Expecting work to flow without promoting it effectively, and allocating a budget to it, could mean that you will be disappointed with the results.
Still, there is no need to spend a fortune marketing your email newsletter and I’ve included a mix of practical and cost-effective ideas for you to try:
1. Send your email newsletter to everyone one whose email address you have
But beware of the SPAM Act – include an unsubscribe facility and do unsubscribe recipients if they request it. When I send my email newsletter, I have a disclaimer in both the editorial and the newsletter saying that they have received it because they are a friend, supporter, or someone who gave me their business card. My email newsletter is an opt-out one, where everyone who contacts me, or gives me a business card is added to my list.
2. Add the URL to your email signature
Your email signature block is an easy way to promote your email newsletter. Get creative, and think of a tag line to pique interest.
3. Promoting your email newsletter by talking about it
Talking about your email newsletter – as you would any other business service or product – increases awareness and interest. Ask for the email address of the person or people you are talking to and get their permission to subscribe them. For example, if I am presenting to a group, I talk about my email newsletter, add it as a customer benefit to promotional material and I have hard copies available to hand out as samples.
4. Use incentives
People may need to be persuaded to subscribe or sign-up. After all, it is human nature to think: what’s in it for me? Your incentive should be targeted to your market to be effective, for example “Subscribe and you could win an iPod or a Play Station” for a younger audience, or “Subscribe and each person receives an Instant Scratchie” for an older audience. Trying using your own products as a double-dip promotion strategy!
5. Promoting your email newsletter by advertising
Knowing your audience makes it easier to pick an advertising medium to promote your email newsletter. For example, if your readers are plumbers and you know they read a certain trade journal, it makes sense to promote it there. If your readers are teens who live in a certain area and you know, for example, that they only read the local scene paper, that is where you would advertise your email newsletter. And don’t forget incentives when you advertise!
Want more articles like this? Check out the email newsletters section.
6. Include it in your marketing material
If you are serious about promoting your email newsletter, you should also include a reference to it in your marketing material. Mention it on your business cards, in your brochures and flyers and on postcards. Why not design a brochure dedicated to your email newsletter? The more exposure it has, the more likely people are to know about it and subscribe, particularly if you use rewards!
7. Sponsor an event
Sponsorship is an excellent way to let many people know about your product or service. Think about the type of event or activity that would gain you the maximum exposure for your sponsorship dollars and always think in terms of target market. For example, your email newsletter could sponsor a conference, a radio program, a school event, curriculum, a festival, community learning activity, transportation – the list is endless, and is only limited by your imagination and budget!
8. Ask for articles
Advertise in your state’s Writers’ Centre newsletter for writers and contributors to your newsletter. Ads are usually free. Ditto university and TAFE professional writing courses. This give you added exposure as people check out your newsletter and helps out budding writers who are keen to get their name in print in order to build up their portfolio. Make sure you have submission guidelines that you can email to interested writers that specify payment, if any, and terms and conditions. I’d be happy to share mine if you would like a copy!
9. Have a launch
Launching your email newsletter is one way of getting noticed! Only limited by your budget and imagination, you could book a swanky venue, have some drinks and nibbles, invite some local celebrities, politicians and the media, and voila! Instant attention! Of course, you don’t have to go that far – a media release to the newspapers du jour and trade journals would also suffice.
10. Refer a friend
One way to build your subscription list is to offer rewards to current subscribers who sign up friends, colleagues or family. Make sure your subscription form (if you have one) has a field that indicates who is signing up who.
I would love to hear your ideas for marketing and promoting email newsletters, and what works for you!
Click here to read my previous article So…you want your own email newsletter?.