Ways to Improve and Make Money from Your Newsletter
Our last three newsletters have covered the hot topic of email newsletters and their importance: Keeping Your Customers Informed, How to Build Your Subscriber List, and How To Write Your Newsletter. If you're new to our newsletter or have missed out on any of these editions, to view the complete series see the link at the end of this article.
So having accepted the importance of producing an email newsletter, you've begun to establish your subscriber list and have started writing, or gathering content for it, how are you going to improve and make money from your publication? This month we are going to tackle Ways to Improve and Make Money from your Newsletter.
Getting Your Newsletter Delivered
The first issue is to make sure that your subscribers are opening your newsletters. It may sound obvious, they've subscribed to receive this free but valuable information of course they'll open and read it, right? Wrong! There's a whole host of delivery issues that can stop them.
So what should you do?
Well, you have a few options:
· Determine whether HTML is a must-have. Do your subscribers really prefer HTML in their email, or is that just what your creative department would prefer?
· If you must send HTML email, offer subscribers a choice between HTML and text only, if at all possible.
· Be absolutely sure, if you send HTML email, all CAN-SPAM compliance items, such as the opt-out link and postal address, will appear properly and in a readable format, regardless of whether the recipient reads the email with HTML rendering turned on.
· As a back up, why not add your newsletter to your web site and follow up your normal newsletter mail-out a day or two later with a short "In case you missed this months issue?" message, using plain text and including a link to your latest edition as posted on your web site.
So once you've made every effort to make sure your subscribers are receiving your newsletter, you just have to make sure they want to open it.
Getting Your Newsletter Opened
All that your subscribers will initially see in their inbox is the sender address (yours) and the subject line of the email. This tiny line of text has a powerful job to do and all without the benefit of colour, graphics, or different fonts.
Make sure your subject lines are relevant to your readers and create some sense of urgency or curiosity to encourage your readers to open them. For example used timed offers, information that is time critical or make them feel that they could be missing out on something important. For example:
"Tickets for (your event) are selling out fast. Have you got yours yet?"
"Top 10 Reasons to Attend (your event)"
"Are You Ready For (your event)"
Once your subscribers have received and opened your email, it's important you get the welcome message right.
Getting the Welcome Message Right
The welcome message contained within the first few lines of your email should support your brand and provide the reader with information about the contents of the current edition of the newsletter. It can also be a great marketing tool, an effective way to jumpstart the development of an ongoing business relationship.
As well as advising your readers what this edition is about, use this as an opportunity to point readers back to your Web site. Provide a link and a reason. A content or informational web site can discuss how frequently it's updated. If you're an e-commerce site, mention something special about your site in a feature/benefit manner to encourage them to visit now, and often in the future. Another idea is to offer an incentive. Provide a link to get a special report at no charge or offer a discount on a purchase in the near future. The goal is to get readers back to the site and into the habit of visiting regularly.
Properly planned and executed, your welcome message can serve as not only a reference point for readers but also a great sales and advertising device.
Search Engine Marketing Benefits of an Email Newsletter
An email newsletter from your company is a powerful marketing tool. We've already suggested that you archive your newsletter on your web site to aid those who lose access to it through over-zealous html filters. But you should also archive it as valuable content as not only does it position your company as a source of expert advice, but it can double as a means of building both links to your web site and onsite content, both key factors in high search engine rankings.
Increasing Quality Web Site Content
Your email newsletter archive, as it grows, creates a pool of information that's directly related to your products or services. The key words and phrases in your articles relate directly to what you sell, and as you add more pages to the archive, you increase the chances that one of the pages from your website will appear in the search engines results.
Tempt the Search Engine Robots
Search engine robots return more frequently to regularly updated pages. This means that if you update your homepage with a paragraph or two from your most recent article robots will notice and begin to crawl your front page more regularly.
These regular visits mean that search engines will become aware of other site changes too, and means that your presence in the their indices will be fresh.
Your readers will reward a consistent publication schedule and quality, solid content by increasing their open rates. Once you've got them to open your newsletter and read the content you have very opportunity to redirect them back to your web site and extend all kinds of rewards and special offers.
You could also offer to write a review of the product for the advertiser but if you are endorsing the product, make sure you have tried it out first!
Starting next month a new series: Your potential customers, who are they, where can you find them, how to turn them into customers and how to keep them coming back for more.
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