The last issue of eNewsletter Journal (eNJ) went out this week. We’re not quitting, but rather transitioning the newsletter to eFocus Journal (eFJ). eFJ has everything eNJ had and more. The more being customization and content.
One of the bigger themes of Web 2.0 is interactivity. Putting the control in the user’s hands. eFJ lets users choose what content they want to receive and we’ll continue expanding on this we’re still tweaking the newsletter and its functionality.
Help Potential Customers Remember You
Email newsletters offer an easy way to build relationships with clients and prospects while keeping your business in front of them. I’ve had people ask me, “Do you know someone who… ?” and I go blank. I’m sure I know someone who can do the job they’re asking about, but it doesn’t always come to me. Newsletters work the same way — they go to customers and prospects so they can think of the company when someone needs something.
Successful newsletters aim to provide valuable content that readers can use. Too many lousy newsletters have sales speak all over the page and readers struggle to find any content of value to them. A business isn’t going to make sales until its readers get to know the company and come to trust the company. Joan Stewart of Publicity Hound gets this. As a result, she’s making $10,000 a week (according to the August 15 issue of her newsletter).
The big number surprises me, but the fact it’s her… does not. I couldn’t do what she does — send out an email newsletter (ezine, enewsletter… ) packed solid with information readers can use to improve their publicity efforts. She works on each issue for about eight hours.
Every issue contains at least three original articles, “Help This Hound” advice column (readers write in with a problem or challenge, and readers and Stewart respond — the responses appear in the next issue), and a “Hound Joke of the Week.” Stewart’s newsletter is one of the few I recommend when people ask.
Introductions and Building the Relationship
Book Yourself Solid and marketing experts believe an email newsletter is the most effective tool for publicity, earning credibility and trust and building relationships. A newsletter goes out to many people at one time — so the few hours it takes to create one easily pays off with one client or project.
People don’t get married the first time they meet someone (except for a few rare instances). So why should businesses expect to land a client without getting to know each other first?
Start with a Small Offer
Having promotions and ads in a newsletter is OK as long as it takes up no more than 20 percent of the space. 80-20. 80 percent valuable content; 20 percent sales. A newsletter is also a good place to start with a small offer — could be free or low-priced. As a reader takes advantage of the offer and enjoys its benefits, the trust grows and he is willing to invest into a bigger product or service.
For example, a business leads a prospect to its web site where the prospect could sign up for a free newsletter (offer #1 — free). The business could set up an autoresponder that sends an email as soon as the prospect signs up and confirms a subscription. This email contains a surprise such as a a free report, white paper or some other beneficial document.
The newsletter begins building the relationship between publisher and reader. InternetVIZ offers a free (no obligation, no catch) prototype newsletter. This is the company’s way of demonstrating its expertise and what it can do while giving the prospect something in return. It could be a email course, report, ebook… anything your imagination might think of.
What about those who don’t want any more email newsletters? Simply provide the newsletter’s content with a feed and link to it from the web site.
My first issue as co-editor of Professional Service Journal went out this week, too. The feature talks about the ingredients found in a successful newsletter.