Benefits of Email Marketing

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

by Michelle Keegan, Email Marketing Divaź

Email Newsletters are growing in popularity. Why? Because companies of all sizes know that offering value to their customers in the form of information is the best way to initiate, develop and solidify relationships. Whatever the size of your company, an email newsletter can help you capitalize on your most valuable asset - your existing customers, and visitors who requested information from you. (Take a look at the case study to the right.)

So, what's the secret to preventing recipients from un-subscribing, hitting the delete key, or printing your newsletter and using it to line the cage of their pet parakeet? The answer is to keep your newsletter interesting and informative. Give your readers something unique. They will keep reading and even pass your newsletter along to their friends.

Investigative Reporting

To create a good newsletter, you first need to know your target audience. Who are your most important customers, clients or prospects, and why? What is important to them?

  • Research your industry and your competition to help you understand what your customers are looking for.
  • Ask your customers about their interests and what other publications they read.
  • Subscribe to your competitor's newsletters and other newsletters featuring similar topics.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Your newsletter needs to be much more than self-serving, promotional copy if you want to be sure your subscribers will read it. Think ahead about your content and consider including:

  • Articles on topics of interest to your readers, relevant news and events. If you find an interesting article on the Web, you can easily ask the author's permission to summarize the article and link to it from your newsletter.
  • Your own commentary on articles or the issues of your industry (share both the facts and your opinion to spark discussion).
  • Case studies, success stories, testimonials or examples of how others used your product or service successfully.
  • "How-to" articles or hints and tips on related subjects.
  • A contest, discounted offer or sweepstakes. (Use a time limit to encourage immediate response).
  • Solicit material from clients and vendors, or ask your readers to write. It's a win-win! You get relevant content, and they get exposure. You can even throw in a free ad or an extended byline to encourage contributions.
  • Try a reader's poll. People love to give their opinion, and you can publish the results in your next newsletter.
  • Offer to answer reader questions, and publish the questions and the answers in your next issue.
 Email Newsletter Basics
  • Schedule your newsletter and stick to it.
  • Use a template to speed up your writing process.
  • Remember it's a newsletter, not an advertisement.
  • Have someone proof your newsletter.
  • Include a newsletter sign up in the newsletter itself.
  • Ask your subscribers to pass the newsletter along to friends.
  • Always include a:
    • table of contents
    • privacy statement
    • unsubscribe or change preferences link
    • reminder stating why they are receiving it
  • Archive your issues on your Website.
  • Use a 'Send page to a friend' feature on your archive.
  • Promptly answer every email correspondence you receive.

No news is bad news. Don't let your competition scoop you. Start your email newsletter today!

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