Newsletters are a great way of reaching your target audience to promote your products and services. Newsletters allow you to reach a wide market to launch/expand your brand to potential clients and also cross/up-sell to your existing clientele.
It is an inexpensive and very targeted means of promotion in comparison to television commercials and advertising in print publications. At the same time, newsletters are an effective and -- unlike spamming -- respected method of marketing.
The e-newsletter playing field is democratized in the sense that both small and large businesses can both send effective, professional looking newsletters. Follow the steps outlined in this white paper to ensure that your e-newsletter is up to scratch and the best that it can be.
Why Choose an E-Newsletter?
Make sure you know what an e-newsletter is, and type of content belongs in it before you decide to choose one as a means of marketing.
Readers don't want to see information in an e-newsletter that they can find on your website, so make sure your newsletter offers the reader a reason to read. Include current information and updates on your company or any future developments and projects that are being planned (give them a sneak preview), advertise discounts for new products just for subscribing and include articles relating to your field of expertise.
The "Personal" Touch
Effective newsletters should always contain a personal touch, mainly to appear in-touch with your reader and his/her needs.
It is important to let your personality dominate the newsletter so that it doesn't present itself as yet another mediocre sales blur. Make sure you capture the first name of your reader so that you can address them by it. There's nothing worse than getting a "Hi there" when you should really be getting a "Hi John".
Create a feeling of community to let your readers know that their opinions and views really do count. Correspondingly, encourage readers to be an active member of yout community by allowing them to contribute with feedback on featured articles and even make contributions to your newsletter themselves.
It is imperative that you study who your target audience is. Find out what topics will interest your readers by placing surveys on your site or in your newsletters and follow up with related information in future editions. Encourage readers to send your newsletters to friends who may be interested by using a 'send this newsletter to a friend' feature.
Your newsletter will attract people who possess similar demographics to your existing subscribers. It's important to research and outline who your members are and what they want - regardless of whether your subscriber list is small or large - that way you can optimize your newsletter to be both useful and relevant to your audience.
Don't Over-Do the Sales Pitch
E-newsletters are great resources for cross selling and up-selling your products and services, yet while most newsletters contain some advertising, be careful not to go overboard.
This becomes even more prominent if you plan to include third part advertisements. Readers almost certainly don't subscribe to newsletters to receive what they will essentially consider as junk mail. If you over-do the advertising then your newsletter is no more than Spam, and the unsubscribe link is sure to ensue.
Look and Feel
It's a good idea to extend your branding efforts to your newsletter. If customers associate your website with a good product or service and subscribed to your newsletter through your site, then it would be beneficial to keep your branding efforts prominent in your newsletters too.
For members that have not yet transacted with you, your newsletter is definitely a good way of subtly introducing them to your brand. Additionally, make sure your newsletter is easy to navigate and contains no broken links.
Present your information in small paragraphs with links to more information if necessary. That way, you can place more detailed information on your site and readers can click on the relevant links that catch their attention to read more.
Legitimate Email Marketing - the Respected Alternative
There are a few steps that you will need to follow to ensure your newsletter does not seem invasive. You need to accommodate for subscribers who are wary about receiving newsletters by providing them with an unsubscribe link.
Unsubscribe link - It's important that your subscribers don't feel like you're making it difficult for them to unsubscribe. If you do hide your unsubscribe link or act evasively about presenting a clear unsubscribe link, then you are portraying yourself as sly and ambiguous - a good way to lose subscribers.
At the same time, you should ensure that the unsubscribe request is actually honored and the subscribers is taken off the list immediately.
Multiple lists - If your subscribers belong to different lists, it is important that you specify which list they belong to and make sure you do not email the same subscribers repeatedly about unrelated products.
It's also important that you take the time to offer tailored e-newsletters to specific lists so that you present readers with more customized information. It's important to remember that people sign up to for newsletter because of the value perception -- more commonly known as "what's in it for me?".
If the information in your newsletter tries to cater to too many different subscriber lists then the line between being informative and junk mail becomes very blurred.
Most businesses have an e-newsletter -- regardless of whether they are a one-person business or a large corporation. Unlike posted newsletters, print publications and other hard copy methods, e-newsletters add a lot more dimension to your marketing efforts, including cost-effectiveness, timely sending, dynamic design, content, presentation and easy feedback.
Newsletters help your company touch base with both existing and potential customers -- they are not designed for long drawn out articles, but rather short, informative snippets of information that make some level of impact.
Sharpen your e-newsletter for your readers and make sure you keep optimizing it for both present and future subscribers by enhancing the sense of community and personalization.
The positive difference that an effective newsletter can make, will do wonders for your business.