22 May Newsletters – is it still worth spending time to create and send them?
I think newsletters are a great tool to create and maintain good relationships with your existing or potential clients.
Personal relationships still matter in every field. Online businesses, in particular, are relationship-based.
These relationships have to be maintained over time and should lead to trust.
Confidence must be built through small steps, as I’ve explained in another post (“would you be able to trust..”) which gives several tips that help us understand how we can trust someone we have not met, and probably never will.
Since face-to-face contact is missing, online businesses have other tools at their disposal:
- Your Website and Blog – they are your shop window and help you create your list. They have to be managed with maximum attention. Graphics count, but the content counts even more. Personally I pay a lot of attention to detail: I hate typos. When I find a beautiful site full of interesting content, I’m more than happy to share it with my community. But, if I realize the articles are full of typos, well… I’ll be honest, I don’t feel like sharing it any longer. I can’t help it. It shows a lack of care and accuracy. It’s always a good idea to have your content read by somebody else, preferably a professional proofreader – Janice from WordPerfectVA does a wonderful job. She always says: spell checks don’t have a brain! And I totally agree with her!
- Social Networks – they help create a community of people interested in what you have to say. They are essential to keep the communication going and to grow your list.
- A regular Newsletter – once you have a list, your newsletter will help you build and increase trust. It will help you talk to your audience and nurture this, hopefully, long-lasting relationship.
Remember that not everybody is constantly connected to social networks. There will be somebody who will never see your posts which might get lost in the news feed. Me, for example. I’m one of those people who pays short visits to social networks a couple of times a day. I prefer to read content in my own time. There are many others out there like me.
I’m subscribed to a lot of newsletters. Really a lot!
When I realize that some of them do not interest me any longer, I just go through the list and make a selection. I keep the ones that are important and useful to me right now. I unsubscribe from the others as I know that I can always subscribe again in future.
A tip for you, just in case: don’t just mark them as “spam” - this can heavily damage the sender’s ranking in Google. There’s a great difference between “spam” and newsletters that you requested in the past and do not wish to receive any more. Just follow the “unsubscribe” link (usually placed at the bottom of the email message) or contact the sender. Both methods are a respectful way to inform the senders that you are no longer interested in receiving their emails.
But, let’s go back to the newsletters I eagerly look forward to receiving!
The ones I appreciate the most have some features in common:
- They provide me with useful content (sometimes with links to online resources I didn’t know about)
- They reveal more of the personality of the sender. This is very important for me to help to understand who I’m dealing with. Behind the computer, there is a person, a human being, who is taking the time to write to me to establish a connection.
What are the benefits for the sender?
- Keep up the contact, always and everywhere. If we want to, our smartphones allow us to read emails whenever and wherever we prefer. (It’s something that I love to do while waiting in queues…) Don’t forget: your newsletter must be mobile responsive.
- Send updated information regarding your products and services and any offers and promotions.
- Driving traffic to your website. The message you deliver through your newsletter may link to your website to read the full article, for instance.
- Confidence building. Great information, personal features, stories, all help to build trust.
As a client, I have experienced the efficacy of newsletters directly.
I’ve always received a lot of emails from various international business coaches. In addition to interesting content, they always promote special offers or products. I had never been interested in purchasing those, it wasn’t the right time yet.
Then, a few months ago, I realized I needed a coach. I went through the emails I had received and picked out the ones that had particularly grabbed my attention. Over the course of a few months, I had subconsciously built trust in some of the coaches that had been sending me their newsletters.
When I realized I actually needed this type of service, I made my decision on the basis of the newsletters I had received. I made my choice although I had never met this woman in person. But she had been able to make a good impression on me and I felt I could trust her, almost without hesitation. I can certainly state that my expectations have not been disappointed!
So, if you ask me: is it still worth spending time creating and sending out newsletters?
My answer is most definitely “yes”.
Take the time to create good content and send it to your audience.
I know a lot of people have content created by somebody else. Unless you are 100% sure that what is delivered meets your standards and speaks with your own voice, I’d suggest you create the content for your newsletter.
And if you don’t have so much time to spend on it, you can always outsource the “technical aspects” (formatting, adding graphics, links, handling mailing lists, even sending out the finished newsletter) to a Virtual Assistant, for instance ☺
What is your experience with newsletters? What do you think about them?