It all sounds so complex. But do you really have to hire a think tank when mulling a newsletter program? Here are several strategic pointers to keep in mind when launching an e-zine.
*People will gladly accept advertising in exchange for information and entertainment, so the creation of a content-filled e-mail newsletter is the best strategy to deliver your advertising messages to your audience with success.
*You can place sales messages throughout your newsletter, provided you do so tastefully. In fact, relevant content that your audience wants to read may be more effective at driving sales and response than pure promotional copy.
*A comprehensive program will include other non-newsletter e-mails, including event invitations, shipping and order confirmations and account information.
*Start with a general newsleter then offer several other, more specific newsletters that target specific segments of your audience.
*Only write about relevant, interesting subjects. Your audience will stick with you—and digest your sales messages—as long as you keep up your end of the bargain. This means that some marketing and executive “pet peeve” messages need to stay out.
*Make sure your e-mail looks good on various e-mail programs and monitors, including laptops and handhelds.
*Create fun or interesting e-mails that your subscribers will want to share with friends. This type of viral marketing is critical to keeping subscribers happy and building your subscriber base.
Matt Blumberg is the driving force behind Return Path, an e-mail performance company. Collaborating with him on this project are his colleagues, e-mail strategists Stephanie A. Miller and Tami Monahan Forman. This article was excerpted from their new book, “Sign Me Up! A Marketer’s Guide to Creating E-mail Newsletters That Build Relationships and Boost Sales (iUniverse Inc., 2005) © 2005 Return Path, Inc. All rights reserved.