It takes time and energy to produce a newsletter that people look forward to reading, enjoy and are willing to pass on to their friends and colleagues. Before you make this commitment, you should have a mission for the newsletter and a plan for creating it on a regular basis. A newsletter can be promotional or marketing oriented, informative or relationship building. Regardless of the mission you choose, you should let the reader know your intentions about the direction of the publication and stick to that plan.
If you promise news and information don’t bore the reader with sales promotions. If, on the other hand, the plan is to send out a relationship-building newsletter 11 months of the year and then publish a promotional one come spring, let readers know it’s coming.
News can also be promotional. Do you have a new service or product coming to market, or a seasonal item? Then it makes sense to publish the newsletter at that appropriate time. You can also use the newsletter to build relationships with clients. For example, if calls are coming in about specific problems with a product, then discuss the problem and solution in the upcoming newsletter. Another way to pique readers’ interest is to write two- and three-part stories. It’s a good way to keep people coming back for more, and sometimes information just cannot be crammed into one issue.
Consistency is important. A good approach is to start out slowly with your newsletter. Make sure that you set aside adequate time to produce the newsletter and to tweak it. Perhaps start with a quarterly newsletter and then move to bimonthly. People rarely complain about receiving useful news too often.
One of the best advantages email newsletters have over printed newsletters is metrics. When you mail a paper newsletter, it’s impossible to find out if it went straight into the recycle bin or if the recipient loved it so much they photocopied it and passed it on to numerous friends. Email newsletter services, however, offer many useful metrics. You can find out how many people received the email, how many “bounced” because of a bad email address, how many people opened the newsletter, how many forwarded it to friends, and more. These services also handle your unsubscribe requests, ensuring you are following the law when people request to opt out of your newsletter.
There are many email newsletter providers, as listed below. Each of them have different pricing levels and offer many different choices such as newsletter templates, custom design services and more.
Email Newsletter Providers
- Contant Contact
- Vertical Response
Do you have a preferred company or some helpful tips to create a useful newsletter? We would love to hear about your newsletter experiences-feel free to leave us a comment!