E-Newsletters – a step by step thought process

step by step guide to great e-newsletters
on Tue 11 Apr

 

Most of us get a fair amount of e-newsletters via our inbox and in the interest of “walking a mile in the shoes of our clients” I think this is the thought process that follows after you hear something enter your inbox 

 

PING!

 

First Thought - Who’s it from?

  1. Do I know this person or company?
  2. Are they an expert in their field?
  3. Are they usually succinct in the way in which they put across their message?

 

So firstly it’s important to use a recognisable name as the sender. For example my clients and contacts know me as Jane Buswell rather than my limited company name – Business Fulcrum Limited – so my newsletters come from me personally.

 

Secondly I‘ve worked long and hard through networking, social networking and blogging to get my name synonymous with good advice about marketing and social media subjects (hopefully!)

 

Thirdly, I write with the busy entrepreneur in mind and regularly practice being succinct by acting as an”interpreter” to medical consultants who need their (long, impenetrable hugely academic) blog posts to mean something to their would-be patients! I also post regularly on Twitter – you can’t get much more succinct than 140 characters.

 

Second Thought - What’s it about?

Ah - the all-important subject heading – so please, please do not just put “Latest Newsletter” this is totally uninspiring. Get into the heads of your recipients by writing a subject heading with a good old marketing acronym in mind – “WIIFM” – “What’s in it for me?”

 

Third Thought – Is it worth my time reading this?

Build your relationship in the first paragraph by doing things like;

 

  • Thanking them for taking the time to open the e-mail
  • Wishing them Happy Christmas, Happy May or Happy Wednesday ( you get the drift)
  • Expressing the hope that they had a good Bank Holiday
  • Sympathising with them on being short on time and long on requirements and explain you’re here to help
  • Using great images that both reinforce your brand and are eye-catching/quirky.

 

Finally - Sooth the cynical

Many of us will immediately look to see why we’re on the newsletter list in the first place so it’s important to explain this via something called a permission reminder.

 

E-mail marketing gurus will explain the important of segmenting our lists so that we write

  • only to those we met networking or
  • only to those we worked with or
  • only to those we presented to

 

and therefore our permission reminders would refer to that. However, the reality is that most of us give ourselves a pat on the back if we’ve actually managed to keep up our contact records on an excel spreadsheet in the first place…

 

So the permission reminder is vital, its function is to clearly explain to each person who received your newsletter WHY they have received your newsletter. Mine says:

 

You are receiving this email because you have an existing professional relationship with Jane Buswell of Business Fulcrum

 

If you want to be more explicit you can use a variation of something like:

 

You are receiving this email newsletter because you made a verbal or written request at an event, entered one of our prize draws, opted-in on our website, or purchased a product from us.

 

I recently had the challenge of devising a permission reminder for a client buying in a database where there was no previous relationship at all.  Eventually I used a combination of permission reminders and suggested this approach:

 

Why are your receiving this e-mail?

You are getting this newsletter because we believe your *business is interested in seeing helpful, relevant information and special offers tailored for your use.

 

If necessary you would obviously change the word “business” to more relevant words like “organisation” or “charity” and you might even specifically their place of work “your medical practice”

 

I hope you found this helpful. If you would like more information about e-newsletters you might be interested in this blog post – Why is no-one opening my e-newsletters? 

 

And if you’d like some help devising your newsletters from top to bottom please get in touch.

 

 

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