Newsletters, or ezines, can be an extremely effective marketing tool for your business. It puts your name in front of your potential clients, regular clients, and peers while showing your expertise and professionalism. It's an excellent means to both market and grow your business and also show your existing clients your creative abilities.
What's an ezine? It's short for electronic magazine. It's those e-mail newsletters that you receive on a regular basis. If you are not sending one out now, seriously consider doing so. It can make a big difference in both your business and your bank account. For example, I know one life coach who sends out regular ezines. Lately she acknowledged that she started getting 30+ people signing up every day! When you think about those 30+ new potential clients a day, doesn't it make sense to utilize this as a regular part of your marketing?
Now the only drawback is to ensure your newsletter is worthy of being read. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but find I regularly only read a few upon their arrival. When I decided to create my own newsletter, one of the first things I did was to look at those newsletters I regularly read and determine what it was about them that made me want to read them. What sets them apart from the rest? One of the most important things I discovered was that they provided me with valuable information to help me in my business. They often provided information I didn't already know. For example, some newsletters provide tips on search engine optimization, affiliate programs, or software shortcuts. Since I'm always looking to grow my business, this information is valuable to me. You normally have knowledge in a given field that others don't, when preparing your newsletter, think about what expert knowledge you have or can obtain that would interest your targeted market. Now that's what you want to add to your newsletter.
In writing your newsletter, keep the following points in mind:
?Know your readers and what they want.
?Ask your readers for feedback and how to improve.
?Talk to your readers. Don't just put information in your newsletter; think about that audience out there reading your newsletter. How do they feel after reading what you've prepared?
Your Writing Style
?Use short, simple sentences; keeping paragraphs short.
?Write clearly and avoid slang or profanity.
?Use humor and keep a refreshing tone to your writing.
?Keep your tone friendly, but also professional.
?Have white space between the paragraphs.
?Use small graphics whenever applicable.
?Include your logo for business recognition.
?Use bold or italics for emphasis, but don't underline.
?Use plain text. (12-14 point)
?Entice the reader with your heading to ensure they read the article.
?Headlines should be slightly larger than the other text.
?Use bold or italics and a good font, but don't use all caps.
Content of Newsletter
?Content is king! Just like on your website, it's vital to have your newsletter or ezine packed full of useful information.
?Provide articles written by you and other experts.
?Provide any new services or features you've added to your business.
?Provide links of relevant press releases, articles, other sites, etc. This gives readers more information that they can review.
?Provide case studies, facts not known, etc. Sign up for Google News so that you can get information your clients might not have seen.
?Provide a collection of valuable small business tips, testimonials, etc.
?Provide a personal message from you. Many enjoy hearing how you are doing and what's new happening in their life and business.
?Provide humorous quotations or jokes.
?Contests / Polls / Freebies / Quizzes / Games!! Let the fun begin. Why not include something that makes the reader look forward to taking a break from their busy day to read your newsletter?
The Final Step -- Proofing
?Make sure everything is 100% accurate with no typos.
?Make sure you have permission for any copyrighted material.
?Make sure if you have sources, you have credited them correctly.
Most ezines are "opt-in," which means that everyone who receives it has actually registered to receive it-they want it already. Now the only thing you need to do is provide them great information that keeps them wanting it every month.
Diana Ennen, Author: Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, Words From Home: Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business, and the Home Office Recovery Plan (co-author: Patty Gale) http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com, and http://www.publicity-VA.com