Of course, now that you have an email list, that’s just the beginning. Your next job is to fill that email with things these people might appreciate receiving. If you have a DRIVOR™ site, then you already know where a lot of your email content comes from. If not, then allow me to give you some ideas that you can employ to give you things to send to your prospects every week.
The newsletter format is popular because it gives people a smattering of all the areas of your business in one location. Consider including one original article (perhaps a monthly summary of events and circumstances that affected the business), as well as upcoming events and specials that people won’t want to miss. Some people do weekly newsletters, and as you grow, you may find that to be an important part of your marketing program. At the minimum, though, you should publish one monthly.
Obviously, the absolutely best thing you can do is write an article or two every week, just for your newsletter recipients. Between writing and editing, you should consider setting aside an hour or two for this task alone. Regardless of the time consumption, this is the best way to make sure your email directly reflects the latest, most important things going on in your business, according to your perspective. And that’s why people asked to be on your list, remember?
Coupons and Discounts (Don’t be Rosetta Stone)
These are also really good things to send out on a regular basis, as people will train themselves to open your emails just to see what they might get a discount on this week. Make sure you make these coupons valuable, and that you change them up every time you send one. There’s nothing worse than a stale offer, repeated ad nauseum. The best example I have of this is the daily email I get from the language software company, Rosetta Stone. Every two days I get an email proclaiming that THIS is their biggest sale of the year, and I’m going to miss it. The headline changes a little bit every time, but the offer is always within $10 (out of $500) of the same price ($299) day in, day out. Week after week. Month after month. YEAR AFTER YEAR! They’ve not only lost the sense of urgency that might compel me to buy their course, but honestly they’ve become a household joke, as my wife gets the same emails from them.
If you’re in a service business, it might be hard to come up with offers that change regularly. For example, if you’re a chiropractor or an attorney, you may always have a free initial consultation/treatment, because that’s really all the law will allow you to do. In that case, you won’t be sending out a sheet of coupons, but you might always put a coupon/offer at the bottom of your content based emails, and put a note on it about sharing it with others who might need it right now.
The easiest source of material, however, is your own OMP. That article you wrote and posted on your site is your quickest, easiest material to grab and put in an email. Also, if structured correctly, it can serve another purpose: drive people back to your OMP where you can control the conversation. That’s the whole point to all of this, anyway, remember?
To do this, all you need to do is copy/paste your article into an email and send it out. Poof. Done for the week. There are two schools of thought on how to do this, however, and I’ll give you both of them and let you discover which one works better for your particular business.
- Include the title and an excerpt from your blog post, then a link to the full article where they can finish reading it.
- Include the entire article, but give them strong prompts to share it themselves in social media, or by forwarding the email to friends. Seth Godin does this, and I suppose it works well for him because, honestly, he isn’t selling anything. He’s just a key person of influence and people want to hear what he has to say on various subjects.
I think the first one works better for small businesses. Your goal is to bring people to your site so you can give them the full business experience. It’s not about giving them the content of one article, but rather about making sure they understand the full fleet of products and services you offer. However you do it, remember that once your list gets big enough, you can do the same kind of split testing that you did with social media advertising. In order to do that, though, you need to sign up with an actual email service. Allow me to recommend my favorite: MailChimp.