In the A-Z of Marketing – E is for Email Newsletters

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In the A-Z of Marketing – E is for Email Newsletters

Way back in about 2005 I started sending out an email newsletter every month. Scribbles has been published on the third Wednesday of the month since then without fail. Two years later people started telling me that email newsletters are dead and that they’re not an effective way of promoting a service business.

In the middle of 2017 I sent out a regular issue of Scribbles. A couple of days later, a former client replied to the email, asking me if we could get together to talk about me doing his marketing for him. We had last worked for his previous business about 10 years ago; I hadn’t seen him for nearly 6 years. But Scribbles did its job of keeping us in touch and reminding him to contact me when he was ready for help again.

This is just the most recent example that I have of how email newsletters continue to work. I have many more examples from Appletree and our clients, for whom we write and publish email newsletters. But I also see too many email newsletters done badly, that could lead you to believe that they don’t work. Here are a few pointers to help you to get your newsletter right.

Newsletter Know How

  • Planning ahead. If you sit down to write a newsletter with no idea what you’re going to write about and a publication deadline looming, then you won’t write your best copy. Take the time to plan out at least the next three monthly issues; six or twelve months is even better. Plan out a series or a range of topics that you want to write about, that are all linked to what you specialise in doing in your business. Brainstorm a number of topics that you can write about, or a series that you can develop. Ask your clients what they would like to read about to give you some ideas. This way you will be able to deliver a consistent message in your marketing, rather than rambling.
  • Make it useful. The newsletters that give others a bad name are the ones that just try to sell to you. When you’re a coach, consultant or trainer, no one is going to buy from a sales email. They need proof that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re an expert in your field. One of the best ways of doing this is by writing articles that provide helpful, practical advice that your readers can put into practice. I wrote more about the power of Content when marketing your service business in this blog.
  • Stick to your schedule. Scribbles is published on the third Wednesday of every month (except December when I might send it out a week early) regardless of what’s happening. If I know that I’m going to be away on the third Wednesday, then I make sure that Scribbles in written, proof read, loaded and tested in advance, so that it can be published on time. You don’t have to write a newsletter every month – you could write every six or eight weeks – but whatever frequency you decide on, you need to stick to it. Set your schedule, plan when you’re going to write each issue and when you’ll publish it. Having a plan for your topics will really help you to keep to your schedule too.

The one thing that seems to stop most people from writing a regular newsletter is now knowing what to write about. “I can’t come up with enough ideas or topics,” is a phrase I hear all the time. For some reason I find it very easy to come up with ideas – the rest of 2018 is already planned out – and I do this all the time for my clients. If you’re stuck for ideas, do get in touch and we can see how quickly I can come up with some ideas for you. Just click here to email me or call me on 01635 578 500.

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