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Newsletters - Lesson 2

The aim of creating a newsletter is to provide the readers with information they don't already know and then sell a product that will make life easier for them. There are a few generic guidelines to follow when creating newsletters for your e-business:

  • Establish your credibility as an industry expert
  • Increase your traffic by making your web site a valuable resource
  • Give someone a legitimate reason to contact you repeatedly

Generating traffic generally leads to increased sales. Newsletters can be a very powerful tool for generating traffic on your website. Your newsletters can be free and you can automate them, saving you both time and money.

There are a few ways to profit from newsletters:

  • You could sell the information on your newsletter for a profit
  • The information in your newsletter can be free but you could refer to your products sold on your e-business website
  • You could sell advertising space on your newsletter

It is a very good idea to offer a subscription to your newsletter on your website and to every customer you encounter. Make sure that the subscription option for your newsletter is in a very high traffic area on your website and the signature files on all your emails, correspondence and advertising.

People who subscribe to your newsletter will become very loyal customers if you show them you are honest, credible and you know what you are talking about. These sorts of customers don't stop with just buying the initial product that they are sold. They may take an interest in other products and future product releases because of the rapport that you have built with them.

You can sell your newsletter at whatever price you feel its worth. If the information will make your clients more money, create shortcuts for people and make their life easier then you could probably charge more. It is not uncommon to charge $100 - $150 a year for newsletter subscriptions. Make sure however that the content is of value to the client because you want them to be a lifetime subscriber. This is what generates residual income for you.

You can also make a lot of money from free newsletters. Free newsletters allow your business to build credibility and add value to your product. People who subscribe to free newsletters can become valuable customers who buy your product, remain connected with your e-business, and eventually become repeat customers.

When you have captured the interest of a visitor on your website and you have gotten their email address, you need to capitalize on this lead and offer them value through your newsletter. The length of your newsletter will vary but it is good to keep it under approximately 8 pages. The content of the newsletter should also capture the reader's attention and give good information. How often you send out your newsletter will also vary. People are more willing to read a 2 page weekly newsletter, than an 8 page monthly newsletter. On average, most people send a 2 to 4 page newsletter every month.

Some things you can include in your newsletter may be:

  • Current updates
  • New products or services
  • Any changes to your website
  • Special promotions
  • Upcoming seminars or information

For great examples of newsletters, visit Campaign Monitor for 30+ Free HTML emails! (and yes, they are free!)

You can format your newsletter anyway you choose to, as long as it is easy to use and it achieves its purpose. Here is a suggestion on what your newsletter could look like:

  1. Header
    Make sure that every newsletter highlights the names of the articles, the date, and volume or issue number. Your contact information should be shown clearly.

  2. Table of Contents
    Organize your newsletter so the readers will be able to find the articles and information with ease. Use your discretion and create a table of contents based on the needs of your newsletter.

  3. Articles
    Make sure that your articles are short and catchy enough to get the readers attention but still contain valuable amounts of information. If the information is too long, you may want to split it up and continue it on the next newsletter. Highlight information on any special discounts, products, upcoming events, etc.

  4. Teasers
    One of the aims of your newsletter should be to create a desire for your product or service among your newsletter readers. You need to make them want more information using teasers.

  5. Unsubscribe
    You need to make sure that readers can unsubscribe easily. There is usually a link at the bottom of the page so people can unsubscribe. This feature is important because the last thing you want to do is annoy your potential clients.

  6. The Subject
    Make sure you have a catchy subject line that will entice readers to read on. People often delete the email because they think it is junk mail from an unknown source.

If you are not sure you have what it takes to create a newsletter for your e-business, there are companies that compile newsletters on any topic for you at no cost to you whatsoever! The only expectation they would have is that you include the author's name and a link at the bottom of your web page.

Here is a list of websites that offer such services:

Another great way to make money is to charge other companies for advertising in your newsletter. You could charge a flat fee for advertising or article space in your newsletter or you could charge a percentage of the profits that they make as a result of advertising in your newsletter. Whichever method you use, you need to make sure that the company you are selling the space to has a good reputation.

Be careful that you don't pack your newsletters too full of advertisements. You don't want people to perceive your newsletter as a sales letter.

Generally you will need 10,000 or more subscribers before you can start selling space on your newsletter. If your newsletter is very targeted and has a good reputation for selling, then you may not need as many subscribers. The aim is to keep growing your newsletter so that businesses will want to advertise with you.