Do you keep in touch with your current and previous customers? Do you keep them updated by email? Are you building an email list of your potential new customers? What about prospects that you’ve been meaning to contact?
Having your own opt-in, permission based electronic newsletter might just be answer. It is one of most effective marketing tools you can use and it is fast, personal and inexpensive.
Many businesses use email newsletters to introduce themselves to new customers and to maintain contact with existing and past clients. By sending useful and relevant information on a consistent, regular basis, you maintain constant contact without risk of irritating and alienating your customers. Your email newsletter will also enhance your credibility and increase sales.
The following article offers advice on how to produce your own newsletter. For more detailed information on how to establish credibility and build online relationships, download our guide “Building Online Relationships” here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html
Producing your newsletter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. The first thing you need to decide upon is frequency of publication. This is could be based on how much time you can devote to writing each month or possibly frequency of new offers or products you would like to extend to your potential customers. A frequency of bi-monthly to monthly has been shown to achieve best results and will probably be a comfortable pace for both you and your readers.
Next you will need to decide upon a format for your newsletter. You can use a graphical format that will allow accurate tracking of open rates, links visited, etc or a text only version that offers a higher level of deliverability. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and a more in-depth look at these can be found in our guide: “Building Online Relationships” which can found here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/book_4.html
If you wish to proceed with a graphical design you will next need to produce a template design for your layout. Many email list management companies provide online templates for their customers and with many you can also upload your own template. Once this is set up you simply type or paste in your text information online, and an HTML newsletter is automatically created for you.
Now it’s time for content of your newsletter. Concentrate on topics that your readers will be interested in and offers or product announcements that are appropriate to them.
For example, I once bought some printer ink from an online retailer that offered me opportunity to sign up for their special offers newsletter. Every month, regular as clockwork, I receive latest special offers via email. These offers not only include ink, but also other stationary items that may be appropriate. It always prompts me to check my ink supplies, along with my stocks of stationary and a whole range of other similar items before deleting it. If I didn't get that e-mail from them, I would have probably bought next batch of ink cartridges from whoever came up in an online search. And as it saves me time and because keeping these things all in one place is easier for me, they also now get my orders for stationary items as well.
Your newsletter could be product offerings and special offers mixed in with useful product reviews, or it may be a recap of what's going on in your industry or tips useful to your customers. If you aren't a writer there are often articles available for reprint in most industries. Most of these are available to use free of charge providing that you include a short bio and link back to writer’s web site. Make sure content you use has relevant value to your readers and is not just a topic that interests you. Once written, make sure you archive newsletter on your web site for additional content and make archives available for browsing. This will also improve your search engine rankings as content will be highly relevant and targeted to your customers. Having an archive will also encourage new subscribers as they find you through your articles.
Most web hosts have some mailing list capability, or you can compose and mail your newsletter in Outlook. If you intent to build a sizable list it is often best to use one of many third-party mailing services, these also take care of opting in/out process and make sure you adhere to all legal requirements.
I would recommend Vertical Response whom we have used for several years to manage our lists. They can be found here: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=EavljUFQjXk&offerid=52409.10000007&type=1&subid=0
Top Tips for successful email newsletter campaigns: Getting Subscribers: ·Do not purchase, trade or borrow an email list Sending email to people who have not specifically requested to receive your mailings (opting in) is almost always regarded as spam. You will succeed only in alienating your potential customers.
·Make signing up and un-subscribing easy and visible Add a sign-up form to your home page and if possible, somewhere on every page of your web site. You can also ask your customers whether they would like to sign up when you speak with them in person. You may want to ask subscribers only for their email address, first and last name, and one or two other questions such as their interests. This will allow you to target future mailings but not put off your prospects by being too invasive. In general, less information you require, more likely people are to sign up.