Yesterday, we talked about the importance of adding a blog to your website. Today, I’m suggesting that you need a newsletter on your site — and that’s in addition to a blog, not instead of it. Email newsletters and blogs offer two very different ways to engage with your clients, making them a good combination.
Blogs offer opportunities for public discussions of topics, as well as a piece of content you can easily build links to. They build your expertise. But email newsletters give you a way to connect with clients on a different level. Those prospective clients who are interested in your work but who won’t mess around with bookmarking your blog or adding it to an RSS reader are more likely to sign up for an email newsletter. And, when they might have forgotten about you entirely, your email shows up in their inbox, reminding them of just how great a writer you are — and how much they want to work with you.
Writing Your Newsletter
While there aren’t many rules about newsletter content, it does have to be interesting. You have to give readers a reason to click on your email when there are plenty of other options in their inbox. That means you have to make your content very relevant to your target clients. Depending on what kind of projects you want to take on, you might write:
- A roundup of news in the niche, with a little analysis
- Tips for marketing in your clients’ industry
- An extra article that your blog readers won’t have access to
It’s crucial to provide at least a little something that isn’t available on your website or in your blog — otherwise, why would anyone bother to sign up for the newsletter? The newsletter that I started to go along with this month’s exploration of marketing is a decent example: if you’re on the mailing list, you know that you’ve been getting some additional information each day, relevant to what’s being posted on the blog.
Your newsletter doesn’t need to go out every day, by any means. For some people, once a month is plenty to keep you in the minds of your readers. If your niche is particularly fast paced, you may be looking at more of a weekly newsletter. It’s worth starting out at a monthly publication schedule: if you need to publish more often, you can always change that schedule.
Getting Your Newsletter Sent Out
As far as sending out your newsletter goes, there are a lot of options. AWeber is the best option, out of all of them, however. Most of the cheaper services are prone to getting your newsletters caught in spam filters — which makes all your hard work useless. But AWeber uses a double opt-in process which keeps your newsletters safe from being considered spam. It doesn’t hurt that setting up AWeber is just a matter of filing out a form and cutting and pasting code.
If you do sign up with AWeber or another service, remember to save your receipts. Your marketing expenses are tax deductible come next April.
An Added Benefit
If you have any interest in writing newsletter content, or even publishing entire newsletters, for your clients, having an existing newsletter or your own can provide them with proof of your capabilities. Just a few minutes of playing around with AWeber can be enough to add newsletters to the services you offer, and your ability to manage the technical end of things makes it easier to charge higher rates for your services. Even one client needing a newsletter can be enough to cover the cost of an account with AWeber.
What email newsletters do you subscribe to? Which ones do you make it a point to open and to read?
Just joining us? Check out where we started with Setting Your Goals!