Veteran Hints & Tips subscribers know that I strongly
advocate the use of email newsletters to initiate, develop and
solidify relationships with prospects and customers. (If this is
"news to you", check out the
Email Marketing Hits & Tips archives!)
Whether you are in the midst of developing a newsletter, or
tinkering with the one you already have, you can benefit from
taking a look at what makes other email newsletters successful.
Check out the TimeShareValues newsletter and you will see what I
TimeShareValues.com, a leader in Internet timeshare sales,
uses online auctions like eBay to sell their timeshare
properties on the Internet. Husband and wife co-founders, Mike
and Antonette Manoske, recognized the Internet and online
auctions as perfect vehicles to successfully market vacation
timeshares at low costs. They also knew that their best
customers, especially at auction, would be the ones who
understood the concept of vacation timeshares and were prepared
to buy. The savvy duo successfully uses their email newsletter
to educate, inform and develop relationships with their
customers, and to drive traffic to their auctions.
So, what makes the TimeShareValues email newsletter so good?
The layout is clean and navigable with a table of contents
up front, an easy-to-read font and a nice balance of text,
graphics and links. Each timeshare property is presented
both visually, and descriptively. Mike and Antonette have
adopted a warm and casual tone-of-voice that is well suited
to their audience, inviting recipients to read further.
The TimeShareValues.com newsletter is a good mix of
promotional and educational material. Mike and Antonette
effectively position themselves as the experts they are by
sharing advice and providing useful information. For
example: the November issue includes a travel forecast for
2002 and a listing of the top 50 restaurants as published by
Gourmet Magazine. (I clicked on both!)
The Right Links
The TimeShareValues.com newsletter is replete with clickable
links including strong call-to action links for timeshare
auctions, and equally compelling links to various pages of
their website such as archives of past articles and their
own inexpensive "Sell Your Timeshare Yourself" instructional
program. So, the newsletter effectively drives traffic to
the TimeShareValues website, opening up additional
possibilities to convert browsers into buyers.
The Power of Viral
Good newsletters get forwarded, but it doesn't hurt to give
readers a little nudge by spelling it out, so
TimeShareValues explicitly encourages word-of-mouth
referrals and newsletter forwarding in their own friendly
way "Please tell a friend about our site, and newsletter.
They'll appreciate it, and so will we."
The Often Omitted "Must Haves"
An easy way for recipients to "Unsubscribe" is mandatory for
permission-based email marketing. TimeShareValues takes this
a step further by allowing recipients to "edit interests".
This means that recipients are able to pick and choose what
types of information they wish to receive. TimeShareValues
can then understand and segment their audience to increase
the relevancy of their communications. Also included is a
a trusted source. Finally, the "Feedback request" encourages
"We have seen our profits increase since we began our
newsletter," Mike added. Well, that pretty much says it all,
don't you think?