As social media and blogging have grown more and more popular, there’s been some talk about the demise of the lowly email newsletter, or e-zine. Once a staple of business owners using the Internet to market and promote their businesses, it seems that lately the thinking is that they’re not so important anymore. Or, even worse, not as effective.
If you’re not familiar, an e-zine can be as simple as a plain text email with a couple of helpful tips for your readersto a HTML version with pictures, an article, listings of your upcoming events and more.
While it’s true that there is more stuff clamoring for our attention in our inboxes than ever before–and blogs and social media seem to be the more of-the-moment methods to reach out to potential customers–I still believe that an e-zine is a key marketing tool. In fact, it’s the perfect vehicle for continuing the relationship you’ve begun with people on social media sites or your blog. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Keeps you top of mind: As much as we would like to think that our prospects or our audience are always thinking of us (wouldn’t THAT be nice?), it’s unfortunately not the case. Just as a company wouldn’t run a TV commercial just once, repetition is necessary to remind people of you, your offerings and your expertise.
2) Intimacy: No, not that kind. An e-zine gives you a great opportunity to create a feeling of intimacy between yourself and your readers by sharing a bit about what is going on with you outside of your business. (Think about what you’ve been up to lately got anything to share about your recent vacation, your pets, a great book you’ve just finished?) Often people do this in a section at the beginning of their e-zine under a heading such as “A Note From” or something similar. This helps strengthen the relationship with your subscribers by giving them a glimpse into who you are.
3) Expert status: The more consistently you share information, tips and articles on the subject or niche you are most knowledgeable in, the more credibility you gain in the eyes of your readers. Perceived expertise leads to trust which leads to sales.
A few other tips for your e-zine:
Frequency: How often you send it depends on how often you can commit to doing so, (how’s that for an answer) but I recommend at a minimum twice a month and ideally, once a week. Remember, you want to stay top of mind above all else.
Subject line: Another important part of your e-zine is your subject line. Obviously you want as many people to open your e-zine as possible, so have some fun with this. Think of what would stir up curiosity in your reader and don’t be afraid to be a little provocative or a teensy bit controversial once in a while.
When to send: A common question is what day is best to send it out? There is no set answer to this, except to say that I have heard several different opinions on the matter. Tuesday through Thursday is often said to be the best time however I know others who send theirs out on Sunday and have a very good open rate as well. You may want to play around and test a couple of different days and see what your results are. No matter what day you choose, know that an open rate of 25% and above is considered good. Your email marketing service will be able to supply those stats.
If you’ve been hesitant about putting together your e-zine because you think you don’t have enough content or you don’t have a fancy-looking template, remember, simple is fine. Start with one tip. The sooner you make the commitment to communicate with your list on a regular basis, the sooner you can reap the benefits of that strengthened relationship.
No more excuses, ok?
Christine Gallagher is founder of ShesGotClients.com, a company dedicated to teaching women entrepreneurs all over the world how to use authentic relationship marketing and online strategies to attract raving fans, enroll more clients, and enjoy more income and freedom in their business, all while sharing their gifts and their message in a much bigger way.
Christine created The 6 Simple Steps to Kick Start Your Social Media Success System(TM), a real-world, step-by-step “roadmap” that teaches entrepreneurs how to consistently bring in new clients and customers using the Internet.
Through her coaching and training business, Christine helps entrepreneurs maximize their profits using an integrated social media and online marketing strategy, and teaches them how to stop trading dollars for hours by using online information marketing techniques.
Christine was recently featured as a social media marketing expert in the book Get Scrappy: A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Marketing On Less, as well as profiled as one of “16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter” by The Huffington Post. Her blog was also recently chosen as one of the top 50 small business blogs by Konector.com, and her newsletters, products, and online reach now educate and inspire over 18,000 people every month.
To get your FREE “Online Exposure Kit” and to learn more about Christine, her products, programs and courses, visit http://ShesGotClients.com