Some of you may already have an e-newsletter. However, if you don’t, you may be wondering if it’s worth it and if so, how do you get started?
It is definitely worth it. Sending a monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly e-newsletter to your subscriber list will help them think of you when they need your services. It’s another way you can add value to their life, which often leads to sales.
People like e-newsletters because it keeps them up-to-date regarding your industry. Your customers and prospects have a lot on their plate. It’s easy to miss key developments that would affect their business. For that reason, you want to help them by providing actionable information they can immediately use for success.
Where to get ideas for your e-newsletter
Look to industry magazines both online and in print to get ideas for your newsletter. For example, I read Hubspot’s blog about inbound marketing and enjoy many of their downloadable materials. One that I highly recommend is their 175-page 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report. Released at the beginning of last year, it’s full of helpful statistics about inbound marketing and the tools marketers are using to increase revenue.
Just about every industry comes out with predictions for the next year around November, December, or January of the New Year. Do a search in Google or Bing using your industry plus phrases such as “2014 trends” or “State of _______ (insert your industry).”
Your customers and prospects will be curious about your insights regarding those trends. That would be a great topic (or series of posts) for your e-newsletter.
If you work in an industry that is compliance-heavy, that would also be an excellent topic for your newsletter. If you can break it down in “easy-to-digest” pieces, you’ll be a welcome guest in their inbox!
Who are the thought leaders in your industry? You could ask them for an interview. Some of them would love to help, which would give them a larger audience. If you feel shy about asking them for an interview, you can always link to an interesting article they wrote and give your opinion.
How to do anything better
I use a lot of “how to” articles. It’s because they’re well-received. Most people want to learn how to improve their lives and their businesses. In his classic book, Tested Advertising Methods, John Caples said you can’t go wrong with a “How To” headline.
A “how to” headline will force you to write copy that tells how to do something, which is exactly what the reader wants. Cute and clever may be tempting, but a good “how to” headline will usually grab more attention. It’s a simple, straightforward method to share your expertise.
Add some personality
Your customers and prospects enjoy learning about your life, whether that means sharing a favorite recipe or your latest hobby. Such information adds a personal touch and makes your e-newsletter more interesting.
For instance, I’ve included my husband’s photographs in some newsletters. I also shared how I received a new bicycle for my birthday and how I love cycling. If you work in an office, think of some humorous stories you can share or better yet, how your office decided to volunteer as a group for a local non-profit.
Any time you can show that you or your business has heart, it’s a good thing.
Last But Not Least: Listen To Your Customer
You can find great ideas for your e-newsletter by listening to your customers. What are their struggles, frustrations, and desires? Your sales representative would be the perfect person to ask about this. Salespeople are on the front lines when it comes to getting new business and often hear about a prospect’s “wish list” regarding a product or service.
Another person who could help you pinpoint customer desires is whoever handles customer complaints. Learning what a customer wants is often not easy, but you can certainly find out what they don’t like or want by paying attention. Not only can such valuable input guide your business development, it can provide great material for your newsletter.
These are just a few ideas for developing a e-newsletter that your subscriber list will love to read. Offering helpful, practical advice and information will build trust and ultimately, build your bottom line.