Thursday, August 22, 2013

Newsletter Content Depends on Your Theme

The content of any newsletter depends on the theme of that newsletter and the target audience. If you run an accounting firm, you should know that your readers don't read your newsletter to learn about maintenance of airconditioning equipment. No, they probably want to know about investments, taxation, business end of year reporting or something else within the domain of accountants.

People nowadays are hungry for information, but at the same time, they are swamped with content. We live among a cornucopia of media that bombards us from our iPhones, laptops, television sets, static signage, and so on, 24/7. Then there's the advertising brochures that arrive in your mailbox. The world is full of content and the Internet has made it quick, easy and inexpensive to distribute.

For those who have newsletters, the question becomes, "What can I provide my clients they will want to read in preference to reading something else?" After all, there are only so many hours available each day to read.

Good Content Solves Problems

People who sign up to receive newsletters want content that solves a problem or answers questions about something.

Take the celebrity-based magazines that adorn newspaper shelves; every issue has similar content about the lives of so-called celebrities. Who has lost weight, had a baby, bought a new Omega Speedmaster watch, filed for divorce, had sex with someone out of wedlock, or come out of the homosexual closet. These magazines are successful because there is obviously a large readership who want to know about the lives of celebrities.

A hardware shop I visit periodically doesn't have a newsletter, but it has a DIY Project Centre online and free do-it-yourself brochures you can pick up when you visit. This is an alternative to a newsletter and is called a "pull" approach because people pull the information they want, it doesn't get "pushed" to them with the hope they will want it.

Push type newsletters need to provide just-in-time information that is interesting, or give solutions to problems. They have to do that every edition, otherwise readers lose interest and unsubscribe. It's not easy providing relevant content that everyone wants every issue.

So, the first rule of newsletter publication is to provide good content. The second rule is to not overdo the sales routine, otherwise the newsletter becomes a sales blurb and loses it's appeal. When using a newsletter to sell, it needs to be done in such a way that it pre-sells products.

What is Pre-Selling?

Pre-selling is a more subtle method of selling than jumping right out of a box and saying, "Buy Now!"

Dr Ken Evoy of SBI is probably the current master of pre-selling as he has written extensively about it at his site which has some excellent free publications for affiliates. According to Evoy, pre-selling includes placing links within informative text that will take people to content-related purchasing opportunities.

For example, if I was writing an article about capability statements and how important they are for businesses, especially service providers like consultants, builders and others facing market competition, I might slip in a few links to sales blurbs. The link at capability statements is such a pre-selling link.

Conclusion

When you write your newsletter, the things you have to take into account are:
  1. Your target audience
  2. What content will solve their problems or provide information they need
  3. How you can sell within the newsletter using subtle, pre-selling methods
If you can do all three things well, your newsletter should be a success.

Robin

PS: Do you need an Internet site on which to place your newsletter? One that has a domain name offer, plus 10 email addresses and a business income offer to boot?

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