First, let’s talk about your ezine, or e-newsletter. If you intend to publish an informative ezine, do not expect much direct sales from it. Why is this?
Because the primary purpose of your newsletter is to establish your credibility, expertise and to create that relationship – we keep returning to this relationship thing all the time, don’t we? Do not think of your ezine primarily as an advertisement for your services or products.
In your ezine, you must provide useful content to your subscribers.
By all means, promote your products and services in your ezine, but do not make it the most prominent part of the newsletter. Here it should be in the background, and shouldn’t take up more than about a quarter of the space.
For example, at the bottom of the newsletter you can have a section titled “About Me”, and here you can provide a brief summary of your business, and also mention that you are the author of such-and-such book, or creator of a product. Provide a link to your site where there’s more information.
Now, the most money you’re going to make is through so-called promo-emails, or some people call them solo mailings. While your ezine may have several articles, reviews, comments, recommendations, etc., in a promo email you will concentrate on promoting just one particular thing: it could be a new product you developed, a new type of service that you offer, or something like that.
Typically, your promo emails will be much shorter than your regular ezine. In case you’re sending your ezine in HTML format you may want to experiment and send the promo emails as plain text. Be sure to split-test this.
BTW, for those who are not familiar with the term, split-testing is when you send one version of your email to a subset of your list and another, different version, to a different group of the same size. You compare the results, and from then on use the format witch produced the highest response.
These promotional emails will usually have response rates that are several times higher than a response from your ezine.
Glad you are writing on this subject as it seems like both a science and art to do solo mailings (as with an ezine as well.)
I think the power behind the solo mailings is in the simplicity that’s just one item someone has to make a decision on (buy a product, sign up for a class, etc)
Any recommendations on if you do a weekly ezine, how many solo emails you can send a month?
I’m afraid there’s no one-answer-fits-all on this one – you’ll have to find out what your subscribers will “tolerate” by testing.
This will depend on many factors, one being: how closely related what you’re offering in your promotional email to the content of your regular e-newsletter.
As as rule of thumb, I’d start with sending one e-zine and then one promo email. In case you’re promoting an event, your list will probably tolerate more frequent emails as the event date approaches.
I hope this helps,
Great post. Solid tips and spot-on advice. You’re right — providing useful content is the key to success over the long run, especially if you’re devoted to building trust with your clients and customers.
After just a few minutes of poking around on your blog, it’s clear you’re a pro when it comes to providing useful, relevant content to your readers.
Hope business is thriving!
Lani & Allen Voivod
aka “The Content Lovers” of Epiphanies, Inc.