If you are wondering what to look for in an email newsletter program, you aren’t alone. There are many different done-for-you newsletter programs available, but not all are the same, which is why you should identify what qualities you want in a program before selecting.
What to look for in an email newsletter program
Not all done-for-you newsletter programs are the same, which is why it’s so important that you take the time to educate yourself on the different components of a newsletter. That way, when you are considering your options, you know what criteria are most important to you.
Some qualities/criteria you’ll want to consider include:
- Publication frequency
- Quality of content
- And other attributions, such as exclusivity and customization
Newsletter Publication Frequency
How often does the newsletter publish?
Most newsletter programs publish monthly (12 months a year). There are a few, including my Done-For-You Newsletter Program for Remodelers (DFY), that only publishes bi-monthly (6 times a year).
When you consider newsletter publication frequency, you’ll want to ask yourself if you always want to publish “stock” content, or if having content provided x times a year will allow you the flexibility (and time) to create your own content to share with your audience.
Let me explain with an example from my newsletter program.
The program I offer publishes every-other-month (six times a year) because this is the publication frequency my clients asked for. They want a newsletter program that is published consistently yet offers the flexibility to supplement with their own custom-written articles.
This is what their newsletter editorial calendar often looks like:
- January – DFY newsletter program | Tess Wittler provides
- February – HG Remodeling Content| Project Story (about the Smith’s Outdoor Living Space)
- March – DFY newsletter program| Tess Wittler provides
- April – HG Remodeling Content | CotY Award Winning Project (about the Jones’ Kitchen Remodel)
- … and so on.
When you analyze this category for your own business, don’t only think about how many issues you are getting (12 vs 6). Think about how a DFY program may just be the perfect way to supplement other content marketing initiatives you have planned, such as writing and sharing project stories.
Newsletter Program Cost
How much does the program cost per issue? And what’s the investment per year? Do you get a discount if you sign up for an annual program and pay in advance? Can you cancel at any time?
Most done-for-you newsletter programs are similarly priced, so in this category, you’ll want to look for any discounts for paying in advance, the cancellation policy and other perks, such as geographical exclusivity and customization (see below).
Newsletter Content Exclusivity
Is my competition enrolled in this program, too?
Most done-for-you newsletter programs will allow anyone into them, which could mean that your competition is also sending out the same newsletter content as you. The trade-off is that often these programs cost less – because they let more remodeling firms in.
My program is different in that it limits the number of firms in one geographical area. I do this because the content you are paying for must make an impact on your business.
If you are concerned about your competition having the same newsletter content as you, pick a program that offers some form of geographical exclusivity.
Newsletter Program Customization
Are there options to customize the newsletter content? If so, what are they?
At first glance, you may think customizing the newsletter content may be “just more work,” and technically, you are correct. It will be more work. But when given the choice, who do YOU choose to work with? A company that you have a low personal connection with or a company that you feel you know a little bit? Most of the time, you’ll decide to work with someone you know.
That’s what you want your newsletter audience to decide, too. When they are ready to remodel their home, you want them to automatically think of you because your marketing efforts have helped them develop KNOW, LIKE and TRUST toward your business.
Taking the time to customize your newsletter program content will go a long way toward connecting with the person at the other end.
How do you do this?
- Welcome Message—The welcome message is the most important part of your newsletter. It is your spot to share information about your business and your family. Read any of my newsletters and you’ll learn more about me on a personal level, not just my business.
- Photos of Your Work—Which would you rather have in your newsletter? No photos (as with many of the newsletter programs available), stock photos or your photos included issue after issue?
- Customize the Articles—Perhaps you have more to say on the topic or you want to clarify a technical reference (such as a building code) for your particular area. Do you have the ability to add or rewrite the content?
- Editing—Once you’ve made some changes to the content, will someone review and edit them for grammar and resize your photos?
If you value being able to show your own project photos and modify the content to fit your business experiences, you should consider a program that allows for customization. This is the difference between canned content and content that speaks to your expertise.
Quality of Newsletter Content/Sample Content
What does the content look like? Will there be long or short articles? Are the articles in-depth or quick tips?
Ask for article samples to see if you enjoy reading the content, and more importantly, do you think your subscribers would enjoy reading this content – issue after issue.
Admittedly, because I am a content marketer, I weigh the quality of the content (and customization – see above) higher than other categories. That’s because I know how important content is!
With so much content out there (check out these email statistics), consumers will not waste time reading content that doesn’t have substantial value. Having said that, not every article will appeal to every reader; however, most subscribers will tune canned or fluffy content out instantly – and even unsubscribe – and when that happens, you’ve lost them forever.
Newsletters are one of the best marketing tools a remodeling firm can have. They allow you to stay in touch with past customers and clients, showcase your work and expertise, grow know, like and trust with your audience and are affordable. Why more businesses don’t integrate a newsletter program into their marketing strategy is beyond me.
To recap: Not all newsletter programs are the same. Determine the qualities/criteria that are important to you first before selecting a program.
ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR EMAIL MARKETING PROGRAM OR RE-COMMIT TO IT? HERE ARE THREE WAYS I CAN HELP.
- Before the Content: How to Start an Email Newsletter—You understand the value of an email newsletter, but you struggle with where to begin. This article answers the questions you have about setting up an email newsletter.
- Newsletter Planning Session—If you want to develop a newsletter strategy that’s tailored to your business (and your needs), I can help. During this 90-minute Zoom session, we will create a concrete plan that will include:
- Length of newsletter
- Email v. Print v. Both
- Number of articles
- Types of articles
- Where that content will come from
Ultimately, at the end of this 90-minute session, you will have a solid newsletter plan.
- Done-For-You Newsletter Program for Remodelers—This is ideal if you already have a strategy and are looking for an easier, more simplified way to get your newsletter out the door—while still having the flexibility to customize your content (and editorial calendar).