Continued from page 1
People don't expect to read prose on screen, and they don't want something that reads like an article from a local business journal. They want a piece of you and your expertise. As a result, most effective E-Newsletters are those that sound as if company leader is just talking; filled with all slang, run on sentences and joking around that comes out in person.
After all, E-Newsletters are simply glorified emails, and email is fundamentally a two-way conversation. The more you can write in an authentic, friendly, spoken manner, more it will feel to readers like somebody (i.e. you) is really on other end. So don't worry about something that your high school English teacher would be proud of. Focus on turning out something that breaks down walls between your company and your customers. Something real.
5. Fear That SPAM Makes It All A Waste Of Time
There's no doubt about it, SPAM has decreased effectiveness of E-Newsletters over last 12 months, and we are all much more aggressive with delete key than ever before.
But, let's put that into some perspective. A good E-Newsletter sent to your house list will still be opened by over 50% of people it's sent to. That's 5?, 10?, 50? times better (you pick) than percentage of people who read your newspaper ads; respond to your direct mail; or accept your unsolicited phone calls. The fact is, for small business owner, an E-Newsletter represents first time in history that she's ever been able to cost effectively communicate with her entire customer and prospect base over and over and over again. Not only that, but thanks to inherently democratic nature of email (i.e. big boys don't get any more space in email inbox than rest of us), an E-Newsletter gives us opportunity to not just compete with, but outperform our much larger competitors for attention of readers.
Yes, SPAM has taken some of shine off of this diamond. But make no mistake, it's still a diamond.
A Final Comment
You may be waiting to launch your E-Newsletter until everything is "just right." Until your mailing list is large enough; until you've stockpiled enough columns so you'll never run out; until you've hired that new marketing person; etc., etc.
I've got news for you. No matter how much you plan and prepare, things are going to go wrong even then. I've been midwife at birth of dozens of E-Newsletters, and every time we launch one (every time), something goes wrong. It's never same something, but it's always there. So don't worry about it, just get in game.
Three reasons: First, because cost of error online is exceedingly low. If you make a mistake -- or simply change your mind! -- you can fix it. Nothing about your newsletter need be permanent, from name to look to content. Every issue is an opportunity to start fresh.
Second, because time is your enemy. Relationship marketing (of which, your E-Newsletter is a tactic) is a long term approach. The sooner you get started reaching out to your circle of contacts, sooner you'll see results. With an E-Newsletter in particular, you lose much more by waiting than you gain by perfecting.
Third, because experience is your friend. You can do all research in world, but until you've got a living, breathing newsletter of your own, it's just a theoretical exercise. There's only so much insight to be gained intellectually; real "A-ha's" occur when you get behind wheel and drive it yourself.
Bottom Line: These five fears are common among burgeoning E-Newsletter publishers, but on closer examination, not all that daunting. Go ahead, get started with yours today!
Michael J. Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., (www.BluePenguinDevelopment.com) a Boston consulting firm that helps clients increase sales by showing them how to nurture their existing relationships, and that specializes in the development of electronic newsletters. He is author of the book, E-Newsletters That Work.