You want your business to have an e-newsletter, you feel it needs an e-newsletter, but what the heck are you going to put in an e-newsletter? Don’t forget… once you get started … once you fill up that first issue with content – whether it’s weekly, monthly, or less frequently – you need to keep filling them up – issue after issue after issue. If you’re not up to the challenge, if you’re not prepared to keep turning them out, we strongly suggest you don’t even start.
Don’t despair! It’s not as hard as it seems, really. There’s a genre of content that’s fairly easy to generate and that will keep your readers entertained, informed, and looking forward to your next issue. It’s called TIPS!
Ask The Expert
Tips? Like “suggestions?” Yes, indeed. Your clients turn to your business because they perceive you as an expert in whatever field you’re in. Whether you’re an accountant who knows the best way to minimize taxes, an attorney who knows how to keep folks out of hot water, a medical practitioner who knows methods of staying healthy, or a physical trainer who can help you keep those abs ripped (or an SEO who can help your site rank on Google!), you’ve got information your customers are willing to pay for. Which means that your e-newsletter is the perfect tool to share some of that information – gratis – and convince readers they ought to perceive you as an authority … and continue to do business with you (or, in the case of prospects, begin a relationship with you).
So what’s the best and easiest way to share that expertise? You got it … TIPS! And here’s how you do it …
Start With A List
Start by making a list of tidbits of information that you think will interest your clients or prospects. The more specific, the better. The more helpful, the better. Maybe it’s the answer to a question you or your staff are asked frequently. Maybe it’s a solution to a particularly common problem. Maybe it’s a way to do things quicker or easier or less expensively. Whatever it is, add it to your list. And keep adding to it. Don’t wait until your e-newsletter deadline is upon you. Whenever you think of a tip, jot it down.
Tap Your Sources
Remember that creating each e-newsletter’s content is not all on you. Your company employs experts – customer service people, salespeople, marketers – and their heads are all packed with information they can and should be willing to share. Get them altogether – or send a memo around – and explain that you’re starting a company e-newsletter that needs their input. Give them an assignment – you want THREE of the best tips they can muster, tips that your customers/prospects will appreciate. If they moan and groan about it, turn it into a contest. Whoever turns in the best tip each month gets, say, a $10 Starbucks gift card. Or just give them credit in the e-newsletter and print their name under the tip. It’s all about making this project fun… and not something you have to endure alone. (By the way, as your subscriber base grows, you may consider running this same contest with your readers!)
Easy As 1-2-3
Now, turn to that list each time you need to generate content. If your e-newsletter is monthly, all you need are, say, three tips a month. Sorting through the TIP FILE you’ve created and picking three can’t be all that difficult, can it? It’s just a matter of doing a little writing/editing to turn what may be hastily scrawled tips into entertaining text.
One of our clients – a brand new one, in fact, — is a law firm that has taken our advice. Their first issue just mailed last week and, as we suggested, they are using three tips per issue to give their readers useful information, like:
- Tip #1: Don’t underestimate the importance of a land survey. If available, a realtor should provide the seller’s attorney with … and so on and so on.
- Tip #2: Clear up title issues early. Some title issues can be resolved simply by … and so on and so on.
- Tip #3: Share your engineer’s inspection with your attorney. Sellers can benefit by … and so on and so on.
You can view how their first issue turned out here.
As you can see, the best way to feature the tips is to give just a snippet of the text in the e-newsletter and then break in the middle of a sentence and create a “teaser.” Then post the rest of the information on your Web site. In that way, you are driving curious readers to your Web site where they can pick up the rest of your wisdom. What you’re doing is twofold – generating content for your newsletter AND increasing your Web site’s readership. How cool is that?
And that’s OUR tip of the day!
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