers will too. If you get the "WHATEVER" feeling, guess what? We're all humans. We all think alike. Your subscribers will see you as "whatever" person too.
How do you balance your content with promotions?
More promotions and less content, your newsletter loses in value. On the other hand, if you, the publisher, don't benefit too, then you're just being charitable with your time (by the way, that's a perfectly valid reason to be publishing).
So, it's a bit of a riddle - how to produce content that readers are interested in, and at the same time ensure you get a (financial) benefit too. A good guideline is to keep it at around 80% content and 20% promotions.
When a reader finds himself or herself coming close to a purchase decision, who will he or she turn to? He or she will turn to a credible and trustworthy source of relevant advice and information. And that's you my friend!
Your newsletter deserves time and attention - it is the voice of you and your business and will help you build relationships with your customers (and potential customers) in a way that no other tool can.
© Steve Dimeck. Author and Publisher. To receive more quality articles such as the one you've just read, sign up for Steve's [TSM] Bulletin at: tsmbulletin.ogdteam.com - and receive a free ebook. [TSM] Bulletin - free Internet Marketing newsletter that you can't be without.
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