Newsletters (or ezines) are certainly not new. Yet, from time to time we’ve noticed some serious problems in how business owners implement this strategy.
So here’s a quick list of the three most common (and biggest) errors to avoid:
1. Use of Double-Opt In
This is the age of permission-based marketing. You must get this point, because it’s critical to your success (and email deliver-ability). Now, nothing irritates me (and most people) more than getting uninvited emails in my inbox WITHOUT my having asked for them. Or without being notified that I was added to someone’s mailing list.
And that includes newsletters.
If you think I’m alone on this point, think again.
Just because you met me (or anyone) at a networking event and got my business card, does NOT mean you can just start sending lots of uninvited stuff to my inbox. That does not constitute permission. Prior to sending along that newsletter, why not INVITE me to join your list?
And that’s where “double opt in” comes in.
Basically, this is a two-step procedure. First, someone either enters their name and email address on your website, or you enter their information into your list management solution. Either of these steps will generate and automatic email to the person being added to your list, alerting them that they have to “opt in” to receiver further information.
This is the permission part of your marketing efforts.
Once they confirm the request, then you are free to send them emails, info and of course, your newsletter. At least, until they choose to unsubscribe.
If you’re providing your list with good content, that should not happen.
2. No Call to Action
Okay, so let’s assume you’ve done the first part right. Now what?
You’ve gone to the trouble of adding folks to your list. And no doubt crafting your newsletter takes up a great deal of your time and energy.
After all, we’re all trying to do the same thing. Which is, growing our business by sharing our insights, experience and expertise with other people to differentiate ourselves from the competition.
Now that I’m on your list, why not include a “call to action” in each newsletter.
What’s a call to action? Just what the phrase implies.
In other words, what would you like your potential customer to do? Check out your website? Attend a talk, or tele-seminar?
In exchange for the great content you’re sharing, it’s perfectly okay (and absolutely necessary) to ask the reader to take some sort of action.
Permission based marketing is about continuing a conversation with your potential client. You’re building a relationship. And like any good relationship, it’s about give and take.
3. Including Too Much Content
One of the downsides to email marketing, and this includes newsletters (or ezines), is the fact that all that wonderful content you’re sharing with your list does nothing to help your website’s search results.
Building an online presence is about content, traffic, and conversion. Newsletters can help with traffic if you include links to your site “for more information.”
Presumably, the reader will come to your site to check out what’s going on there.
But packing each newsletter issue with tons of content does not help your site establish a larger “online footprint.” Online, content is king. Search engines just love unique content.
And so does your site visitor.
Remember this, anyone coming to YOUR site wants to find information there that’s NOT available anywhere else. And that includes your newsletter.
So, do not re-purpose content from your newsletter unless you add something of value to it. Say a new spin, update, or other point of view. Doing that will help you accomplish two goals. Maintaining contact with your list, AND helping your site get better rankings on the search engines.
4. So What Does This Mean For You?
Email marketing is about growing your list. Maintaining ONGOING communication with them. And then promoting special offers, announcing event notifications, and sharing interesting information to your list members.
To do this, and do it well, be sure to address these three issues.
You need to remember this one point. If you’re using your newsletter to convert prospective customers into paying clients, then don’t start off on the wrong foot by failing to respect the inbox of the people you meet.
Any questions? Comments? Did we hit a nerve?
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