Unless you continually follow up with clients and prospects, they’ll soon forget about you. But it is near impossible to phone or write to each and every one of them every week.
However, a properly implemented opt-in email newsletter (or ezine) achieves the same goal — keeping you in their minds in an unobtrusive way. This constant contact makes these recipients more likely to think of you when they need a product or service like yours. It can help to turn prospects into customers and customers into repeat sales.
If your opt-in email newsletter contains useful, quality articles and tips, your readers will be very likely to pass it on to friends and colleagues. This is called ‘viral marketing’.
Most ezine publishers begin with only a few dozen subscribers who are their clients and associates. But after several months, you can have thousands of readers on your list, thanks to viral marketing mixed with some promotional legwork.
But with the proliferation of SPAM and the spam legislation introduced in Australia and the US in 2004, it is important not to misuse email marketing or purchase illegitimate bulk email lists.
Bad news about your business email marketing practices will spread much faster than good news.
Here’s how to make the most of your opt-in email newsletter:
Credibly and subtly promote your products or services
Instead of blowing your own trumpet and simply saying how great your business is, an ezine lets you show how great you are by sharing your expertise through tips, case studies or client testimonials. You’re avoiding simple bragging, and are instead offering useful information that demonstrates your knowledge.
Want more articles like this? Check out the email newsletters section.
Position yourself as an expert in your field
By showcasing your knowledge and skills, you’re likely to attract more and better clients. And by sharing what you know well, you’re saying “Hey, I really know my stuff! I’m an expert.”
Capture the email addresses of your website visitors
This is one of the most important benefits: If I visit your site today but aren’t ready to buy from you, you’re likely to have lost me forever when I click away. But if you invite me to sign up for your free newsletter that features helpful information on the topic at hand, I’ll be happy to sign up.
Now you’ve got me to market to, over and over, as long as you continue to give me the practical content you promised. I’ll get to learn all about your services and products while you gain my trust. This is especially powerful because statistics show that consumers don’t usually purchase a product or service until after they’ve seen multiple messages about it!
Before you get started with your own opt-in email newsletter, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the PURPOSE of your newsletter?
- Who is it for?
- How frequently will you send it?
- Will all content be in the email body or will you simply provide hooks back to your website?
- Will all subscribers receive the same or personalised content?
- Will you make the current issue available on your web site?
- Will you make an archive of past issues available on your site?