If you publish an e-mail newsletter, or "e-zine," it's important to realize that it WON'T attract and keep subscribers without offering practical content. If you only drone on about how wonderful you and your services are, your readers won't stick around for long.
But you CAN toot your own horn, as long as you don't drown out the useful content your readers are looking for. This careful balance is the key to increasing your response rates and increasing business.
Here are my top 10 tips on how to accomplish this:
1) Make sure your MAIN ARTICLE always provides information that your readers will find valuable.
By having a main article as the foundation of your issue, readers will feel they got what they came for - helpful information. Try a "how-to" article, a list of resources, a list of top 10 tips, a review of a trend in the industry - that sort of thing.
2) Begin each issue with an "EDITOR'S NOTE" or "PUBLISHER'S NOTE."
I have found this is the perfect place to let readers know about what's happening with me and my business, give them a taste of my personality, and announce any upcoming events or workshops. Because this is a personal message from you to them, and because it's NOT your main content, you have more leeway in being direct and self-promotional.
3) In your article, throw in LINKS to related articles you've written or been featured in, when appropriate.
Your readers will appreciate the additional information and resources, and it's one more chance for you to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.
4) Make sure your links are "clickable."
To ensure your links come through as hyperlinks on your reader's end, make sure you put the "http://" prefix before them. And to make any e-mail addresses clickable, insert the prefix "mailto:" before them, with no space in between.
5) Directly after your article, give a quick PROMO BLURB, mentioning your services, books, reports, or workshops.
Why right after the article and before anything else? If someone reads your article and says to themselves, "Gee, that was great information!" They'll be ready to hear what else you have to share on that subject.
A great lead-in for your blurb is: "Did you like today's article? If you did, you'll LOVE my [services, book, report, upcoming workshop, etc.]..."
6) In each issue, offer a TESTIMONIAL or success story from one of your clients.
I saw another e-zine publisher doing this last year and thought, "What a great idea! She's giving her readers further reason to try her services."
After your article and promo blurb, put a small section that says "What My Clients Are Saying." In each issue, feature a short but raving testimonial from one of your clients here.
7) Tell us what YOU'RE all about!
At the end of your e-zine, take at least 10 lines and give a concise description of YOU, what you have to offer your readers, why they should hire you, and what they should do next (e.g. call you or e-mail you).
8) End your e-zine with a "call to action."
What would you like your readers to do next? Call you for a free consultation? Sign up for your teleclass? Buy your book online? Tell them what to do and they'll be more likely to do it.
9) Don't forget your contact information!
This may seem like a "duh-duh," but it's amazing how many e-zines I've seen that don't tell me how to contact the publisher. Give us your name, title, business name, phone number, e-mail address, Web site URL, and street address (optional). The phone number is important, because some folks will want to speak with you instead of writing you.
10) Occasionally, make a special announcement in a SOLO MAILING.
If you have something very special to announce, send it out separately from your regular issues as a solo mailing. A solo mailing is any mailing you make to your e-zine subscriber list that is NOT a regular issue of your e-zine. Keep these to a minimum of two a month, and make sure your announcements are truly newsworthy. Perhaps one of your special discounts is coming to an end, you need your readers' help, or you're offering a last-minute workshop and need to fill seats. Get the idea?
Source: Alexandria K. Brown