NCET explores business and technology.
By Jackie Phillips
A newsletter providing genuinely helpful information can have an expansive reach for your business. The newsletter is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit because your customers actively request a subscription. Just stop and think about the value of providing information to people who want to hear from your business!
A poor newsletter won’t bring the return you seek. Here are 13 steps to create a better newsletter:
1) A newsletter helps you build a relationship with your customers. While highlighting products and services—and offering specials—can be very attractive, focus more on a softer sell by providing helpful information and tips related to your product or service area expertise.
2) Write an interesting headline containing keywords and action words. Keywords contained in headlines and subheads will also contribute to your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). (You are also posting the articles on your website. Right?)
3) If you are using your newsletter to draw readers to your website, include the beginning of the article in your newsletter with a “read more” link that directs the reader to your website to read the rest of the article.
a. Be strategic when placing the “read more” link. Find a place in the opening paragraph that leaves the reader wanting more—making the reader more compelled to click through to the website.
b. Learn how to make anchor tags on your website so the reader will be taken directly to the spot where the article continues.
4) Use subheadings. By breaking up the text with subheadings, you increase readability and draw the reader down through the article. Subheads also draw-in readers who skim articles to decide whether or not to read them.
5) It is important to provide sources for figures and other research results that are discussed. Attributions to respected sources will give your newsletter more credibility.
6) Provide website links to the sources you use in order to allow the reader to refer to the original information – again, increasing your credibility. Relevant links also help your SEO.
7) Short paragraphs are more enticing to readers. Aim to write succinct but interesting paragraphs.
8) Ask a question or two to engage readers.
9) Include a descriptive byline for author.
10) Include tags on the webpage to help draw in readers who are searching for the information you provide. Turn tags into hashtags for Twitter, etc.
11) Post to social media sites and share to relevant groups in LinkedIn, Facebook and other social platforms.
12) Publish your newsletter regularly, but be committed to providing good content that is genuine and can truly help your readers.
13) Review the email regulations spelled out in the CAN Spam Act so you don’t break spam laws.
Jackie Phillips is NCET’s VP of creative services, a freelance graphic designer and she writes and officiates wedding ceremonies (www.laketahoeceremony.com). This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal – RGJ.com