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How to produce winning newsletters with little effort
Written on the 29 May 2007 by Tracey Voyce
Producing a newsletter used to be one of the hardest, most long winded and costly projects, not only in writing the material, but also in producing the newsletter and getting it out to your database.
Thankfully that era is now changing and the Internet is making it so much easier, faster and more economical to do so.
In this guide we are going to teach you the winning tips to producing your next (or first) newsletter with success. You will learn how to produce a newsletter that will be valued by your readers so that they read your newsletter every time you send it to them. And, they will also pass it on to their friends and colleagues to read. To finish off we will take you through the IntoResults features that will save you even more time, money and effort.
As a business, what benefits do you really get from producing a newsletter?
Build relationships (with current and past clients, prospects, alliances, suppliers etc) to increase sales
Position the business as a valuable resource and as an expert in your field
Obtain and retain the mindshare of your customers
Build your creditability
Illustrate the advantages of your services and products
Educate and inform
Widen your audience
And what does that all really mean?
For most it means:
It increases the length of time your clients stay with you
It increases the money they spend
It increases number of people they refer onto you
It can consistently attract new clients to your business
And if you use the internet as the vehicle for your newsletter you will find it very cost effective. Plus using a program that facilitates the process for you like IntoResults, will save you a lot of time as well.
What content could you put in your newsletters?
Relevant articles, self written or by a freelance writer (NB/we have freelance writers for hire)
Articles from your association or industry
Articles written by Alliances
Articles from your IntoResults library* or from the Resource Centre within IntoResults
Relevant news and industry trends
Case studies, testimonials and examples
'How to' articles
Material from clients, alliances and readers
Questions and answers from readers
A readers poll
Final Tips For Your Newsletter:
Schedule its frequency and stick to your deadlines - this is important for your audience and will ensure your business gets the full value from producing them
Know your audience and obtain regular feedback (get copies of your competition e-newsletters so you can be better; carry out surveys regularly; ask your clients/prospects what they want to read)
Plan your content; keep it unique and pertinent to your existing and prospective clients
Use your template (consistency is important)
Remember it is a newsletter, not an advertisement. The rule of thumb is that newsletters should be 80% for the reader and 20% about you, the business. (Otherwise they won't read it next time)
It is all in the headline. Make sure your headlines are going to grab your audience and entice them to read more. The next step is to grab them in the first paragraph
You are there to 'express' not to 'impress'. Keep your language simple with little or no jargon
Proofread, proofread, proofread! Get someone to proof read your newsletter. Nothing looks more unprofessional than content with spelling and grammar mistakes. If you don't have anyone to do this IntoResults has some Freelancers we can recommend who work with our clients
Keep your stories short. People don't have the luxury of unlimited time. If you have a lot of additional detail that you want to add, summarise it. Give people the option to read more in a linked guide, e-book etc
Keep the number of stories to a minimum
Do not display everyone's email address - use BCC
A newsletter sign up field that automatically updates your database
A 'forward to a friend' function to facilitate the referral process
A table of contents to entice the recipient to want to read on
A privacy statement
An unsubscribe function so you meet the SPAM laws
A text/html option for future emails
(NB/ all of the above points are automatically done for you within IntoResults)
1. Plan the topics for your next 3 newsletters 2. Source the content 3. Drop your text into your template 4. Proofread and send
IntoResults makes producing Newsletters easy and fast. This saves you valuable time that you can spend on other areas of your business.
Templates look great and make your business look professional
They are easy for your recipients to read
They have a clean layout that facilitates 'ease of reading'
They are streamlined so they load very fast overcoming the problem of large files of the past that don't get opened
Templates make it so easy for you to produce your newsletter. No design skills are needed as you just drop in the text in the gaps
They save you time as it is as easy as typing in a Word document
Editorials Finding content for your newsletters is now made so much easier:
You can collect your own in your personal library within IntoResults
You can use some of the many we have within our client library* for you to use
You can follow our tips (covered above) on getting others to give you editorial
Standard Features These features include:
Allow new readers to sign up and automatically be put into your database
Meet the SPAM laws
Producing a newsletter still takes some effort but what we have done for you is dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce one so it is realistic for busy business owners or one of your team to do so.
*The client Article Library is where all clients of IntoResults store their articles for future use.
The article library has two distinct features:
1) You can make your article public. This means any other IntoResults client can utilise your article (with your contact details included) within their newsletters. This is a great way to promote your business through others. 2) You can store your articles and then use them in your newsletters. This means that only the first couple of paragraphs are shown in your newsletter with an automatic 'read more' link to your full article. This makes your newsletter look good and more compact for your readers' attention. It also has the added advantage that your analysis reports will show more detail about your newsletters i.e. not only who read your newsletters but what specific articles they read (the value of this information is huge).
For more information on this topic and others, visit IntoResults.