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Monday, November 9, 2009

12 Secrets of Marketing Through Newsletters

An online newsletter or Ezine can be a very effective means of promoting your business by taking advantage of the economical delivery through email. No longer do you have to think about postage and paper, but with one click of the mouse you can have your newsletter in the inboxes of thousands of subscribers. But keeping a loyal following of readers takes some planning and creativity. Below are some important tips to help you maintain a faithful subscriber base and create a successful publication.


1. Choose your newsletter name carefully. To give your newsletter a bland name such as XYZ Company Newsletter is to miss an important opportunity to brand your newsletter and make it a supporting product of your company. You should think of your newsletter as another product and give it a catchy name that tells what the newsletter is about as well. Also, be careful of giving the newsletter the name of the editor since this person may change if the company is sold, for example.

2. Provide valuable content without giving away the farm. Most likely your newsletter is a free subscription and you want to provide valuable information to your readers. What other purpose could you have for running a newsletter than to give valuable information? But at the same time if you give away everything then you can sell nothing, especially if you are in the information business.

3. Inject some personality into your newsletter. Personality doesn't belong only to the entertainment industry but very much to marketing. To be considered bland and boring is to lose your readers attention in a heartbeat. People want to be entertained even if your subject is death and taxes. This doesn't mean that your newsletter has to be 'edgy' or 'shocking' but it must create interest and hold attention.

4. Ask your readers for their preferences and opinions. The 'Dear Editor'

section of a magazine gives readers a chance to voice their own opinions. If you poll your readers to find out what they think about your newsletter in general or about one aspect of it, then you'll be better able to keep the content on target.

5. Speak the language of your target audience. Every market or group has a common jargon that helps bind and differentiate them as a group. If you use the same jargon and language as your subscribers, then you'll build community around your newsletter and they will accept you as a leader.

6. Make your promotions proportionately small compared to the normal content. A newsletter should not be a publication thinly disguised as an ad for your company. Your subscribers will soon see through this sham and unsubscribe in droves. But if you sprinkle promotions among the valuable content then you are more likely to make more sales.

7. Ask subscribers for subject ideas. Your readers opted in to receive your newsletter with certain expectations in mind. Perhaps these expectations were limited to what you promise they will get from your online publication, but they may wish that you cover some subject that you haven't shared as yet. The only way you can find out is to ask. This does not place you under any obligation to deliver, but by just asking it says that you care about your readers' needs.

8. Offer special subscriber-only promotions. Perhaps once per quarter you can offer subscriber-only specials or a free gift to say "thank you" for being a loyal subscriber. Although you may think that you are already 'giving' in every issue, remember you are trying to build a relationship that will eventually translate into more profits for your company. So lay out the red carpet and more prospects will turn into customers.

9. Pique your readers" curiosity by promoting future newsletter issues. The nightly news broadcasters are experts at this viewer engagement technique by reminding viewers about the stories that will be coming up after the commercial break. They use this strategy because it works. If you give a 'sneak peek' of topics you'll cover in upcoming issues, then subscribers will not likely forget about you.

10. Provide online access to newsletter archive. As you gain new subscribers they would want to have access to earlier issues of your online newsletter and you can also use this archive to promote your newsletter to new prospects. You are also providing valuable content for the search engines that will boost the rankings for your website.

11. Keep a record of the open and click-through rates for your emails. You may find that a certain day of the week attracts a higher readership than other days. You may also find some subject got a higher readership and all this data can help you to improve the marketing results from your newsletter.

12. Publish your newsletter in both text and HTML formats. This will give your subscribers a choice of the format they wish to receive your newsletter in. You may also choose to send a link with the HTML version of the letter in the text version for readers who want this option.

Maintaining a newsletter with fresh and valuable content takes commitment and a lot of hard work, but the rewards can be enormous for your company's visibility in its market niche.

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