You want to start strong and the way to do that is to make a personal connection with your readers. While there are many ways to make that connection in each issue, your first issue is where you set up expectations about the value you'll provide. It's often the point at which subscribers choose to stay or go.
Here are some things you might want to include: Write your introduction to your ideal client.Acknowledge that this is your first issue and that you appreciate your readers' attention.Tell readers what they'll be getting and how often. Outline the benefits of staying subscribed.If you have added your customers and business contacts to your subscriber list without their express permission, acknowledge that you have done so and why you have. (For example, you might say that they have bought something from your store, or you met at a networking event.)Tell readers that it's easy to unsubscribe via the footer in this and every email.Ask for feedback and suggestions…
If your ideal client has finally found you - your website, your blog, your social profiles - you want to be strong and confident with your calls-to-action. I've written before about 'just' and 'feel free' and other wishy-washy language. It doesn't serve you well. Here's a short checklist you can use to evaluate your CTAs before publishing: Be specific. Assume you have what they want. Make it easy for them to get it. Appeal to emotions. Talk about results first. Make it about the reader's wants and needs, not yours. Whether it's an email to a colleague, a newsletter, a blog post, a landing page, or a social media post, these best practices all apply. If you've been struggling to write effective CTAs, run a trial with this checklist and see what happens. Click to Tweet this Article
You may have several goals you want to achieve by way of your newsletter (substitute website, blog and/or social media as it applies to you). Probably you want to increase sales.
Here are some other possible related goals: 'Touching' your customers, prospects and colleagues on a regular basisBuilding strong business relationshipsDeveloping your reputation and sphere of influenceSharing your valuable information, products, and servicesBeing seen as an expertGrowing your fans, followers and blog readershipKeeping up with your competition
These all may well be good reasons to have a newsletter. The ones that are most important for you will depend on what type of business you have, how long you’ve been in business, what your competitive situation is, and more.
You should be able to pick 2-3 goals to specifically focus on - then match your content to those goals. (It's simple logic, but sometimes we forget.) For example, if building your reputation is a goal, then include conten…
There seems to be some thinking that getting people to read to the bottom of a newsletter is a most desirous goal. And, if getting people to read to the bottom (read the whole newsletter) is so important, isn't putting the really good stuff at the bottom the best way to make that happen? The short answer is that it doesn't matter. Oh, the placement of content matters but whether someone reads to the bottom doesn't... at all. If you think it does, you are thinking about your newsletter strategy all wrong. It's all about your reader finding value in opening your newsletter. That value might be in the form of useful information or it might be interesting reading or both. And it definitely shouldn't be hidden away at the bottom. In fact, it should be immediately obvious. Having readers discover value in hearing from you regularly is the goal. It doesn't matter how much they read. Your readers aren't thinking, "I have to read through all this other stuff befor…
You might think it’s a good idea to use a subject line that will make people curious about what’s inside the email - a teaser. That tactic can work well if the sender is familiar. But generally, if that’s the case, there’s no need to trick people into opening. And, if that isn't the case, there better be something really amazing within the email or your reader will feel duped - not a good thing!
Consider this example: Among the many emails in my inbox every day, I found one from my local pub with the subject line ‘Open me. I’m Irish!’ The combination of the sender and the subject line meant I immediately knew they're writing to tell me about what was going on for St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps food specials and entertainment. If I was planning to g…
A wrap-up article is a logical and unique grouping of pieces of content where the grouping provides value to the reader beyond the individual pieces on their own. You might think of it like a themed gift basket.
There are several reasons we need to be creating these wrap-up articles. They... serve as a great resource - valuable information grouped togetheruse commonly searched keywords and phrases (good SEO)encourage deeper readingare often faster to createprovide a process to repurpose past contentremind us of what we've written and provide inspiration to write more
Wrap-up articles serve us better than just about any other content we might create. Of course, we have to be creating content on a regular basis to be able to wrap it up.
There are lots of different ways to group pieces of content: by topic - e.g. content idea generation, writing tipsby use - e.g. how-to, conceptual, tipsby thing - e.g. infographics, videosby user - e.g. for beginners, for expertsto conclude a series -…
In preparation for our office party this year, I wrote a poem. Then I gathered together the things I would need to have a party with Romeo and Danielle. (The Temptations were for Romeo, the phone for Danielle, and the coffee for me.)
Romeo, my cat, is used to hearing me talk out loud as I proofread and he was unusually excited about hearing the poem.
Danielle, who lives several time zones away in Saskatchewan, also works alone (and helps me out lots) so I invited her to my office party by phone. It was a good move because she's a master at rhyming words.
After much anticipation, I started to read the finished poem aloud to them. As you can see in the photos above, I had their full attention.
Ode to a Midnight Blog Silent night, late at night,I've still got my blog to write. My laptop propped up on my bed,I'm hoping ideas will fill my head. Yawns escaping, eyelids drooping,Neck is stiff, my thoughts are looping. My brain is sore, I think some moreAbout what the heck I'm doin…
Sure you're doing lots of writing, but is anyone reading it? Social media is a great way to promote your newsletter and blog to get more reading and more subscriptions. Particularly on Twitter, you could post a different call-to-action as often as daily. And with the new saved templates functionality in Hootsuite, you can create them once and then schedule regularly.
I've created this Excel spreadsheet with some newsletter promotional tweets already composed. You will need to fill in the blanks and make them your own, but it's a starting point. With a little more tweaking, you can also use these tweets to promote your blog.
Note: Keep in mind that Twitter now counts all links as 20 characters regardless of actual length.
This morning I deleted an email from a good friend and past client. I didn't realize it was from that wonderful lady because it didn't show up in my inbox from her name or her company's name. I only dug it out of my trash after deleting because the wording of the subject line seemed familiar.
My own newsletters, my blog posts and my weekly event list all go out from my own name - Linda Daley - and have for years. I absolutely know that if I suddenly changed the sender name on my emails, to say Daley Progress, my open rate would drop significantly. This is an experiment I don't need or want to try.
Personal names often do better as far as email opens go but it can depend on how well you know your subscribers. More importantly, don't switch the sender name once you're well established. You want your subscribers to re…