How E-Mail Newsletters Can Help Your Business

These days, it seems you have to do more than just launch a website to attract potential readers, customers, and devotees. As technology progresses and allows the Internet to become more interactive, website owners strive to keep up with the times. Browse your favorite websites today, and you will definitely notice the changes since you first visited them a few years ago.

You may find now a favorite website offers an RSS feed, so you can subscribe to certain articles or news. Some sites might release a regular podcast of information. A music group, for example, can now provide entire songs for listening enjoyment rather than ten-second clips. Message boards, chat rooms, and social networking options allow for more interactivity with site visitors. Yet for a site that does not require so many bells and whistles there is still a way to keep in touch and remain effective in marketing. A well-designed, opt-in e-mail newsletter is just the ticket for the small business, book author, or consultant who seeks to expand reach.

If you enjoy writing, then creating a monthly or twice-monthly newsletter to send to regular visitors will provide you with a strong creative outlet for your skills. More than that, it enhances a personal voice that may not always be detected on your website. There are many advantages to offering visitors to opt-in to regular e-mail correspondence:

E-Mail Newsletters Are Fun! Like writing a lively letter to your grandmother, or addressing a multitude of admirers, the e-mail newsletter allows you to create an endearing persona for the purpose of marketing your books, music, or products. Fill your newsletter with personal anecdotes about your business or writing, brief histories of how you came up with your best ideas, or inspirational vignettes for your readers to live by.

If your website sells cookies, share a recipe. If you are a novelist, talk about a recent book signing or write about another author you admire. If you are a consultant, talk about what motivates you to help others. Taking the time to write one newsletter a month of quality content can work wonders for your site’s traffic.

E-Mail Newsletter Are Inexpensive! Unlike hardcopy newsletters, which can become costly with production and postage expenses, the e-mail newsletter takes only the time to write, edit, and distribute. Whether you wish to create one in text or using an HTML template, you can find a suitable text editor like Notepad or HTML editor freeware to create your masterpiece. Distribution is a snap, too, when you utilize a third party site specializing in such communications. Yahoo Groups, for example, allows users to set newsletter options, so you can collect e-mails and send your newsletters out with one click of the mouse. If you are looking for something more professional to suit a business, a quick Internet search will lead you to helpful freeware or shareware designed to handle bulk mailings. The simple act of setting up a script on your website (and tutorials for this sort of thing are available online) to allow visitors to opt into an e-mail newsletter can be a boon for your Web enterprise.

E-Mail Newsletters sell! The personal touch and genial quality of a newsletter can enhance your products, books, and services. Let the content you create for site visitors draw them into the finer, unique attributes of what you have to offer. A consultant may wish to include stories of how his/her expertise led to great success for clients, while a book author can share fan mail from readers about how his/her book was an inspiration. What is so special about your book, your music, your products that people have to have them? Flesh out the finer points for copy that not only entertains, but sells, too.

In addition to your own items, offering a newsletter increases your opportunity to earn income in other ways. If you are familiar with Internet affiliate programs, you will know that many companies that affiliate offer creative and affiliate links designed especially for e-mail marketing.

Let’s say you write a monthly newsletter about your mystery novels. By joining affiliate programs of national bookstore chains, you can advertise your book for sale through these outlets and provide readers with the affiliated URLs. As readers buy your books after clicking through these links, you get the royalty AND the affiliate fee associated with the link. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Say your mystery novels are centered around a particular theme, perhaps your sleuth is a pastry chef. You can join affiliated programs associated with products your sleuth might use. Mix up the links with some compelling content and your simple newsletter is a potential moneymaker!

Yet, it doesn’t happen overnight. To win readers, you have to dedicate yourself to writing the content and enticing first-time subscribers to become regular customers. More importantly, have fun with the newsletter. Make readers feel at home with your style, and they will want to keep coming to see what more you have to say.

Kathryn Lively writes for CINIVA Systems, a Virginia Beach website design company.

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