Ways to Improve and Make Money from Your Newsletter
Our last three newsletters have covered the hot topic of email newsletters and their importance: Keeping Your Customers Informed, How to Build Your Subscriber List, and How To Write Your Newsletter. If you're new to our newsletter or have missed out on any of these editions, to view the complete series see the link at the end of this article.
So having accepted the importance of producing an email newsletter, you've begun to establish your subscriber list and have started writing, or gathering content for it, how are you going to improve and make money from your publication? This month we are going to tackle Ways to Improve and Make Money from your Newsletter.
Getting Your Newsletter Delivered
The first issue is to make sure that your subscribers are opening your newsletters. It may sound obvious, they've subscribed to receive this free but valuable information of course they'll open and read it, right? Wrong! There's a whole host of delivery issues that can stop them.
This can be a particular problem if you are using an html template style email as opposed to a plain text version. You may need to educate your readers about the need to add trusted senders to their address books as it is a fact that many email programmes and email address providers wont display the html content of emails sent by sources not in the recipients address book. Some won't even include the html by default even if you are in their address book! Unless your subscribers have added you to their address book, there's a good chance they won't see your HTML graphics and if your important text is contained within a graphic, they may therefore not see any part of it.
So what should you do?
Well, you have a few options:
· Determine whether HTML is a must-have. Do your subscribers really prefer HTML in their email, or is that just what your creative department would prefer?
· If you must send HTML email, offer subscribers a choice between HTML and text only, if at all possible.
· Educate subscribers to add you to their address books. Include this message on the subscription page and in your confirmation email. Also make it part of your template, near the unsubscribe link, e.g.: "To unsubscribe - Click here!" "To make sure that you keep receiving our valuable publication - Add us to your address book!"
· Be absolutely sure, if you send HTML email, all CAN-SPAM compliance items, such as the opt-out link and postal address, will appear properly and in a readable format, regardless of whether the recipient reads the email with HTML rendering turned on.
· As a back up, why not add your newsletter to your web site and follow up your normal newsletter mail-out a day or two later with a short "In case you missed this months issue?" message, using plain text and including a link to your latest edition as posted on your web site.
So once you've made every effort to make sure your subscribers are receiving your newsletter, you just have to make sure they want to open it.
Getting Your Newsletter Opened
All that your subscribers will initially see in their inbox is the sender address (yours) and the subject line of the email. This tiny line of text has a powerful job to do and all without the benefit of colour, graphics, or different fonts.
Make sure your subject lines are relevant to your readers and create some sense of urgency or curiosity to encourage your readers to open them. For example used timed offers, information that is time critical or make them feel that they could be missing out on something important. For example:
"Tickets for (your event) are selling out fast. Have you got yours yet?"
"Top 10 Reasons to Attend (your event)"
"Are You Ready For (your event)"
Once your subscribers have received and opened your email, it's important you get the welcome message right.
Getting the Welcome Message Right
The welcome message contained within the first few lines of your email should support your brand and provide the reader with information about the contents of the current edition of the newsletter. It can also be a great marketing tool, an effective way to jumpstart the development of an ongoing business relationship.
As well as advising your readers what this edition is about, use this as an opportunity to point readers back to your Web site. Provide a link and a reason. A content or informational web site can discuss how frequently it's updated. If you're an e-commerce site, mention something special about your site in a feature/benefit manner to encourage them to visit now, and often in the future. Another idea is to offer an incentive. Provide a link to get a special report at no charge or offer a discount on a purchase in the near future. The goal is to get readers back to the site and into the habit of visiting regularly.
Properly planned and executed, your welcome message can serve as not only a reference point for readers but also a great sales and advertising device.
Search Engine Marketing Benefits of an Email Newsletter
An email newsletter from your company is a powerful marketing tool. We've already suggested that you archive your newsletter on your web site to aid those who lose access to it through over-zealous html filters. But you should also archive it as valuable content as not only does it position your company as a source of expert advice, but it can double as a means of building both links to your web site and onsite content, both key factors in high search engine rankings.
Increasing Quality Web Site Content
Your email newsletter archive, as it grows, creates a pool of information that's directly related to your products or services. The key words and phrases in your articles relate directly to what you sell, and as you add more pages to the archive, you increase the chances that one of the pages from your website will appear in the search engines results.
It's vital that you maintain search engine marketing best practices while creating your archive. This includes, but is not limited to, creating keyword rich urls (use the article title, which should be keyword rich in its own right), making all archive pages static rather than dynamic, using your keyword rich article title in archive page title tags, and using keywords in all the link text.
Remember to include at least one link to your home page or related site page from every page in your email newsletter archive.
Tempt the Search Engine Robots
Search engine robots return more frequently to regularly updated pages. This means that if you update your homepage with a paragraph or two from your most recent article robots will notice and begin to crawl your front page more regularly.
These regular visits mean that search engines will become aware of other site changes too, and means that your presence in the their indices will be fresh.
Links remain a principle means by which some search engines determine both value and relevance of a site for given search terms. Remember to encourage people to link to your article (it's also wise to include a "send this article to a friend" function). It's also a good idea to syndicate your articles for use by other publishers as they will include your article in full, with all links intact, along with your author bio and links at the end of your article in order to comply with copyright rules. Syndicating your newsletter also means that you will be reaching an extended audience and may well attract new customers and/or subscribers to your newsletter.
Your readers will reward a consistent publication schedule and quality, solid content by increasing their open rates. Once you've got them to open your newsletter and read the content you have very opportunity to redirect them back to your web site and extend all kinds of rewards and special offers.
When you have a large subscriber base, you can also offer advertisers space within your publication. There are several ways you can do this. If you offer a text only newsletter you can break the article in half and insert a text advert in between the content. If you are using html format, you can include banners in your newsletter. You can also write articles tailor made to sell a specific third party product to your customers but make sure it is always be useful and relevant to them and appropriate to the usual content of your newsletter.
You could also offer to write a review of the product for the advertiser but if you are endorsing the product, make sure you have tried it out first!
So there you have it, a complete guide to producing a successful email newsletter including Keeping Your Customers Informed, How to Build Your Subscriber List, How To Write Your Newsletter and Ways To Improve and Make Money from Your Newsletter. To view the rest of this series, visit our Newsletter Archive here: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/internet_marketing_newsletter_.html
Starting next month a new series: Your potential customers, who are they, where can you find them, how to turn them into customers and how to keep them coming back for more.
Is your web site driving high quality, targeted customers to your business? Our proven Internet Marketing solutions make your web site work harder for you. For a complete range of Internet marketing and advertising resources to improve search engine positions visit Enable UK. Stop losing customers to your competitors and make more money from your web site TODAY.
To catch up with previous issues of this newsletter, visit: http://www.enable-uk.co.uk/html/internet_marketing_newsletter_.html
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