By Ann Pruitt, Associate, 60 Second Communications
Here's what you'll learn in this article:
1. How to make your eNewsletter content worth reading
The whole purpose of a newsletter is to establish or enhance a relationship between you and your customers based on trusted content. So grab this chance to drive your customers to your website, and ultimately your product or service! With thanks to Lyris's Guru’s Guide to Email Marketing Success, here are 20 tips that will help get ‘em, and keep ‘em.
1) Establish Opt-In Page Expectations: Start with the opt-in process by giving the prospective subscriber realistic expectations. Describe in a sentence or two the content and value of the newsletter. Provide links to previous newsletters so they can check them out.
2) Identify and Stick to an Editorial Focus: Get to the core and stay there so your audience will make your newsletter one of their must-reads.
3) Establish Regular Columns and Features: Recipients learn what to expect and you get to plan and develop a focus. This creates value.
4) Include a Table of Contents: This gives readers a sense of what the issue is about. Provide links to the articles from this section, which should be at the top of the newsletter.
5) Use Short Teaser Articles: For articles longer than three of four paragraphs, use “teaser” intros to get the readers to click through to the article on the website. This also helps you track which articles are of most interest while making it easy for the readers to get to what they want.
6) Use Sidebars: Use sidebar columns and boxes for information that isn’t the primary content focus of the newsletter, but for items that support and promote. Links, news, quotations, etc. work well in the sidebars.
7) Have a Personality: It’s OK to have a personality in your newsletter. It gives some sense of humanity behind the newsletter. Have someone as an editorial face and allow them to interject their own flavor. Personality abounds here at 60 Second Marketer. We’re funny. Just ask us.
8) Provide Tips and Best Practices: Actionable, easy tips. People love ‘em. You’re reading this, aren’t you? You’ve got some in your mind that you could share with your readers, we’ll bet. Go get ‘em, tiger!
9) Provide Industry Benchmarking and Statistics: These give your readers a sense of where they are in the industry, and they’ll want to come back for next month’s statistics.
10) Include FAQs/Ask the Expert: You can establish your expertise while getting your readers involved, all in one step.
11) Submit Case Studies: Practical examples of success always interest a reader.
12) Use Click-Through Stats to Refine Editorial Focus: Continuously monitor the articles and types of columns that are getting the most clicks, then refine your focus.
13) Monitor Web Analytics: Statistics in school wasn’t very fun, but when it applies to your website, and see what articles and content are most visited, you can focus a little more on your editorial side of the newsletter.
14) Conduct Reader Surveys: At least annually, get reader input on what they think about your newsletter. Use other surveys on specific topics to determine future articles.
15) Ask Sales and Support: Get the people in your company who deal directly with the customer to give you input on content. They oughtta know what the customer wants!
16) Read Competitors and Industry Newsletters: Base your future articles on ones they have. We at 60 Second Marketer scour the industry for hot topics, and bring the best to you.
17) Remember, the Subject Line is Key: You don’t have to use the same words as the article title. Think newspaper headline style, and create a line that will stand out in the inbox.
18) Use Subtle Self Promotion: Subtle but supporting references to your company, product, or service are in order here. It won’t seem out of place if done well. Follow this link, 60 Second Marketer E-Newsletter , to sign up for the 60 Second Marketer newsletter and see how we do it….
19) Provide a Place for Feedback: Allow readers to send feedback on articles, as well as suggestions for future articles.
20) Solicit Partner/Customer/Expert Articles: This generates greater interest and value beyond your company’s self promotion. (Added note: these partners in turn can promote you on their website!)
The team here at 60 Second Marketer would like to apply item 18 above:
Use Shameless Subtle Self Promotion: Are you a subscriber to 60 Second Marketer E-Newsletter? We try to apply these above principles, and we provide all types of marketing industry information (such as this article) So come check us out. You might even like to Opt-In. We’d love to have you!
Ann Pruitt is an Associate at 60 Second Communications and has a spent her career training business professionals how to enhance and grow their careers. She wouldn't tell you this herself, so we'll do it for you -- she has two, count 'em two, Masters Degrees, one in Management and the other in Education.