Copyright (c) 2008 Donna Gunter
Contrary to popular opinion, marketing by email newsletter is not yet dead, despite the pervasiveness of blogs and social networking. What I like best about ezines is that I have a list of people who like, know and trust me, so anytime I do something, such as offer a teleclass or a product for sale, they are a ready, willing, and responsive target market.
Several years ago when I debated about eliminating my ezine from my marketing mix and substitute a blog instead, I heard a very strong and resounding “No!” from my readers. Some people prefer to get an ezine in their email inbox on a regular basis, while others prefer to get blog feeds. I do have a blog and post my email newsletter articles there, as well, so I think I have created the best of both worlds with this marketing strategy.
Once I convince clients of the need for an email newsletter, the first question I hear is, “What do I put in the ezine?” The contents of my email newsletter have changed over the years, but over time I have discovered 3 essential components that every email newsletter publisher should include in her newsletter:
1. “Get to Know You” section. People have to know, like, trust and respect you before they’ll decide to buy anything from you. I devote the first section of my email newsletter to write a short paragraph about what’s going on in my life and my business, be that good or bad. I subscribe to several other ezines in which the publisher has a similar column, and quite frankly, it’s always the first section I read in those email newsletters. Almost always, it is this section that brings me the most comments and feedback from my subscribers. This strategy is a great way to begin to let your “voice” permeate your ezine marketing.
2. Quality, Information-Packed Article. In my early publication years, I did a slip-shod job in demonstrating my expertise by choosing only to share resources in these early editions.. While resources are helpful, the key to demonstrating your expertise is by sharing your expertise. I believe the best way to do that is to teach what you know through writing an informative article that solves a major problem experienced by your target market. I’m quite fond of “how to” articles, so most of mine are written in that format. I believe that most people search online for quality information, so the “how to” format helps my readers figure out how to implement a new strategy in their businesses.
3. Marketing Promotion. Because part of my income is derived from product sales, I feature one of my information products each week. Occasionally I may decide to feature a product that I love for which I’m an affiliate. The key here is that any affiliate products you feature should directly relate to and be used by your subscriber base. If you don’t currently have an information product, feature the service that you provide. Remember, the ultimate goal of publishing an email newsletter to make more sales, whether those are sales of your products or your services.
4. Optional: Resource Section. I’m an information junkie and collect info about useful online resources and services like a kid collects video games. Because I know that many of my readers have the same problems that I have in my business, I share a resource gem each week with them to help them better manage their businesses or their lives.
I also include a promotion about new posts in my blog to my ezine readers (these are posts appearing exclusively in the blog, not what they have previously read in the email newsletter). as well as an overview of what’s new on my membership website. When I’m speaking at an event or hosting a teleclass, I create an Upcoming Events section to inform my readers of these noteworthy events.
Your ezine can be as short or long as you wish, but generally it should take no more than 5 minutes to read. If you incorporate these 3 essential components into your ezine marketing, you will see your product and service sales steadily increase.