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By Melinda Copp
If you aren’t in the publishing business, the idea of creating, writing, editing, and distributing your own publication may feel impossible. But in the electronic age, literally every business with an email account can don the role of publisher and produce a newsletter that communicates with their clients and builds repeat sales.
Email newsletters are one of the best ways to offer advice, highlight special offers, and reveal new services you bring to your business. They encourage viral marketing when they are forwarded by readers. They establish your credibility in the marketplace, and put you ahead of the competition. Most importantly, an informative, insightful newsletter will keep your business at the top of your clients’ minds and make them want to come back again and again. But there’s more to it than sending out a monthly email.
If you want your business to reap the benefits of publishing an email newsletter, consider the following tips for creating something that your clients actually want to read.
1. Consider Your Audience
Knowing your audience and understanding what information they are interested in reading is the first key to creating a successful email newsletter, or any other publication. And knowing what your audience wants to read means you need to know who they are. If you’re targeting your clientele, consider why they come to your business in the first place. What demographic are you catering to? What are they looking for when they walk through your doors? What will make their life easier?
These factors will impact not only the content of your newsletter, but also the tone and style in which your information is presented. For example, busy moms may have different interests than vacationers, so you’ll make decisions about what to include in the letter based on your readers’ needs. Give this serious thought because your whole newsletter should reflect your understanding of your readers.
At first, you may not know if your newsletter is satisfying your readers. So always encourage feedback. Put your email address or phone number in the newsletter with a note to contact you about content ideas and other suggestions. Ask your clients when they come into the business whether or not they have been reading your newsletter, and ask them what they think. Let your clients know that you are looking for ways to improve, and they’ll let you know exactly what they want to see.
2. What to Include
The fun part of creating an email newsletter is deciding what kinds of tips and information you want to include. Some typical newsletter elements include industry news, personal anecdotes from clients, useful tips, reviews of books or websites, new employees and services at your business, articles and columns from you or other contributors, question and answer sections, upcoming events, surveys, and even promotions or special offers. Your content possibilities are endless. But again, the items you decide on should reflect your readers’ interests.
The key is to present your newsletter as a resource packed with useful information, rather than a blatant advertisement for your business. So with anything you write, especially promotional copy or descriptions of new services, describe all the benefits of what you can offer your clients, rather than touting your expertise. Many companies make the mistake of detailing their experience and reputation in attempts to win repeat clients. But this approach rarely yields the greatest results. If you want to get people interested in your business, then you need to shift your message to how your services can benefit them.
Rather than describing all the wonderful things about your business, describe all the wonderful results your clients will gain from your services. For example, if you want to sell your clients on a new facial service, then explain how much better it will make them look and feel. Or, if you have twenty years of experience, then tell them how they can rest easier knowing they are in the hands of experienced professionals. To really get people interested in your business, tell them exactly how you can improve their lives.
Once you’ve determined what items work best for your newsletter, you won’t have to start from scratch every time. If you decide to include a three or four small items in each issue, you can start looking for ideas that fit within those categories long before you actually sit down to write. And before long, the newsletter will practically write itself.
3. Be Consistent
When creating a successful email newsletter, you must pay attention to the details. And consistency plays an important role in a number of ways. First, any marketing material that you create should be grammatically correct and stylistically consistent, and your email newsletter is no different. Take time to proofread your newsletter, and let someone else check it just in case you miss something.
Another element of consistency is how frequently you publish your newsletter. A regular, monthly publication date will keep your clients’ attention without pestering them. That schedule should give you enough time to put together a winning newsletter and prevent the publication process from becoming too time consuming. Your publishing timeframe also helps build readership. If your newsletter is on target, your readers will look forward to finding it in their inbox month after month.
Creating Your Newsletter in the Future
Aside from considering your audience, clean formatting, and consistency, the most important aspect of any successful email newsletter is personality. Your newsletter should be a reflection of everything you do at your business. Essentially, you’re reaching out to your clientele and communicating with them even when they’re at home or work or wherever. So hold your newsletter to the same high standards that make your business successful.
Creating, publishing, and maintaining an email newsletter that your clients will love is a challenge, especially if you’re just starting out. And it may take you some time to develop what works for you and your readers. When you use these tips for creating an email newsletter, you give the project some direction and boost your success.
About the Author:
Melinda Copp is an editor and ghostwriter based in South Carolina. She works with her clients to create written copy that reflects their personality and professionalism. For more information about Melinda and her services, visit her online at www.MelindaWrites.com.
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