By Tess Wittler
One of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to stay in front of your prospects and customers is with an email newsletter. Email newsletters allow you to reach out and say "Hello" to your database. They also serve as a gentle reminder that, yes, you are still doing business.
Affordable. One of the reasons why email newsletters are so attractive to businesses is: they are affordable. You don’t have the cost of printing and postage associated with hard-copy newsletters (though hard-copy newsletters do certainly have a place in your marketing strategy, at times).
Informal. Email newsletters are also less formal than a regular newsletter. Because they are usually only one or two short articles, a well-written email newsletter is conversational ― meaning reading some email newsletters is like chatting with an associate over a beer.
Easy to Read. Since an email newsletter is almost always read while sitting at a computer, a well-crafted email newsletter is also written with scan-ability in mind. Short paragraphs help keep the information flowing. The use of bold fonts, colors and bullets will position important information in front of a hurried reader. Often times, the person scanning your email newsletter will actually stop and read the information because of a well-placed bolded word or phrase.
The 3 S’s
You must keep in mind three critical elements when developing your email newsletter: SPAM, SALES and SCHEDULE. The best-written email newsletter will quickly tank if you don’t take all three into consideration.
SPAM. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 says that unsolicited email campaigns need to have several items in place in order for the message not to be labeled as spam. Additionally, if you try to go "el-cheapo" and use Outlook instead of using an email newsletter service, sooner or later you’ll be flagged by your Internet provider as a SPAMMER and have a whole host of other issues to deal with. There are many email newsletter services out there (I use Constant Contact) that are affordable and help you comply with the CAN-SPAM law.
SALES. Simply put: Don’t. The most effective use of an email newsletter is to offer your readers something of value by educating them ― not by trying to sell them something. If you sell homes, don’t simply cut and paste your spec homes into an email newsletter template and hit send. Leave that job to your Realtor®. Instead, pick out a feature of your homes ― perhaps that they are built to Energy Star® specifications ― and talk about the comfort of living in an Energy Star-certified home. That’s how you build relationships with your readers.
Let me be clear. I do not condone special offers included in your email newsletter. From time to time you see them in mine. But treat them as that ― an advertisement within your email newsletter. Don’t try to "disguise" them; your readers are smart and will see right through you.
SCHEDULE. Email your newsletter at least once a month. Any less and your email schedule looks hap-hazard and your prospects forget about you. Think of your email newsletter as a subscription service ― just like a newspaper or magazine subscription. When you are consistent, your subscribers will begin to anticipate receiving your next email newsletter and, in fact, will look forward to it.
By keeping these tips in mind, over time you will see consistent results from your email newsletter.
Tess Wittler Writing Services • Giving Your Visions A Voice
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