Your email newsletter is a great way to not only promote your products and services but also to engage your readers and begin to form connections that lead to lasting business relationships. The key here is to publish an email newsletter that readers will actually look forward to receiving in their inbox week after week (or month after month), instead of being just one more intrusion that goes unread, gets deleted, or, worse, causes readers to unsubscribe. The more you nourish readers with fresh, engaging content, the more loyalty they will feel toward your newsletter and your business, staying on as active readers (and potentially paying customers) for life.
But it’s not always easy scrounging up fresh content, so let’s talk about a few tried-and-true ideas to find engaging content for your email newsletter.
1. Ask readers what they want to know. I’ve done this a few different ways over the years, including sending emails that ask for their input/suggestions and inviting them to complete surveys in exchange for a free gift (like access to a special report). If you take topic ideas straight from the source, you’ll be more likely to grab their attention…and keep them reading your email newsletter.
2. Watch networking forums for hot topics. If you’re a member of online networking forums, keep an eye out for frequently asked questions in your area of expertise. Tip: After writing a content-rich answer directly on the forum, copy and paste that answer to become the basis for your newsletter article. No use re-inventing the wheel!
3. Keep your finger on social media pulses. Similarly, watch social media platforms, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to see what people are talking about.
4. Let Google alert you of new happenings. If you aren’t already signed up for Google Alerts for topics in your industry, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to stay plugged into up-to-the-minute updates that you can then pass along to your newsletter list. For example, you can create a Google Alert for the phrase “Facebook marketing” and receive instant, daily, or weekly updates on the latest news pertaining to Facebook marketing. Visit http://www.google.com/alerts to set up unlimited free Google Alerts.
5. Publish a tip of the week or month. Publishing a simple yet relevant tip on a regular basis can do three things: 1) provide helpful information to your readers in easy-to-digest chunks, 2) establish you as a flowing source of expert content, and 3) keep your name prominently displayed on readers’ radar screens. Plus, writing out a paragraph or two shouldn’t take much more than 10, 15 minutes max, while offering great returns in terms of customer interactions.
6. Inject your personality into the mix. When you’re writing, steer clear of textbook-style text (read: boring) and write instead as if you’re writing to a friend. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through! (There is a fine line here, though, as you want to be sure that you still maintain an air of professionalism and avoid offending readers. So for best results, you may want to avoid politics, offensive language, etc.)
7. Review a good book. If you’ve read any good books that might be helpful to your target market without directly competing with your solutions, offer a book review in your email newsletter. Example: if you’re a business coach who helps entrepreneurs focus on taking action to grow their business, and you read a great book that covers the steps involved in setting up an effective email marketing campaign, that book would be a great choice for you to review because it complements your service offerings in a non-competing way.
8. Offer seasonal material that relates to your prospects’ current needs. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant who takes on entrepreneur’s administrative tasks to help free their time, you might capitalize on the insanely busy holiday season by creating a newsletter article in October or November that mentions 4 ways to save time during the holidays, and one of those four tips might be hiring a virtual assistant (such as yourself, of course ) to tackle that overflowing to-do list. You might also start the article by mentioning the things that they might want to save time for, such as spending time with family, preparing for the new year, seeking out new clients to help pay for holiday expenses, etc. Get them excited by the idea of having all that extra time!
9. Keep readers on their toes. Another way to keep readers excited is to switch things up from time to time. Throw an inspirational quote into the mix or riddle readers with a brain teaser – you can even invite them to send back their answers, with an offer of a free gift (again, maybe a special report) for those who send back the correct answer. You might also list the winners in a future issue (with their permission, of course) to give them a little free publicity.
10. Interview an expert. Another way that you can engage newsletter readers is to provide them with exclusive access to an expert interview. If you’re a general marketing coach, you might interview a public relations specialist on tips for getting free publicity, for instance. Not only will readers appreciate the expert insight, but they will see you as the source of high-quality information (so be sure to choose your experts wisely!).
What if you don’t yet have an email newsletter?
Now that you have a few good ideas for publishing a regular email newsletter, you may find yourself raring to get to publishing already. But what if you don’t yet have an email newsletter of your own? Or maybe you have the basics down but could benefit from discovering how to put together email newsletter issues in 10 minutes or less, gain credibility with subscribers, and use your newsletter issues to not only connect with current subscribers but attract new subscribers as well. If you’re ready to launch and maintain your own profitable email newsletter, grab a seat in my upcoming free teleseminar, “Getting Started With Email Marketing: How to Brainstorm, Launch, and Maintain an Email Newsletter That Sells Your Products and Services With a Click of a Mouse!” Register now at http://writeassociate.com/free-teleseminar/.