Your Web site is live. You have registered with search engines, implemented a public relations campaign, and purchased advertising in trade journals, magazines, and newspapers. But your site’s daily visitors are still in the single digits and your sales are … well, let’s just say that early retirement is no longer an option.
It’s time to try e-mail marketing; more specifically, an e-mail newsletter. E-mail newsletters are cheap, easy to create and send, and proven to increase sales.
Of course, there are many other reasons why e-mail newsletters make good business sense. Here’s just a few of them:
- Create a marketing campaign on a shoestring budget.
- Measure the results and find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Build personal relationships with a large group of people.
- Track customer behavior and collect user information.
Starting Your E-Mail Newsletter Campaign
Before you start any type of marketing or advertising campaign, you need a plan. You don’t have to put together a 200-plus-page document outlining all your goals and objectives, but you do need to define some basics before you begin. Read more about E-Mail Marketing Basics.
At the very least, your plan should:
- Identify your audience. It’s not enough to say, “They’re people who like widgets.” Take your cue from magazine publishers. They know exactly who their target audience is, how much money they earn, what social group they fit into, and what motivates them to buy. Find out who your customers are, then tailor your newsletter around their needs and desires.
- Check out your competition. Every business has competition. Find out what they are doing by researching their product or service. What could you do better? Is there a gap in their service you can fill?
- Identify your newsletter’s purpose. What do you hope to achieve with your newsletter? Do you want to give your subscribers information about your product to help them make purchasing decisions? If so, you must first show them how it can make them smarter, healthier, wealthier, or more successful.
Do you want to position yourself as an expert in your field? Your goal here is to provide your subscribers with well-written articles that address issues in your industry. Whatever your objectives, your purpose will determine what content goes in to your newsletter.
Now you need to think about content. Here are three ways to provide your readers with fresh and relevant content:
1. Write it yourself. By far the cheapest approach is to write the content yourself. If you enjoy writing and if you have lots of ideas for content, then this may be the best option.
2. Hire writers to create your content. If you are not comfortable writing your own content, you can hire a professional writer. Many freelance writers specialize in writing newsletter articles. FreelanceWriting.com is one source for finding freelancers.
3. Use existing content. There are several online article directories, such as Ideamarketers.com, Articlecity, and EzineArticles. Articles posted on these sites are generally free as long as you include the writer’s byline.
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