There will be newsletters you open every time they drop into your inbox because you know the content is valuable and relevant. Have you thought about sending a newsletter from your business and creating the same level of excitement in your readers?
Email newsletters are a fantastic way to stay in touch with your customers, clients and prospects – and an excuse to contact them every fortnight, month or quarter (whichever suits you).
As it is a regular communication method, you can use a newsletter to build and maintain a relationship with your prospective and existing customers, letting them know what is happening in the business, special offers that are coming up and offer advice. This contact allows you to become their expert on your subject matter and provide them with great content regularly.
Use newsletters to build trust
So often we hear marketers say prospects need contact with your business, whether through hearing about it, reading about it or seeing it, 5-9 times before they have built up enough trust to buy from you. Consider your newsletter as the opportunity to make contact 12 times a year (if you send a monthly newsletter). If you’re a betting person, the odds that you will convert some of your prospects into customers over that time are pretty good.
So what would could you include in a newsletter? Try a combination of these suggestions:
- an update from you about your business and what is happening in your life (if you have that type of relationship with your clients and customers)
- an article on a subject you’re the expert on (such as ‘How to…’ or “Top 10 Tips for…’)
- a paragraph or two of hints, advice or an answer to a frequently asked question on your subject area
- an offer from your business or a product review that would interest your audience
- contact details so they can respond as soon as they have read the newsletter
If you keep the information interesting, concise and relevant, your newsletter will be one of those that are opened within the first 24 hours of reaching your contact’s inbox.
Not only is marketing via newsletters a powerful way to keep in touch with your customers or clients and have your business in their thoughts regularly, it is also very cost effective because you are using the one to many marketing method (ie one newsletter is distributed to many at once).
Tracking and spam compliance
If you use an email marketing program, like AWeber, Constant Contact or Chameleon Mail, you can track your newsletter statistics, like how many people opened your email, what they clicked on and if they forwarded it on to someone else. Using a third-party program will also ensure you comply with Australia’s spam laws.
Under the Spam Act 2003, it is illegal to send unsolicited “commercial electronic messages”, which includes email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS. All the people on your newsletter database will have opted in to receive information from you, either via your website, or by giving you permission to add them to your list. A program like those listed above will ensure your email newsletter meets spam requirements and enables people to unsubscribe if they want to. For more information about the Spam Act visit www.acma.gov.au.
Planning your newsletter
One you have committed to send a newsletter on a regular basis, set aside time each fortnight, month or quarter to source material and images, write the content, set up the content in your newsletter template and send (or schedule). Allow 2-3 hours for this (depending on how much content you include).
Next, decide which day and time to send your newsletter (mine is 10am on the last Thursday of the month). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to send newsletters to ensure the highest chance of them being read. On Mondays people hate trawling through all the emails that have come in over the weekend and on Fridays they just want the weekend to start, so tend not to take as much notice of what is coming in.
If you are really organised, create a newsletter calendar with all the topics listed so you don’t have to think of one when it comes time to write the next edition. Time the topics to coincide with other marketing so it adds value to your content, such a blog posts, articles in industry publications or events.
Try to keep your newsletter concise to ensure your readers look at the entire newsletter. If your main article takes up too much space in the template you can always include the first two or three paragraphs as a teaser and then direct readers to your website or blog to read the article in its entirety.
However you decide to do to send your newsletter, make sure you keep in mind who you are writing it for. If you provide quality content every time, you will definitely be converting prospects into customers.