Monday, October 1, 2007

Keep in touch

A newsletter is not just an email filled with advertisements and sales pitches. Emails like that are called spam. Instead, a newsletter needs to contain NEWS--news about things related to the subject of your blog or other website.

With the advent of the popularity of blogs, the need to publish a newletter of some kind would seem to be diminished. After all, the news items are already being published in your blog, right? While there is a lot of current news being talked about on your daily blog, there is still room for a newsletter. The real purpose behind a newsletter is to keep in touch with your friends who read your blog, and your customers who have made a purchase from you.

In light of this, be sure and include things in the newsletter which do not appear on your blog. If your website is a store that sells merchandise that you ship out yourself, then be sure and include a few private specials in the newsletter that are not known to the general public, as well as special coupons if you use coupons in your business.

Often, rather than try and fit all this into a short email (these things DO need to be short!) some newsletter authors send only the headlines and subtitiles, or basic info and coupons, in the email itself. They then include links that will take the reader to the actual fancy newsletter, which of course is really simply a dedicated page on your main website.

Not more frequently than monthly, please.

The biggest key in making this work is, as always, finding ways to make it interesting and useful to your commercial family. Don’t send your emails to people who aren’t interested in what you are doing. You will only waste your time. The goal is to have the best list, not the longest list.

I think it was Mark Twain who admonished us not to waste our time trying to teach pigs how to sing: “You’ll waste your time and annoy the pig.”

Your visitors are hardly pigs, of course--it’s only a quote.

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