Do you want to build deeper connections with your email list? Then, you should definitely consider sending out an e-newsletter (or sometimes called “ezine”) to your subscribers.
When you consistently send an e-newsletter to your tribe, you are building trust and authority, which will help you attract your ideal clients. (Remember, people buy from those they trust!).
In addition, an e-newsletter helps to “condition” your readers to expect high-quality content from you on a regular basis, and they’ll grow to respect your content, especially over time. It’s a great way to build strong relationships with your subscribers, allowing you to stay on their radar screens.
You may be wondering, though, how you should put together an e-newsletter. Here are some tips to help you plan and publish your e-newsletter:
#1: Find an email service provider
Finding the right email service provider for you is a bit like trying on shoes. You have to know what size you need and try it on for size. There are many email marketing vendors out there – each with its own pricing and list of features. Make sure to do your homework. While it may be tempting to go with a free option, think about how you plan on using email marketing in the future. It is much easier to start and stay with an email provider then to start and then switch providers. While a free service may help you in the short term, it can lead to aggravation and wasted time down the road.
#2: Select a template for your newsletter
Most people use a template available through their email service provider, or you can hire a designer to create a template for you. Either way, make sure it’s clean, easy to use and matches your visual identity.
#3: Think about what to include in your e-newsletter
Your ezine should be personable and informative. Here are some elements to consider including in your e-newsletter:
- A personal greeting/letter from you
- A main article
- Links to other articles that may be of interest to your readers (either written by you, or written by others)
- Your bio
- Your “As Seen In” box
- List of your events
#4: Brainstorm a list of topics
Take out a sheet of paper and brainstorm a list of 50 e-newsletter topics. Remember, it’s a brainstorm, so just get your ideas on paper. Then, cross off the topics you don’t want to do.
Your topics should be the answers to your audience’s biggest questions. Check out Quora or Yahoo Answers to see what questions people are asking. Or take a look at the keywords that people use to find your website (through Google Analytics).
#5: Decide your e-newsletter frequency and ‘send’ date
Consistency is key. If you are just starting out, it’s okay to send out your newsletter only once a month, or twice a month. Ideally, work up to once a week. This puts you in front of your ideal clients every seven days.
Some research shows that you should avoid weekends, weekday mornings (especially Mondays) and holidays. However, experiment and see what works best with your subscribers.
#6: Create an editorial calendar
Now that you have a list of topics from your brainstorming session, plug them into a calendar. Schedule time to create your e-newsletter, too. For example, my ezine goes out every Thursday, but I actually write it on Tuesdays.
Email marketing is a combination of art and science. Once you start sending your e-newsletters, pay attention to your open rates to determine how well your emails are doing. You also may want to survey your subscribers periodically to make sure they find your e-newsletter to be of high value. Experiment, practice and persevere – and your ezine will be a great addition to your marketing and tribe-building efforts.