In yesterday's installment of the Cheese to Soul series, I commented that I might have half a dozen posts in me about how to create an effective newsletter. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that might actually be true. We'll see how far I get today.
Remember, the goal of a newsletter is to make the recipient of the newsletter smile and think of you fondly. Which is best accomplished not with gardening tips, Just Sold notices or descriptions of your listings, but rather with interesting content that reflects YOU - your voice, your personality. And the best way to do that is to write the content yourself.
Now, don't freak out on me. Writing interesting content YOURSELF is not all that hard, especially if you work under the principle that less is more. As in - don't feel your newsletter has to be formally formatted with a Volume Number, Table of Contents and a three-column layout. Nope. In fact, a simple email-style newsletter will work much better. If you're on my mailing list, you've seen my "newsletters" which are nothing more than me rambling about something, hopefully of interest, with my cute little signature logo at the bottom. No sidebars, very few graphics, and only the occasional sales-pitch (which I usually apologize for).
And, by the way, my newsletters are probably the most important (and effective) self-promotion I do.
Write your newsletters with the goal of inspiring your audience to respond. Responses are good. They open the door to ongoing conversations with your readers and you never know where they'll lead. You're much more likely to get meaningful responses to your newsletters if they're done in a casual format, rather than a formal newsletter format. Whenever I get a newsletter that appears to be professionally-designed, I might be impressed, but I'm not inspired to respond. And, frankly, I make the assumption that the newsletter is mostly boilerplate or sales-pitchy anyway, and not likely to be of interest to me. If I'm pressed for time, I hit DELETE. Which is most of the time.
Make sure your newsletter goes out from YOU - as in, from Your Name. Not from some professional-sounding company or even your fancy tagline. YOUR NAME. Period. I can't tell you how many newsletters I get from people I know, but I'd never know who they were from because the "From" field is a company I've never heard of.
One last tip for today ... DON'T use a program to send out your emails that doesn't allow replies! I was recently added to an acquaintance's Avon drip campaign and right across the top of my daily marketing email (sigh) is the note: "PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL. This email box is not equipped to handle correspondence." Sheesh.
So... what might you write about that would be "meaningful" to your audience and inspire them to respond?
You know the drill... stay tuned.