E-Marketing with E-mail Newsletters
Creating an opt-in e-mail newsletter could be one of the smartest marketing decisions you will ever make, and doing it is much easier than you might think. If you simply can not write, you can always pay to have the content written for you, or can simply (with permission and appropriate credit, of course!) reprint good e-marketing articles that you find in other newsletters, or on other sites. There are a number of article directories that exist for the sole purpose of providing reprintable articles.
First of all, you are probably thinking that you really don’t need to start a newsletter. After all, the Internet is swamped with people offering email newsletters. There are thousands, perhaps millions of email newsletters out there … what could you possibly have to offer?
Well, first of all, not all of those newsletters reach your audience, but more important to you is the fact that your subscriber list can become your customer list whenever you want to market a new product.
Why do a newsletter? It is the easiest and least expensive way to get free advertising and promotional information to a targeted base of consumers.
Many newsletter publishers will tell you what a kick it is to watch the incoming e-mail the first day or so after their newsletter goes out. Suddenly, their inbox is filled with product inquiries and reports of sales of whatever product was endorsed in the latest issue. No
other advertising method allows you to reach such a wide base of people throughout the world so affordably and so quickly.
This could be the best piece of marketing advice you’ll ever get …
If you don’t have a web site yet, prepare to start a newsletter or ezine first; if you have a web site already and you don’t have a newsletter or ezine, start one today! In the long run, your mailing list will prove to be the single biggest
asset that your business has.
How are you going to get someone to subscribe to your newsletter and what do you write about? Here are a few pointers about successful newsletters.
1. Newsletters should be content driven. A good newsletter should excite, educate and entertain. Some might disagree, thinking that a newsletter should only promote. I think promotion is an essential part of a newsletter but should not be the sole component. You can write about things relevant to your business or you can feature articles from other professionals in your field. You can also do a combination of both. Your subscribers will welcome the information, and if you promote only selectively, they will be much more ready to buy when you recommend something.
2. A newsletter should be Opt-In or (permission based). Don’t get over excited about launching your web site by sending out a bunch of e-mails promoting your site and newsletter to news groups or user lists. This is not only bad Internet manners but it is bad business, and could result in a spam complaint before you even get going.
3. Locate the subscription form to your newsletter in a prominent part of your home page, where it is virtually impossible to miss. Most people recommend the upper left hand corner of the page. Second most popular is the upper right hand corner. Popup subscriber
boxes also work very well.
4. In your subscription confirmation e-mail, tell the new subscriber how they can unsubscribe and how frequently you will be e-mailing them. Don’t get offended if someone unsubscribes. It isn’t personal, drop them from your list and move on.
5. Automate your subscribe and unsubscribe process. There are sites that will host your newsletter for a reasonable fee, or you can set up and use an autoresponder. These companies have systems that allow you to quickly and easily set up your own automated newsletter subscriber system. Automating your subscriber process will make your site more professional and will also save you time from having to manually add and remove subscribers.
6. Make money by selling advertising or promoting products that you have affiliate links to in your newsletter. Now you are not only sending out free advertising at no cost to yourself, you are making money selling space in your newsletter or promoting products in your newsletter.
Finding Newsletter Subscribers
OK … this all sounds good in theory, but what if you have a low traffic site? You can put up your subscription form, and offer an attractive newsletter, but if you don’t have traffic to your site, where are these subscribers going to come from?
Fortunately, you can buy subscribers at fairly nominal fees. For one thing, most autoresponder companies provide their own “in-house” subscription service. The main drawback is that they may charge a hefty fee for the service. If you prefer, you can enlist the aid of any number of high quality
co-registration services that will find and sign up the subscribers for you.
Managing Your Subscriber Base and E-mail List
Ezine Director is one of the best ways to set up an affordable newsletter or E-zine. They charge a nominal monthly fee for their service, which takes about 30 minutes to an hour to get set up initially. Once you are set up, it is really easy to manage your email list.
A second alternative that is OK for smaller startup newsletters is to use the autoresponder that comes with your web hosting account, or to subscribe to a free autoresponder service such as SendFree or FreeAutoBot. As your list grows, however, you will probably want to move to something like Ezine Director, or a sophisticated e-mail manager …
Mail Loop is the Cadillac of such products, and includes subscriber database management, bulk e-mailing functions, newsletter templates, and a host of other features. When you’re ready to move into the big leagues, seriously
consider using this program.
If you’re going to be selling anything online, you’ll eventually need a shopping cart, which I can provide you, along with high quality autoresponders. You can start with the “autoresponder only” package, and then upgrade to a more feature-rich shopping cart when you need it. This complete website automation package allows you to control your early
expenses, but it also grows with you as your business grows.
Starting Your Own E-zine
An E-zine is not much different than a newsletter. Essentially an E-zine is a newsletter formatted in HTML, with multiple pages. Most E-zines contain articles compiled by the editor and can include contributions from the editor. Since E-zines are a multi-page format, they take more time to compile than a newsletter. The primary advantage of an E-Zine format over a newsletter format is compartmentalization of the information and professional appearance.
An e-mail newsletter is usually one long e-mail. An E-Zine has a number of pages and each topic is usually given its own specific page, just like in a magazine. To learn how to start and design your own E-zine you can download a free file from Web-Source.net. To download the file, just
Subscribing to the newsletter of someone in your field is a good way to get familiar with how things work, and what sort of material to include. The following is a list of some of my favorite internet business newsletters and how to subscribe to them.
that will give you some ideas on how to present your own.
Now that you have tapped into some of the best sources on how to promote your site, let’s take a look at how you can track your results, and add some automation to your site and your business.