This article is particularly for those people who want to communicate regularly with their readers and through this communication build up a strong relationship. If you've never considered using a newsletter or ezine to contact your prospects and suspects, then now is the time.
However, with almost every small business on the planet boasting that they have a newsletter, wouldn't it be great if there were some cheats and easy ways to use your newsletter to better effect?
If you've written newsletters for a while in the traditional "news" style, you'll know how frustrating it can be continually having to remind people what you do as you get new subscribers. In your first issue, full of enthusiasm, you might have told your readers that they can get a discount or sign up to another of your great services. However, by issue 10, you'd like to be strengthening that relationship.
The term "evergreen" when applied to articles means an article that can be read on any day in any year and still have strong meaning to the reader.
We want to make sure that everyone who signs up to our newsletter receives ALL the issues in the order that makes most sense to them and to us. So each issue is written in an "evergreen" fashion (ie nothing dates) and is set to be sent at intervals of 14 days.
A lot of articles that you read in magazines are topics that can be run again and again. These "evergreen" topics never go out of style - they never date. Here are some examples, bridal magazines use stories on planning your wedding, choosing a wedding dress, hairstyles and that all important honeymoon. Fitness magazines run articles on losing weight and exercising.
So, writing an "evergreen" newsletter means that you write all your content ahead of time and none of it can be time-sensitive.
Evergreen e-zines are brilliant and easy to do.
1. To build a relationship with your readers, to inform them and provide them with useful content that they can use straight away.
2. To sell your products / services to them
3. To build a subscriber base (encourage evangelists)
4. To make the job easy for yourself ;-) (my favourite goal - remember we're Lean Marketers(tm))
Here's how to do it: Suppose you want to publish an article every two weeks - like Champions. That means you'd have to write 26 articles in a year. You write the articles and then add them to your autoresponder with day gaps of 14 - like day 1, day 14, day 28 etc. Each reader would get a message every two weeks and new readers would start at message 1.
1. Don't include time sensitive information. Unless you have a system that can manage multiple time sensitive offers (we might look at this in a later article) then ensure any information you include will last for ever.
2. The information must still be valuable - don't think you can get away with sending rubbish out.
3. You must include a proper opt in and out link in every message. Use an automated system for this, don't waste your own time trying to manage something so tiresome!
4. Check it's being read by asking for a response. Do you remember the pipeline we talked about in issue 3 (if you want to see a picture of a pipeline send a blank email to email@example.com with "Send Me The Pipeline - I need to understand Evergreen Newsletters" in the subject line. We used this to check you were reading ;-)
5. Periodically check the system is working. Put your own email address in the automated system and read your own messages. This has a number of benefits - you get to see what your readers will see; you can make sure that the information isn't time sensitive (it can be a challenge at first!) and you get reminded of your own tips ;-)
6. Build the relationship. Take advantage of the opportunity to build a relationship, as you would in any other real world relationship, divulge a little more of yourself each time.
7. As people become more used to you and the relationship grows, expect them to start paying for your services / products. It might be a challenge to ask your prospects to part with their cash the first time your ezine pops into their email box, but over a period of time, say maybe 6 or 7 issues (by the way - this is your 7th newsletter from us) the relationship will have blossomed. This is when you can start to ask for the sale and expect results.
1. Make an outline of the articles you're going to use for the next 6 months and ensure you have a progression of relationship building.
2. Don't leave writing the newsletter to the last minute! (like I sometimes do)
3. Use software that automates the process - remember Lean Marketers(tm) use technology where appropriate. We use aweber.com
4. Can't think what to write? Then you may use some of our articles - let me know if you want to use them and I'll send you my by-line.
'Dangerous' Debbie Jenkins
(c) Copyright 2005 www.BookShaker.com
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