If you are reading this I’m guessing that you have good client and prospect list, have always wanted to send a newsletter via email, but never seem to be able to getting around to doing it. If that’s the case I’m going to make it very easy for you.
The main purpose of a monthly newsletter is establish yourself as an expert in your field and to keep your business in the front of peoples minds so that when they need to buy your products or services they will think of you. It takes much less time, energy and resources than trying to get new customers and quite simply it must be done if you plan to be successful in business.
My suggestion is to keep the newsletter brief, informative, and useful. Use the newsletter to provide valuable information that the people on your list can use to grow their business. The easiest way to get great third party content is by using Google Alerts. Set search terms that are relevant to your clients and prospects and you will have a feed of articles delivered to your inbox at what ever interval you select. I do a monthly newsletter and it works best for me to get a weekly feed. I just read through the articles and pick the best one or two each week and save them to a folder on my desktop. Of course, I don’t use articles by competitors. I try to use known sources like Forbes, New York Times, etc. By the end of the month I have a nice collection of articles to choose from and it doesn’t take much time at all.
The other thing I do for content is simply run a couple of links back to recent blog posts and add a monthly offer. I keep it simple and don’t make it a sales pitch. I want my subscribers to look forward to the newsletter, not unsubscribe. As in everything else, put yourself in the other persons shoes. What newsletters do you look forward to getting and why? What newsletters have you unsubscribed from and why? Apply that thought process to your newsletter and you’ll have a sticky list of loyal followers. Here is a copy of my last newsletter. Take from it what you can use, and add good ideas to make it your own. In the past I’ve had people take my copy and create and broadcast the newsletter. I’m trying to show you how easy it is to do on your own the first time.
If you don’t have a blog to use for the first couple of paragraphs, you could either write some useful advice (might as well start a blog if you’re going to write anyway) or provide some company news, (compelling, not boring or bragging) or a case study featuring a new client success story etc. How about a contest? Just be yourself and be creative.
The next thing you need is an email client with the tools to put it all together. I use Mail Chimp. It’s very user friendly, fun to use, and free. There are paid options of course, but it suits my needs, has much better tracking than other paid services I’ve used in the past and did I mention, it’s free!
The first newsletter will take the most amount of time. You can save the template that you create and fill in the blanks next month. I plan to try and make each newsletter better than the last, improve the template and learn a little more about the features of the software, but that’s just me. Putting together a monthly newsletter is like anything else: it’s easy to put off because it seems like a huge task. It’s actually simple, fun and not time consuming.
Now, what are you waiting for? It’s almost next month!
by Matt Fortenbery
CEO Total Printing Solution
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