What is a Newsletter, and Why Would You Want to Offer One?
I have been involved in newsletters for more than 25-years, in both print and electronic formats.
For the sake of this post, however, I’ll be talking only about email newsletters (electronic), since this is the product that the majority of small businesses like you and me should be utilizing.
In addition to the content on your website (that is a whole other topic!), from time to time you should be sending out broadcasts about new work, trips, your wonderful insights, etc. When you are in the beginning stages of setting up your newsletter, you will ultimately be offering your audience a way to subscribe so they can receive your notes and newsletters.
At this point you may be thinking, “What is the point of doing all this work?”
A good question deserves an even better answer… your email list.
When you offer a subscription to your newsletter, you’re enabling yourself to be able to capture email addresses. It’s important to capture email addresses because:
- It’s a great way to communicate with your audience on a more personal level. There’s just something about receiving an email from somebody that makes it extremely effective at getting a point across, or making people take some kind of action.
- An email list will never die. In other words, if you have an email list, you will always have a way to communicate with your audience. Blogs and websites can die. RSS readers and feed subscription services could vanish. But, those email addresses will never change and you can always keep your audience informed of what you’re up to, even if you go completely off the radar.
- It’s where the money is.
Regarding #3, you may or may not have heard this expression before: “The Money is in the List.”
It’s an expression that has been used in the Internet marketing industry since the birth of email (or “snail mail” for that matter), because it’s true. But you do need to be careful when you decide to use your list to make money. You really don’t want it to be all about the money.
Once you make it “all about the money” is when you will begin to lose subscribers by sacrificing your credibility. What you want to do first and foremost is to create a product that helps and informs people. Once you do this and you have gained respectability then it will be time to begin your effort to make money. Online karma does exist.
Regular or Irregular Delivery
You can setup an opt-in form to capture email addresses on your website and only email your subscribers when you have to. This, however, is not such a good idea and I will tell you why.
Imagine signing up for a newsletter and not receiving anything from me for weeks or months. What do you think you would do?
- Forget who I was and think my email is spam.
- Unsubscribe from the list because you’d realize that there’s really no point of being on it.
- All of the above.
What you write in your emails doesn’t have to be “news”- it can be anything really. But, it’s important that you contact your subscribers on a consistent basis and provide them with some kind of useful information in order to keep them around.
Remember: All it takes is one click to unsubscribe from your list.