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5 Secrets to Creating an Email Newsletter That Gets Results
At almost every meeting I attend in my city, I get really positive feedback about my email newsletter, Work Smarter, Make More, http://www.worksmartermakemore.com . People generally tell me they love it, or they ask some question about something I've written about in a previous issue. All in all, it's pretty cool--I kinda feel like a celebrity!
In everything that I do, my goal and my focus is to get subscribers to my newsletter. I'm not trying to sell them a coaching program, nor am I trying to get them to buy some product. I just want them to get my weekly email newsletter. That's it. Just get a little dose of Donna on a weekly basis (pun fully intended).
My rationale behind this comes from my philosophy that people have to know, like, trust and respect you before they'll decide to buy anything from you. I've finally acknowledged and embraced that I'm a pretty good writer and have decided to lead with that gift and use that as my marketing tool for my business.
Back in 2003, I decided that I made some serious changes to how I published my email newsletter, and I'm now starting to see the results of the writing I do each week. The results include readers calling or emailing me for coaching, to sign up for a program, to sit in on a teleclass, or to form a strategic alliance with them. Just exactly what I'd hope would happen!
Here are the five secrets to newsletter publishing that I learned through the "school of hard knocks" that have helped successfully market my business through email newsletter publishing:
1. Publish consistently on a weekly basis. I initially published my newsletter on a not-so-regular basis initially because I didn't see my newsletter as a serious marketing tool (silly me!). I then went to a regular monthly publication about a year later and then to a twice-a-month publication, and finally ended up publishing weekly in 2003 Now, if I miss a week, I'll get a couple of emails wanting to know what happened and where the newsletter is.
2. Let your "voice" permeate your newsletter. My first newsletters had some great resources that a busy business owner would find helpful in the management of his/her business. The only thing about me was a short paragraph about my business at the end of the newsletter. What I realized was that the newsletters to which I best responded were those in which I got to know the writer and liked what s/he had to say. Resources were great, but lessons through personal experiences were incredibly more valuable and were the things that I remembered about the newsletter. I definitely put more "me" into my weekly newsletter now.
3. Show how you can help clients resolve problems. I could just kick myself for letting almost 3 years slip away by doing such a slip-shod job in demonstrating my expertise. Again, resources are useful, but stories of what I'm experiencing or what clients have experienced in their businesses and decisions that have been made to change the way we're doing business are much more helpful to my readers. Hence, in every newsletter, there's now a "Business Gym" article in each issue to help my readers run a better business.
4. Set aside time to write your newsletter. Finding space in my calendar to set aside time on a weekly basis exclusively for this marketing activity isn't always easy. There are many times I want to fill that time with "profit generating" activities (i.e. work with clients) rather than holding onto this time as a business development activity. Since I now publish weekly, it takes me about 2 hours to write the main article for the newsletter. I now set aside time from 9 AM – noon each Wed. morning and knock out the newsletter copy. Some weeks the process flows more easily than others.
5. Repackage and re-purpose your articles. One of my primary motivations now for doing my newsletter is that I've now got a personal article bank of roughly 50 articles that I can reuse, tweak or re-pupose when I need to. I submit my newsletter article each week to various online article banks through an article distribution service, place it on my website, and have it available to use to create a special ebook or report that I can sell as another income stream, or re-purpose as a special report for a give-away on my website.
What I’ve now discovered is that by having this client “reservoir” in place (my email newsletter subscribers that I go out and “tickle” on a weekly basis), my marketing has gotten so much easier. On a regular basis one of my readers will wake up and decide that they've had enough and can’t do it this way any longer and decide to hire me.
If you don't currently have a newsletter in place that permits you to reach out and "touch" potential clients regularly, I encourage you to start one. I realize that not everyone likes nor enjoys writing. Perhaps there's someone you can team up with who could ghostwrite for you based on some conversations you've had or on some training or other kinds of workshops you deliver. If you currently have an email newsletter, pay more attention to its care and feeding so that it grows a healthy prospective client base for you. It'll be one of the best investments you'll make for your business.
Copyright 2005 Donna Gunter
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