I heard from a couple of people last week who are thinking through that whole marketing with e-letters thing.
“Do I even want to go there? Aren’t they a huge time suck?” one said.
“There are too many of them and so few worth reading,” another friend said. “Why would I want to add to the clutter?”
I told them, yes, a good e-letter does take some time. And yes, there are too many of them. No, wait. There are too many spammy ones.
The e-mail marketing universe is crammed with dull, or downright hypey, “newsletters.” They fill inboxes with marginally helpful content that often was never requested in the first place.
Why would you want to add to that?
But, if you sent out an e-letter regularly, one that your clients couldn’t wait to read—even e-mailed you if for some reason they didn’t get their issue—well, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
How would you pull something like that off?
Rule #1: Raise Your Hand and Ask Nicely
Be the nice one, the helpful one, the one who takes your subscriber by the hand and shows her how to solve those pesky problems she has.
But before that, even, ask her permission to send it. Because it’s the only way to get a list of qualified customers. It’s called opt-in.
Whether you are an online company or are using e-mail marketing to grow the client list for your offline business, don’t even think about sending your e-letter out until you get that “yes.” Because
that would be spamming.
And don’t worry as much about the number of subscribers as the quality of your prospects.
Building your list from scratch will leave you with the people you want, the ones who are truly interested in what you are selling.
To build your list, try:
- Putting a sign-up form on different pages of your website. I personally don’t like those annoying pop-up windows, but they have been proven to increase sign-up rates, so if it’s you, go for it.
- Buying pay-per-click ads to drive traffic to a landing page. A landing page is a specific web page whose sole purpose is to explain benefits of your e-letter and ask for
- Giving something of value in return. Offer a free report, e-book, or audio as a sign-up gift. We give our subscribers a free e-book, 7 Ways To Be the Best Networker on the Planet.
- Including a link in your e-mail signature line. Example: Subscribe to our free Decorating on the Cheap e-letter and get the report, “5 Ways to Brighten a Room with Accent
- Using print pieces. Include the e-letter sign-up address on your brochures and business cards and in newspaper ads.
- Promoting in your blog posts. Tie different blog topics in with a reminder at the end of your post: For more useful information on this topic and others, sign up for our free weekly e-tips.
- Writing articles for online directories. Places like EzineArticles.com provide opportunities to establish your credibility. You can link to your e-letter in the “About the
- Cross-promoting with other like-minded businesses. If you know someone with related products or services, consider trading links in your blog posts and e-letters.
Next week, we’ll dive into what to consider when choosing your e-letter delivery provider.
For more fresh marketing ideas, click here to sign up for Marketing Hotspots, our free weekly e-tip.
And if you are in the Seattle area, watch for our free Biznik event coming in January: “Marketing with E-Letters: Give Your Readers What They Want.” You must be a Biznik member, but it’s free. Sign up here.