©2007 Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. & Denise Wakeman, The Blog Squadtm
In our work with clients, we often hear this question from entrepreneurs who want to leverage the Internet and start marketing online: “Should I publish a newsletter?” As part of our Customized Newsletter Services program, we have reviewed hundreds of e-newsletters, or ezines, and can spot common errors immediately.
We have found ezines that work well for attracting new clients usually have these eight key ingredients:
1. A great name that defines the topic
2. A defined audience and clear purpose
3. A compelling headline or subject line
4. Valuable information readers can use
5. A call to action
6. A customized template or plain text formatting
7. A bonus incentive for subscribing
8. CAN-SPAM Compliance and a privacy statement
You will notice that the first five ingredients refer to the actual content of the ezine; the last three elements refer to how it is delivered. Each element contributes to the overall effectiveness of a newsletter for growing your business.
First, are newsletters really necessary for a strong online marketing system?
Should You Publish an Ezine?
If you want to leverage the Internet and expand your reach to a global audience of prospects interested in your products and service, you need to regularly write and publish a newsletter. Deliver it via email and post it on your website or blog.
Most marketing experts agree that a prospect must hear from you multiple times (at least 7 to 10) before he or she develops a sense of comfort and trust to buy from or hire you. Online this is probably longer since you have to convince a prospect with your written word. Email, because it is so inexpensive and easy to deliver, is an obvious choice for stay-in-touch relationship marketing.
A newsletter, when well written with useful information will strengthen your credibility and build relationships with readers. However, email is not without frustrations and problems.
It has become more difficult to obtain opt-in confirmations for subscriptions because people are cautious of spam and inbox overload. Email deliverability can be problematic, with over-zealous spam filters stopping legitimate ezines. We are all experiencing information overload not to mention marketing-fatigue.
So, if you publish an ezine, do it right and do it smart. Only in rare cases should you not include an ezine as part of your online marketing: if you can’t write; you don’t want to expand your business and grow a list of qualified leads; you have a strong referral source in place and do not need new prospects; and you have enough business already.
Having a blog is not a reason to stop publishing an ezine. The two have different styles, and are delivered to readers in different ways. We recommend doing both and linking and referring to both.
Having an ezine that your website and blog visitors can subscribe to is an important way to build a list of qualified leads. When people are interested in learning more about your business, you have an opportunity to inform, educate and inspire them. They are on their way to becoming clients.