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As I've said before, your newsletter is a great way of building relationships with your readers. When they trust you, they are much more likely to buy from you. One of the best ways to help people trust you is by being honest with them. We're not superhuman (well, not every day!) and mistakes happen. Why not share the mistakes you've made in your job and your industry, to help other people avoid making them? Why not save them the cost and pain of making the same mistakes?
In this issue of JAC Tips I'll share with you some of the mistakes I've made with my newsletters, so you can avoid making them with yours. If you'd like to share your mistakes and get a mention in the next issue of this newsletter, click here.
In the four years that I've been writing and publishing email newsletters, I've made a few mistakes. I've learnt from them and have found better ways of doing things.
What mistakes have I made?
Not having a theme for each issue. In the early days of writing, I would fill my newsletter will all sorts of things. The sections weren't connected to each other and sometimes I found myself including articles just because I felt I needed to fill the space. Then I read about picking one theme for each issue and tried it out. Not only did the writing get easier; my mailing list started to grow more quickly and I now have far more responses from readers.
Writing to the wrong people. When I started publishing Scribbles, my monthly marketing newsletter (click here to read past issues and subscribe) I just sent it to everyone I'd ever been in contact with. That included people I'd met at networking events a couple of years ago and people I'd only ever spoken to on the phone. It included a lot of people running the sort of businesses I don't work with. Cleaning the mailing list has boosted the open rate and allowed me to write newsletters that provide exactly the right sort of help and advice that my readers are looking for.
Making too many mistakes. I'm the first to admit that I'm not good at proof reading my own work. As someone who writes newsletters for a living, it's not good to publish a newsletter with mistakes in it. It's very easy to miss spelling mistakes and typos that the spell checker doesn't pick up. It's easy to write something that makes sense to you; but does it make sense to your readers? Fortunately I now have someone who reads everything I write (both for my own newsletters and for those I write for clients) before it gets published.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes and save yourself some time and money!
Marketing Research. To write a really effective newsletter that builds relationships and turns your readers into clients, you need to know who your ideal clients are and what help they need. When you know this, you can write newsletters that really hit the spot. If you're not sure, do some marketing research to ask the questions that will give you the answers.
Measurement. One of the secrets of good marketing is to find out what marketing works well for you and then do more of it. But you won't know what's working and what isn't, unless you measure the marketing you do. This includes your newsletter. How quickly does your mailing list grow? How many click throughs do you get and what are the most popular ones? How does you open rate go up and down? Look at the way the numbers change and you should be able to work out what makes your mailing grow more quickly or what gives you a good open rate. Then you can do more of it!