Newsletter publishing has always made a lot of sense. It makes sense for firms to target their advertising dollars to clients and prospects that have expressed interest in their products and services.
However, for many, newsletter marketing has been more a source of frustration than sales. This is due to eight closely inter-related newsletter-marketing mistakes. By examining what hasn’t worked in the past, we can come up with a new concept of newsletter marketing that is already working better for others. Following are three of the eight biggest mistakes that newsletter marketers make.
1. Too much time between issues. The biggest problem of conventional newsletter marketing is the amount of time that goes by between issues. Consistency is the essence of success. Your goal is to maintain your firm’s constant visibility. You have to consistently publish, in order to be there when your market is ready to buy. Otherwise, “out of sight, out of mind. ”
Think of the oscilloscope on E. R. , monitoring a patient’s heartbeat in Intensive Care. Every time the patient’s heart beats, the trace reaches a peak and the oscilloscope “beeps. ” But – almost immediately – the trace begins to disappear.
A similar thing happens when you send out a newsletter. Your awareness peaks in the days immediately following arrival of your message. Your firm will be the one thought of should a purchase opportunity turn up. But, as more and more time passes, your visibility diminishes until you’re forgotten.
The more time that goes by between issues, the less chance you’ll make a sale. The more time that goes by between issues, the greater the chance that your competitors will steal your customers.
Newsletters that come out every month, or – worse, quarterly – just don’t make it in today’s overcrowded and over-communicated marketplace where your competition is trying to make your customers forget about you.
2. Too many pages in each issue. Excessive length – i. e. too many pages – is the primary reason that most newsletters cannot be published frequently enough to maintain constant visibility.
The more pages in a newsletter, the more decisions that have to be made, and the more words that have to be written. More pages also means more time producing and formatting each issue, plus higher printing costs.
Readers and publishers both benefit from short, frequent newsletters. In today’s busy environment, readers are in a hurry. They don’t have time for lengthy preambles. They want to cut directly to the chase. Readers appreciate newsletters that respect their time and that contain as much information as possible in a short, easy-to-read format.
Writers benefit, too. Long newsletters, however, encourage “loose writing. ” Not only do short newsletters require fewer words, they are easier to plan and easier to write. By limiting publishers to a finite number of words, short newsletters force writers to ruthlessly organize, edit and re-edit their words. As a result, short newsletters encourage clear, concise writing habits that communicate a lot of information in the fewest number of words.
3. Failure to engage. Clients and prospects are always asking: “What’s in it for me?” Unless every element of your newsletter is optimized for answering this question, your newsletter will fail to engage – or involve – your reader, it will remain unread until discarded in a wastebasket or deleted in an email inbox.
Newsletter titles often fail to engage their readers. Often, newsletters contain titles like: Roger C. Parker Newsletter. Now, outside of my wife and mother, why would anyone want to read the equivalent of The Roger C. Parker Newsletter?
Better alternatives, that target my market’s self-interest, might be:
- Newsletter Marketing Tips
- Marketing With Newsletters
- Effective Copy and Design
These telegraph the newsletter’s intentions and offer a benefit for reading.
Brag and boast headlines are a waste. Headlines must be written to appeal to the reader’s self-interest.
- Roger C. Parker Introduces New Seminar Topic. No benefit there!
- But, the same article could have been powerfully introduced with an engaging headline like: 10 Ways to Increase Web Site Sales.
Newsletter headline writers should take note of the titles of best-selling non-fiction books. These often describe both a problem and the number of steps, or number of days, needed to solve the problem. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 30 Days to a Trimmer You! And Write a Book in 28 Days! make even the most complex topic appear doable.
If your newsletter is not performing the way it should, the problem may be that your newsletters are too long, which means that too much time goes by between issues. Switching from a promotional - or “advertising” - approach to a reader-oriented, educational approach can spell the difference between newsletters that clients and prospects look forward to, or one that goes by unnoticed.
Even better, distributing both print and electronic versions of your newsletters, and creating a partnership between your newsletters and your other marketing tools, can be the boost you need to profit from today’s competitive marketplace.
About The Author
Roger C. Parker is the $32 million dollar author with over 1.6 million copies in print. Download the rest of the 8 Biggest Newsletter Marketing Mistakes here: www.onepagenewsletters.com