If you ever considered publishing and e-newsletter but hear yourself saying: “Ezines sound like a great way to stay in touch with clients and prospects, but I just don’t have the time. Is there an easier way to accomplish the same thing without committing to a regular publishing schedule?” consider this alternative: the evergreen ezine.
Some people call it the “canned ezine”, because it’s pre-written, and has an extended “shelf life”. There are two sub-categories here: an evergreen ezine that is fresh any time of the year, and a seasonal ezine.
Let’s say you want to stay in touch with your prospects every other week, and you want to keep them on the list for up to a year, after which time you would write them off as not interested and remove them from your list, or keep them on the list, and restart the sequence. This would require that you write 26 issues in advance (26 issues x 2 weeks = 52 weeks, or one year).
Once you have 26 issues ready, you have two options: you can either set them up as a series of issues to be sent on specific dates, or you can set them up as an auto-responder sequence. Most Email Service Providers provide an option of setting up your ezines to be published at any future date, but to set up an auto-responder you will need to sign up with an ESP such as Aweber, GetResponse or 1ShoppingCart.
Example 1 – Mortgage Broker
You could easily write a series of 26 articles that deal with your area of expertise. Simply make sure they are not time sensitive and you could set them up as an auto-responder sequence.
Then, as your prospects sign up on your web site, they will each start receiving the articles in a pre-set sequence: the 1st issue is sent on the day they sign up, the second 14 days later, the third 28 days later, and so on. The sequence is individually managed by the auto-responder, so it would be totally hands-free for you – once you set it up, you can forget about it and concentrate on other things.
Example 2 – Real Estate Agent
Your newsletter can be canned, but seasonal. In real estate there are certain seasonal patterns and trends that are easily recognizable, and you could write articles to accommodate those trends. For example, there are certain things homeowners should be doing in January, but different things in July. If you publish semi-monthly, you could create one issue geared towards sellers, and the second one for buyers, as each group has a different focus.
Bonus tip: in situations such as with our realtor, you may think you would separate the buyers and sellers (or cat-lovers and dog-lovers, or any other seemingly incompatible group) into two separate lists, and send them different ezines, but I would recommend that you consider sending all of them the same content – you never know when a “buyer” might forward a “seller issue” to a friend or family member who is thinking of selling.
Please refer to my resource page to find about which Email Service Providers provide auto-responders, as not all of them do, unfortunately.