How to Write a Newsletter Your Readers Will Open

March 29, 2012

Online or emailed newsletters, aka eZines are one of the best ways to keep in touch with clients and prospects and offer tips, strategies, and content that not only shows that you’re an expert but provides value to your readers so that they’ll keep coming back for more.

Many of my clients struggle with writing or producing an eZine on a regular basis. Most are unsure of what to deliver, how and when to deliver it and don’t know the right content to promotion ratio.

On top of that they want to make sure their eZine gets read, because after all, when you put the effort in you want a return on your time and content investment.

I’m often asked, how can I write a better newsletter that will connect help me reach my readers and allow them to buy my services. When you provide a newsletter that offers valuable content, delivered in a user friendly-audience focused manner you’ll get better open rates and more conversion when you make offers for your services.

Here are some tips to offering a great eZine your readers will look forward to receiving:

  1. Write or speak with them in mind: offer content you know they will benefit from receiving. Remember, it’s not always about what you want to give them it’s about what they want to receive. Write about what interests you but offers tips and solutions for your clients and prospects.
  2. Focus on one particular person: one of the secrets to writing your material is to pretend you are writing to one person who is your ideal client. Stay in the zone when you write and think of questions or concerns your clients have asked you about. Those questions make for great articles, videos or blog posts.
  3. The When’s: I’m often asked about how often to send them and what time of day is best. Even though I write or provide a video article weekly I don’t think every business owner needs to do the same. You can provide one weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. I wouldn’t go past monthly because you want to stay fresh in their mind. But most importantly you want to arrive the same time and day each time. For instance, my readers know that mine arrives at 8 a.m. EST every Thursday morning. I have a title for my eZine and when it arrives each week there is no surprise it’s coming from me. Consistency is key but typically you’ll find better open rates between Tuesday and Thursday. However, know your audience and find out when they are likely to read yours.
  4. Content to Promotion Ratio: Many people wonder what the right balance is between the two. It’s fine to promote and your readers don’t mind IF you have been and always provide great content. Strike a balance and make sure you don’t offer an all promotional eZine. Your readers will run quickly into the arms of your competitor.
  5. How much do I give away?: This is one I get often. Coaches, consultants and service professionals want to offer content but are afraid if they give too much information they won’t make money from their other services. My philosophy is to give, give, give and eventually you will be compensated for everything else you know. I highly doubt that you are giving all you know away in each article.
  6. An injection of YOU: I’m saving the best tip for last. People like to know the writer. They want to get to know you. Provide a little bit of who you are, what you’re up to, where you’ve gone recently. Maybe a struggle you’ve been having. But always try to provide a photo of you or a place you’ve been. People connect with people and if you’re building your business online they have no other way of getting to know you other than this personal touch. Only provide as much as you feel comfortable, but protect your privacy. Hint: also make sure you don’t share your home address (use a P.O. Box for example)
  7. The Subject line: this is one of the greatest challenges and if you ask a copywriter they will tell you that coming up with the best subject line that gets opened is a science. The ones that get the best open rates are typically either interesting or ask a question. My advice is to test them and see how your readers respond or open them. You’ll learn by looking at your statistics and in time you will know your audience well enough to determine what triggers them to open your eZine.

There is no question that writing or producing a newsletter is a laborious task but the benefits outweigh the cons. To build your list of raving fans you’ve got to have a keep in touch tool. An eZine whether done in writing, by video or audio is worth it and you’ll get used to it, I promise!

Assignment:

If you don’t currently offer a newsletter or you send it infrequently commit to sending it out and do it on a regular basis. Make notes of the most common questions that come up when working with your clients and turn those into articles. Experiment with it but just start one ok?

Your Turn:

Do you write a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly newsletter? What’s your biggest challenge with writing or delivering it on a regular basis? Chime in to let me know in the comments below.

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