Recently I was approached by CWAHM (www.cwham.com) to put together an article on effective newsletters. Newsletters are a key component of many marketing campaigns and though in recent years they’ve evolved from paper format to electronic, the basic tenets remain the same. With an effective newsletter you can increase your client list and establish yourself as a ‘go-to’ expert that people can trust.
Your Mailing List:
If you don’t yet have a database or mailing list or you’re just trying to grow the one you have, here are a few ideas to consider.
Always have a link on your website. When people come to your website they are seeking information. A newsletter sign up is a perfect way for them to continue to receive information. Have a clear visible sign up and make sure people know that a newsletter is available.
Also, don’t be afraid to use social media to increase your database. Places like Facebook, Twitter and yes, Myspace, are viable means of reaching out to potential clients.
Is your newsletter visually balanced?
Once you’ve increased your mailing list and are ready to put together your newsletter, check your layout. On first glance is your layout evenly balanced with text and graphics? This is a fine line to walk these days. People are busy and they donâ€™t want to get bogged down in too much text and information but at the same time, theyâ€™ll quickly toss â€˜fluffâ€™. Make sure that the graphics highlight your content and donâ€™t pull attention away from your message but also that you donâ€™t overburden your reader with too much text. Make sure you have solid content balanced with eye pleasing graphics.
Share your expertise!
When you write your articles, think of ways that you can make yourself and your newsletter a more valuable resource to your readers. Include content that they can apply to their business, workday or home life immediately. The more youâ€™re able to accomplish this, the more youâ€™ll be able to position yourself in their lives as their â€˜go-toâ€™ expert. Your readers will come to rely on you and trust your advice and opinions. This is invaluable when it comes to marketing your products or services!
Timing is key!
Once you’ve built that database and have a solid actionable newsletter, timing is critical to ensuring that your newsletter doesn’t get tossed in the virtual trash can! Have you ever heard the joke that you should never buy a car that was built on a Monday or a Friday? This is true of newsletters as well. Timing is critical when sending out your newsletter. On Monday mornings, what is the first thing that most people do when arriving at the office? Most likely, theyâ€™ll turn on their computer and begin to sort through their email. Those of us who do this also know that on Monday mornings, you have an entire weekendâ€™s spam emails to delete. In an effort to â€˜clean outâ€™ their inboxes, most people will hit delete much more quickly while filtering through their spam emails than if they were to receive your email during the day. Friday, thereâ€™s a whole different aspect to consider. More often than not on Fridays people are more likely to take the afternoon off or be rushing through their projects so they can clear their desks for the weekend.
The easiest way to be sure that youâ€™re hitting at an appropriate time is to make sure youâ€™re sending on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and time it to arrive during business hours in all the time zones that are relevant to your database. In the same way that people are more likely to hit delete on Mondays, theyâ€™ll also be more likely to delete first thing in the morning if itâ€™s arrived during the overnight hours.