Dear Danielle: Why Do I Need a Newsletter?

Dear Danielle:

I have seen a lot of colleagues putting “sign up for my newsletter” on their websites. Who would sign up for them? And why? Does it generate future clients? Also, where do they get the content for monthly newsletters? I can’t imagine that each of them are writing their own, but maybe they are. This is an area I’m a little confused about, but would love to get up-to-speed if it’s something that generates clients. –MM

Hi, MM. You’re seeing a lot of people in business doing this because a newsletter is a way to continue the dialogue with your prospective clients.

By building a list through an opt-in offer (such as a newsletter), you can continue to talk with those folks on a regular basis, which keeps your name and face in front of them, helps them get to know you and your company better, and helps you develop a rapport with them.

You’ll hear it said often that “the list is the thing,” and this is very true.

Your list keeps prospects in your pipeline which is a very good thing because there will be times in your business when your roster isn’t full.

If you build a list of subscribers with whom you follow-up and stay in contact, you’ll always have a ready-made audience of prospective clients and referrers who have already indicated (by virtue of their continued subscription) that they are interested in you and your company.

Some things to keep in mind… I see a lot of colleagues put out newsletters that are either talking to other people in our own industry (these are not who you should be talking to if you are trying to get clients) or are very self-centric (your content needs to be of compelling value and interest to your would-be clients and be talking about them, not you, you, you).

To do well with a newsletter, always keep in mind who your intended audience is: your would-be clients, not your colleagues!

Write about things that are going to be of interest to them.

Write from their perspective and talk directly to them. If you’re using a lot of “I,” “we” and “us,” flip those sentences around to use more “you” and “your.”

Offer advice that is genuinely helpful to your target market in their businesses. Doing so will also demonstrate what a smart cookie you are (and what a great partner you would be to work with).

If you’re going to do a newsletter, I recommend also interspersing your articles with news about your company that is client-centric. Clients aren’t going to care so much that you joined your local Chamber of Commerce. Big woop, right? Save that stuff for filler.

What will be more interesting and relevant to them is hearing about how some work you just completed for a client simplified their business, automated part of their operations saving them X hours a year, brought in X number of new subscribers, or generated $X more in revenues.

That’s the kind of stuff that will perk up their ears because they’re looking to achieve those things in their own business, and it gives them a clear illustration of how your support could be implemented and what kind of results they can expect.

And don’t assume they know or remember all that you can do. You have to keep reminding them. Each week (or month), talk about a different skill you have or special service you offer and give your readers ideas and suggestions on how they can leverage that in their business and what they will gain from it.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to do a newsletter.

There are lots of ways to build your list including offering a free report (something that is highly relevant and of keen interest to your target market), weekly tips and quips, or an e-course to be delivered over the period of several weeks.

You don’t want your website to just be sitting there passively online. You want to put it to work capturing those leads and turning your site visitors into subscribers on your list.

To start building your list, it’s important to use an autoresponder/distribution service to automate things and save time. I highly recommend Aweber. It’s easy to use, very affordable, the uses, functions and integrations they offer are virtually limitless, and they have absolutely fantastic customer service. If you don’t invest in any other tool in your business, this is definitely one you should not go without.

Oh, and I should add that your offer should be free. You’ll hear this referred to frequently as your “pink spoon” in the marketing funnel strategy. It’s a way to get them in the door so that you can become a resource and maintain regular communication thereby increasing your “know/like/trust” quotient.

6 Responses

  1. Meredith says:

    Other important reason to have a newsletter and a free offer on you site is that in many ways your site is your portfolio.

    Having a list building system on your site shows potential clients that you are at least somewhat savvy about online marketing.

  2. Marta Costa says:

    These are some great tips on how to structure a newsletter and the importance of the creating a list. Keeping the focus on the clients and what you can do for them is the best strategy.

  3. Ron says:

    Very nicely said.

    Your point about writing a newsletter that is client-centric is the biggest take-away. That same advice goes for blogging.

    Business people are hungry for better information on how to use VA’s in their business – not just a list of services but great examples. You have to write things that they want to read.

  4. Beverley says:

    Great post. I have a newsletter signup but not monthly and I only send out when I have something to say. You made an excellent point about writing about what would interest your clients.

  5. Hi, Beverly 🙂

    That’s great that you’re doing a newsletter. If I may offer a suggestion, more consistent regularity is going to help keep that conversation going with your prospective clients.

    When a newsletter is published too infrequently, it loses momentum. A regular schedule helps build interest; subscribers will come to expect its reliability (which will also speak to them subliminally about your reliability as well so make it dependable) and begin to look forward to each issue’s arrival.

    You’ve got a great start to build upon. Just put a little more of an intentional publishing schedule to it and grow from there.

    Hope that helps!

  6. Beverley says:

    Thanks Daniel I’ve taken note of your suggestion and will definitely give it a try:-)

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