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Advanced Email Marketing Strategies…
Instead of discussing just one aspect – such as teaching you how to set up an email marketing campaign or give you an email marketing template – I’ll be sharing some tips and tactics that I’ve learnt over the years while managing my newsletters. Not all strategies are created equal. For example, implementing Tip #1 might not increase your bottom line by much if your newsletter doesn’t integrate the tips very well. On the other hand, if your current crop of subscribers were acquired from those cheap holiday mega-giveaways, you might be surprised to learn how much an effect Tip #4 can have on the profits generated through your newsletter. You might already know a few tips from this list – that’s good, because now you know you’re on the right track.
In essence, these are the specific aspects of your newsletter strategy that you should “check” regularly to see if you’re doing them (and doing them right). And make sure you monitor your own results to find out what works and doesn’t work – you are bound to learn something every time you send out an issue (assuming that you’re continuously plugging away and testing things). Below are my Top 10 practices and tactics that I’ve picked up over the years:
1 – Readers Come First
People care less about you and more about themselves. In each issue, review each section with the specific criteria of usefulness to the reader. If it’s not at least a 3 out of 5, either ditch it or push it to the end of the issue. In fact, you might try to structure your newsletter by sticking in what you think is most useful to the reader at the top, and working downwards from that.
2 – What Have I Done for You Lately?
Depending on how frequent your newsletter issues are, you will need one new “big thing” to keep the publication fresh. Whether its in the form of a new service, a tool or a free ebook / report, make sure to provide something valuable (on a large scale) to your subscribers periodically (say every year, or every 6 months).
You could even put the offering on a new website, and thus generate rapid publicity (and free links) to your site as a result of such a promotion.
On a side note, be on the lookout for several new tools and services that I’ll be announcing – a keyword tool (Keyword Elite) and an article writing service are just two of them. Stay tuned. I’m very excited to show you guys!
3 – Quality Source of Subscribers
It’s absolutely critical to the success of your email newsletter to figure out where your new subscribers will come from. Many subscribers to SEO Elite come from the thousands of inbound links to its home page, many more still arrive from the search engines and others are acquired through syndicated articles across a network of reputed sites.
4 – Keep It Simple, Very Simple
That goes for layout, sentence structure, copy style and editorial guidelines. Readers in this medium need to “get it” fast. If you try to get them overly involved with complex schemes or hard-to-understand copy, you’ll lose them. It’s like radio, in a way. It’s very easy to lose someone’s attention in radio because there are no visuals. Online is a lean-in, rush-to-read-it medium. People lean forward into their computer monitors, usually with a very specific intention. Serve that intention or something very close to that intention – with speed. If you’re building your online presence through podcasts (audio blogging) and/or vidcasts (video blogging), this advice applies in spades. Make everything easily accessible, and allow for a link to a page that helps out first-timers or people who are having any trouble.
5 – Pick Your Email Service Provider Carefully
Read their white papers on email marketing and take it for a trial spin before committing resources. See which businesses similar to yours use a similar service – call them up and see what they have to say about that service. In short, do your homework before you leap. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you build up your list through one service provider before realizing that there’s another email service that offers better terms, is more scalable and generally more suited to your needs.
6 – Show Your Face
I’m guilty of not following this advice on the SEO Elite newsletter. However, understand that the Internet is (still) a pretty spooky place. Showing your face, rather than some slick graphic, is a good bet. People like to know there’s a human at the other end of the line.
7 – Put the Subscriber First
Even if your email newsletter is complimentary, first serve the subscriber as though he/she was paying for your product. If you don’t, your readership will sense you have other agendas and lose their loyalty. Give your readers everything you have, and don’t hold anything back. It’s important you give MUCH more than you receive… so give them every ounce that you have in you.
8 – Make Your Newsletter Indispensable
If your newsletter becomes a must-read, other sites will point to you, which will increase your standing in search engine results and bring you even more traffic and subscribers… but you must first be such a solid resource that other sites can justify pointing to you as that industry’s “go-to” resource.
9 – Subject Headers Rule
No matter who is in the “From” field, you know you need a compelling subject header. Keep it short, sweet and direct. No hyperbole or overly “sales-like” material. I’ve seen the very same solo email campaign draw 20% better response rates (and more) using a different subject header. BTW, I notice my subscribers love “How To” subject headers. It makes sense. After all, people who read an SEO newsletter are always interested in knowing how to do things or how to do things better. Never, and I repeat, never use the subject line: “Article 107 of 182? or something along those lines. Use something intriuging. Nobody cares if this is Article 107, or whatever the case may be. The purpose of the subject line is to get people to open the email.
10 – Never allow others to pay you to advertise in your newsletter
Every once in a great while, it’s ok to do a little advertising in your newsletter, but if you decide to do this, it had better be either for your own product OR for a product that you are a direct affiliate of. Wasting your 1 mailing containing an advertisement for something, on someone else’s ad is a big no-no. You could earn far more money AND chances are you could be telling your subscribers about a much more helpful product if it’s one you picked out yourself.
Make sure that you review your publishing strategy and find out if you’re not implementing any one or more of these tips – they could make a significant difference to your bottom line.
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Originally posted 2004-03-07 22:11:01.