Yesterday, I wrote about the power of newsletters, but how can you ensure that people actually read your newsletter? Here are a few tips.
- Provide something of value. Your readers subscribed for a reason. Now it’s your time to shine. Provide them with consistently high-quality content. Give them something that will actually help them in their lives or businesses.
- Be interesting. Think before you post. Would you want to read this? Will it capture their attention and make them want to continue reading? Don’t be bland. Provide helpful information that your readers will actually look forward to receiving.
- Be personal. You don’t have to disclose personal details about your life, but it’s helpful to have a more personal conversation. Pretend you’re putting this newsletter together for your friend. Think about a particular (preferably your ideal) client as you compose your articles. Act like you’re having a face-to-face conversation with him or her.
- Take an interest. If you’re not in the mood to put together a newsletter, don’t do it, or at least step back and check your attitude before you begin. Remember that people actually subscribe to it and may even look forward to it. Remember that this will help your business and help you build better connections with your followers. Take an active interest in providing a high-quality newsletter with each and every issue.
- Don’t be too “sales-y.” While you definitely want to take the opportunity to let them know about your products and services or any special promotions you’re running, you don’t want to go overboard.Keep a balance between content and promoting yourself. Think in terms of ratios, maybe 80 percent content to 20 percent promotion.
- Be a resource. Provide links to other articles, videos and podcasts that are relevant to your audience. Devote an entire section to resources that might help them in their businesses.
- Don’t make it too long. Try to limit your newsletters to no more than five or six articles. Otherwise, your readers will likely skip around and not read every section.
- Provide a consistent format. Think about regular columns or sections you could provide in each issue of your newsletter. The more consistent you are with your format, the more likely that your subscribers will start to anticipate it and look for those sections, kind of like their favorite magazine columns or newsletter sections.
- Try to get them to act. Be sure to provide some special discount or offer to your readers that encourages them to take action, whether that’s to refer a friend or make a purchase.
- Ask for feedback. Every once in a while, ask readers how you’re doing. See if there’s any way you could improve the newsletter so that it’s more helpful to them. Remember that comments and replies are a good way of gauging the effectiveness of your message as well.
- Be consistent. Stick to a regular schedule. I like to send my newsletters on the third Wednesday of each month. That way, I know there’s no chance the date will fall on a weekend (like if I did them on the 1st of each month, for instance), I provide myself a few weekdays’ cushion to get it done (and it’s not on a Friday, when I’m wanting to get out the door), and it’s easy for me and my readers to remember.
Newsletters can be an effective way to maintain and build relationships with your customers and prospects. You just have to be consistent in providing valuable content on a very regular basis. If you do, you’re guaranteed to get quality face time with people who want to hear your message and are already interested in doing business with you.
How do you ensure that you maintain a high-quality newsletter? What regular features do you include to keep readers interested?
Image from Flickr by by Jolante