How To Write A Great Newsletter… That Doesn't End Up In The Spam Bin

submit   January 24, 2012   Comments Off on How To Write A Great Newsletter… That Doesn't End Up In The Spam Bin

Most marketers have no idea about how to write a great newsletter. I have found that most of the newsletters that I receive in my mailbox are solely focused on selling and manipulating me to buy their stuff. Some are more aggressive than others, but very few come across as offering genuinely useful information. With the average person receiving a lot of emails each day, email marketing needs to be done strategically to motivate people to even bother opening the emails in the first place. Email was a novelty in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but that novelty has well and truly worn off now. As marketers we have to give the person a good reason to read our emails. Here are my top 7 tips to write a great newsletter that people actually look forward to receiving in their inbox. 1. Focus on solving your target markets problems, not selling to them. Your newsletter must be based on solving the problems of your target market, and enhancing their lives. Otherwise, no one will want to read it. If you write a series of follow up messages that are purely advertising and self promotion, people will either mark you as spam or unsubscribe. There is absolutely no point in doing this because you very rarely achieve your desired end result with this strategy. Study what are the recurring problems of your audience and write content that they want to read. Your first job is to build trust, get people interested and to be perceived as an expert. Once you have achieved this, then you can start thinking about how you can sell to them. 2. Write high quality content on a blog and use this content for your follow up email messages. In my opinion the best strategy is to write great content on a blog, and to then recycle this content for your newsletter. To do this simply include the first couple of paragraphs in the email as a teaser, and then ask them to “Click Here” to read the rest of the article. When they click on this link it should take them straight to the relevant blog post, so they can continue reading. Once the subscriber is on your blog there is a very good chance that they will want to look around your blog if the content is really good, and read other articles that you have written as well. And if you have recommended products on the blog, they may even buy some of these products. 3. Send them emails on a regular consistent basis. There is no point sending out 5 emails in the first week to your subscribers, and then waiting a month to send them your next message. The point here is to get the right balance so that people don’t forget who you are, but at the same time they don’t get sick of seeing you in their inbox. As a general rule you should be sending out an email at least once or twice a week to your subscribers. Personally I do it daily, and then publish the email on my blog to get extra mileage out of it. Aim to build a solid relationship with your subscribers over a long period. Remember, they are real people not just numbers on your list. If you give them the impression that all you are intrerested in is selling them stuff, they won’t hang around. 4. Ask them what they are having trouble with, and how you could help them. Its a great idea to get feedback for two reasons. a) you get new ideas to write about (and you already know that people want to read) b) your subscribers are grateful for the useful advice This is one of the best ways to get into the heads of your subscribers, instead of just guessing what they may be thinking. You could even invite them to participate in a survey, and use this feedback to create information products to sell to them. 5. Encourage interaction and connect with your subscribers. Treat your subscribers with respect and be friendly with them. So many marketers in our industry think that they are too good to answer peoples emails. I know that some of the big celebrity marketers get bombarded with hundreds of emails per day, but they are missing out by not interacting with their followers. If you get people replying to your newsletter asking you a question, then you should really be aiming to answer them. The same goes for comments on a blog. I think it is rude if the owner of a blog does not reply to a comment, and gives the impression that the blogger does not care about their readers. 6. Only recommend products that you know are high quality and will be useful to your subscribers. This is the key to actually making money online the smart way. Instead of acting like a dodgy car salesman, why not recommend products that you use personally and endorse, and in turn earn affiliate commissions from them. No one does this better than Pat Flynn from Pat delivers unbelievable content on his blog and his podcasts, all for free. He also recommends awesome products to his readers and subscribers. And by doing it this way he makes a fortune on complete auto pilot. Or, if you have your own products, promote these on a regular basis (assuming that they are good products). If you have a product that solves a problem for people, then it is your duty to get your product in front of these people. 7. Segment your list and send out different broadcast messages to different groups of people. Sometimes you will want to send out broadcast messages, as well as the automated follow up messages that you have set up. Broadcast messages are basically “one off messages” that get sent out a particular date. But in a lot of cases your message is not suited to certain groups of people on your list. For example, if you wanted to send out a message to people that know you really well and are existing customers of yours, you would not want to send this out to people that have just joined your list last week. Or if you wanted to send out a message to people that don’t know you very well yet, then you don’t want this message going to people that have been on your list for years. The way to do this is to create segments by filtering out certain fields in your email database, and to then only send out the relevant message to that particular segment. Most people never bother to do list segmentation and just send out all sorts of different messages to their entire list, and this just creates confusion in some cases with your subscribers. Often they may wonder why you have sent them the broadcast message, because they don’t understand what you are talking about. Just do a Google search on list segmentation to learn how to do this with your list.