Did you know that:
- We encounter more than 5,000 media messages a day.
- We’re aware of only about 150 of them.
- And only four to 12 of them make any impact on us.
That’s bad news if you’re trying to break through the clutter and get your message to your prospects and clients.
Fortunately, consistent, informative email newsletters can help you get heard above the noise. According to the Annuitis Group, “businesses that send lead-nurture emails generate 451% more qualified prospects than their competitors who don’t.”
But how do you keep your newsletter from ending up in the delete file with nary a glance? I asked Kathie Sherman of TenFour Marketing that question. Kathie is a newsletter guru, known for producing newsletters that get results.
These are some of her tips:
Keep your goal in mind.
This may seem too obvious to mention, but everything comes down to your objective. Are you trying to generate leads? Nurture prospects? Increase brand awareness? Your goal will guide all your activities.
Develop a good list.
Collect contact information from people at networking events, on your website, through email and through social media.
One way to expand your list is by offering a good “lead magnet.” This is valuable information you offer people in exchange for their email addresses. You can offer it on your website, through social media, and in your email newsletter itself.
Good lead magnets are laser focused on your prospects and customers. They address a single issue, and appeal to our natural desire for information. Samples include reports, quizzes, software and training tools.
Get permission to send your prospects material.
It’s essential you comply with the Can-Spam Act. This requires, among other things, that your subject line be accurate, your header information correct, and your unsubscribe information clear.
Deliver short, valuable content.
We’re talking here about non-sales content targeted for the top of the sales funnel. That’s where your prospects are just learning about the subject; it‘s the “awareness” part of the “awareness,” “interest,” “desire” and “action” buying sequence.
The goal of your content is to attract people to your site, whether you’re using original content or curating content developed by others. One approach, suggested by Margaret Magnarelli at Monster, is to concentrate on:
- How – Straightforward, utility content
- Now – Thought-leadership content that is focused on news–driven stories
- Wow – Fun content
Stumped for ideas? Brainstorm with a “content buddy.”Or check out resources such as What To Write, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator or Content Forest.
Send your newsletter out regularly. Monthly is fine, more often if you can keep it up.
Prepare a content calendar to help you organize your ideas and stick with your schedule.
Develop strong subject lines.
People spend only fractions of a second evaluating email subject lines. So your best shot at connecting with them is a short, one-line description of your content. Emphasize the fact that the content is useful, ultra-specific, unique or urgent. Possible formats for subject lines include a testimonial, a benefit statement, a question, some news or a how-to.
Here’s the important part. It’s essential to get started.
A great way to get started is by attending the Newsletter Ninja Workshop, which will be taught by Kathie Sherman (the source of most of the information in this blog post) and yours truly. This is a hands-on event where you will practice these skills. You won’t leave with a “to-do” list; you’ll leave with a “have-done” list. Specifically, you’ll leave with a content calendar and the draft of one to three articles.
There are two workshops, one in the East Bay (Wednesday, February 15, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m., 1815 Harbor Place, Alameda) and one in the South Bay (Thursday, February 23, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m, Intersection Space. 3165 Olin Avenue, San Jose).
For more information and to register, go to http://tenfourmarketing.com/ninja. We hope to see you there.
Susan Monroe says
Thanks for a truly excellent post, Kay. You have a real knack for coming up with content that’s both well written and exceedingly useful.