Newsletters, or ezines, can be extremely effective marketing tools for your business. They put your name in front of your potential clients, regular clients, and peers while showing your expertise and professionalism. They are an excellent means to both market and grow your business and also show your existing clients your creative abilities.
Now the only drawback is to ensure your newsletter is worthy of being read. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but find I regularly only read a few upon their arrival. When I decided to create my own newsletter, one of the first things I did was to look at those newsletters I regularly read and determine what it was about them that made me want to read them. What sets them apart from the rest?
One of the most important things I discovered was that they provided me with valuable information to help me in my business and which in turn helped me make a greater profit. They often provided information I didn’t already know. For example, some newsletters provided tips on search engine optimization, new affiliate programs, PR resources, or software shortcuts. Since I’m always looking to grow my business, this information is valuable to me. You normally have knowledge in a given field that others don’t. When preparing your newsletter, think about what expert knowledge you have or can obtain that would interest your targeted market. Now that’s what you want to add to your newsletter.
In writing your newsletter, keep the following points in mind:
*Know your readers and what they want.
*Ask your readers for feedback and how to improve.
*Talk to your readers. Don’t just put information in your newsletter, think about that audience out there reading your newsletter. How do they feel after reading what you’ve prepared?
Your Writing Style
*Use short, simple sentences; keeping paragraphs short.
*Write clearly and avoid slang or profanity.
*Use humor and keep a refreshing tone to your writing.
In keeping your tone friendly, also keep it professional.
*Have white space between the paragraphs.
*Use small graphics whenever applicable.
*Include your logo for business recognition.
*Use plain text. (12-14 point)
*Entice the reader with your heading to ensure they read the article. Most people decide whether they will even read the article from the heading.
*Headlines should be slightly larger than the other text.
*Use bold or italics and a good font, but don’t use all caps.
*Make sure that the heading and article talk about the same topic. It’s great to have an awesome heading, but if your article is on something else, you lose the edge you just gained.
Content of Newsletter
*Content is king! Just like on your website, it’s vital to have your newsletter or ezine packed full of useful information.
*Provide articles written by you and other experts.
*Provide any new services or features you’ve added to your business.
*Provide links of relevant press releases, articles, other sites, etc. This gives readers more information that they can review.
*Provide case studies, facts not known, etc. Sign up for Google News so that you can get information your clients might not have seen.
*Provide a collection of valuable small business tips, testimonials, etc.
*When providing your tips, list them such as this: The top ten reasons to …
*Provide a personal message from you. Many enjoy hearing how you are doing and what’s new happening in their life and business. Just don’t’ go overboard.
*Provide humorous quotations or jokes.
*Contests / Polls / Freebies / Quizzes / Games!! Let the fun begin. Why not include something that makes the reader look forward to taking a break from their busy day to read your newsletter?
*If you want to make money with your newsletter – put in ads or Google Adsense.
The Final Step — Proofing
*Make sure everything is 100% accurate with no typos.
*Make sure you have permission for any copyrighted material.
*Make sure if you have sources, you have credited them correctly.
*Make sure that what is about to go out reflects your business well.
Most ezines are “opt-in,” which means that everyone who receives it has actually registered to receive it-they want it already. Now the only thing you need to do is provide them great information that keeps them wanting it every month. And once you find a winning strategy stick with it. No need to change every month. Let your readers get used to your style and way of writing.
Diana Ennen, author, publicist, book marketer and mentor. She has written numerous books on operating a home-based business including Virtual Assistant: the Series and is president of Virtual Word Publishing http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and http://www.Publicity-VA.com.