Sending out a monthly newsletter takes a good deal of effort. You need to determine your goals and how to measure them, prepare your mailing lists, develop content, and make sure everything is delivered correctly. Can you confidently say that you are generating justifiable revenue from this effort —or are you sending out a newsletter because everyone else does?
With all the new technology available today, the term “newsletter” has morphed into a dozen different formats. You can certainly find one that fits your needs. One thing is clear—do not continue to send out a monthly newsletter unless you are getting a real return on your investment.
Some things to consider when evaluating your current newsletter:
1. Get an independent evaluation of your current newsletter strategy from a marketer you trust. Make sure to develop tangible success measurements. You need to know if what you are doing is actually worth continuing. Your communication with your customers needs to be personalized and targeted to sell. You are building a mailing list for a reason. Make sure that mailing list pays off.
2. Is a monthly format the right one? You may want something published regularly, or you may discover that a few targeted one-offs a year give you a greater return. Just like everything else you do for your business, you need to test and revise ideas, products and methods.
3. Take advantage of new technology. There are new ways to personalize your content and develop a dialogue with your customers that won”t be cost prohibitive. Consider using audio to announce your newsletter on your website or add audio in the body content.
4. Make reading your newsletter pay-off for your customer every time. Always offer discount links or other value-add information that separates your content from all the “value-free” content on the web today. Think about what the reader will be interested in, not what your company wants to tell them. Think about what they want to BUY, not what you want to SELL.
5. Use your support area to launch new newsletters. Many e-commerce businesses miss an opportunity to communicate with their customers when they go to the support area. Customers want quick answers. They also like knowing that the company cares about what they want and need. A newsletter that focuses on FAQs and support would be a welcome change from all the ‘marketing’ newsletters they receive. This idea is a simple one that only the most successful companies use. Don’t overlook a way to stand out.