Entrepreneurs: Whatever Happened to Your Newsletter?

Entrepreneurs: Whatever Happened to Your Newsletter? Why NOT Sending Regular eZines is Hurting Business and What To Do About It

Why NOT Sending Regular Newsletters is Hurting Business and What To Do About It

When I talk to entrepreneurs about all the benefits of adding a newsletter/eZine sign up form to their website, they are usually quite enthusiastic and commit to sending out a regular newsletter at least once a month.

Sadly, this rarely comes to fruition.  Months, if not years go by and nary a newsletter gets sent out…

Are you guilty of this too? Has your website been gathering names and email addresses of people who literally want to hear from you and you have hardly ever gotten around to sending anything out to these people?

So what happened? Why aren’t you taking advantage of this fundamental marketing strategy that could make a huge difference in your business success?

After reading this article, you’ll not only be reminded of why it’s so important to have a regular eZine/Newsletter in your marketing plan, but I’ll also provide tips on how to get you into the routine of fulfilling that plan.

Firstly, here’s a quick reminder of why you wanted to start a regular newsletter to begin with:

  1. To keep in touch with your followers. The reason why keeping in touch with those in your database is so important is to avoid them from forgetting about you!

    Since it’s rare that a first time visitor to your website will immediately make a purchase decision, a newsletter is a way for you to keep in touch and remind them about your offerings.

    As a result, they will automatically think of you when they need what you provide or will think of you when a friend or associate needs your services.

  2. To showcase your expertise. People like following those that know what they’re talking about, especially if they have a desire to learn more about your industry.

    They very well could be shopping around for someone with your product or skill and need to be confident that you are the best choice for them. A newsletter provides an excellent way of doing this.

  3. To market your business inexpensively. It costs pennies to send out newsletter and your return can be immense.

    And since a newsletter article can also be a blog article, you now have two ways for you to expand your market reach by sharing the blog article to your social media followers.

    And don’t forget about the SEO benefits of adding a new blog post to your website too!

  4. To develop lasting relationships with your readers. The more you write and share about your expertise, the more your subscribers will get to know, like and trust you.

    The more they do this, the more likely they will want to do business with you or refer you to others.

It’s clear why a newsletter is important to have, but I know, there are lots of “reasons” why you may not have one…

  1. Don’t have enough time
  2. Don’t know what to say
  3. Don’t know how to write well enough or like to write at all
  4. Don’t think you have anything of value to share
  5. Don’t want to “bother” people by emailing them all the time

I’m sure you can think of more, but these are some of what I hear most often.

So let’s examine this list of reasons and see what solutions can be found.

  1. Not enough time. I used this one all the time, everything else was far more important than our own newsletters so they didn’t get sent out.

    My solution? Simply make the time! And this is done by making a commitment to this important task.

    Get started by scheduling a couple of hours into your calendar and stick to the appointment you’ve made for yourself. Honour your commitment by staying on task and not letting other things take priority.

    You only need to do this once a month but if possible, every two weeks is much better and some experts will say once a week is most effective. (We started sending out weekly newsletters over a year ago and it’s made a big difference.) I think it really has to do with who you are writing for – what are they wanting and how often would they love to get your valuable information.

  2. Don’t know what to say. This one can actually be as simple as listening to your current clients and remembering the questions they ask you. Or do similar listening on Social Media – what problems are people having that are related to your industry?

    If one person is asking, then the chances are many others are also seeking the same answer. Keep a log of questions you get throughout the day and then write an article about your response.

    It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out answer – short and informative is all that is needed.

  3. Don’t know how to write / don’t like to write. This can be solved a few ways. Believe it or not, there are people out there that actually LOVE to write and would be thrilled to help you out!

    There are virtual assistants, students and even us here at eVision Media who offer copywriting services for clients.

    All you need to do is write out the general outline of what you want to say and let the copywriter put it together for you.

    Another idea is to record your thoughts using a free recording service and have it transcribed by a Virtual Assistant.

    And if writing it not your cup of tea at all, create a video instead! All you need is a blog to post the video onto and then send out a newsletter telling people to click on the link that takes them to your blog post to watch.

  4. Nothing of value to share. Ok, tough love here… STOP THAT! Of course you have something of value to share! You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t!

    Your clients love you for your expertise so never undervalue what you offer. Don’t let your lack of confidence filter through because people don’t want to hear from someone who doesn’t think they are very good. Do you?

  5. Don’t want to bother people. I get where you’re coming on this and it can be used as an easy scapegoat to avoid the whole newsletter thing.

    However, you’re forgetting one critical fact – these people signed up to actually RECEIVE a newsletter from you!

    If they didn’t want to be bothered, they wouldn’t have signed up or will unsubscribe. In fact, by asking people to sign up for your newsletter and then never or rarely send one out sends a negative message– that you can’t be counted on to follow through with what you promised you would do. Think about that for a moment…

On a final note, it’s important to realize a Newsletter is NOT a form of advertising and should never be the main focus of your email (unless it’s a separate sendout and is not part of your regular Newsletter.)

So go ahead and take out your calendar right now and schedule a time THIS WEEK to write your next newsletter. Give yourself at least 2 hours to do some research and write down your thoughts.

If you don’t want to write the entire newsletter, then arrange for someone who will be gladly do it for you. If you are still unsure of whether a Newsletter is of value for you, schedule a consultation with me to help you come up with a game plan.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

  • Christy Johnson

    Thank you, Susan! Just this morning at a networking meeting I mentioned I haven’t sent out a newsletter in ages and now a couple of my excuses are staring me in the face in your post. It’s perfect timing as well as great incentive to get moving.

    • Thanks for sharing Christy! I’m glad to hear my article motivated you to get moving again with your newsletter. I challenge you to send one out this week!

      • Christy Johnson

        Susan, I wonder if I could ask for your input. I have two lists of people who could receive my newsletter. One is my blog subscribers list, all of whom opted in for my weekly blog posts, none of whom opted in for a newsletter. The other is my existing clients list who haven’t opted in for anything. Would you recommend sending my newsletter to both lists (mildly problematic since there’s some list overlap) with an “opt out” option or start a newsletter opt in from scratch? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

        • Hi Christy, the Canadian Anti-Spam law that came into effect last year (http://evisionmedia.ca/new-canadian-anti-spam-laws/) states that you can’t send bulk emails to those that did not give express permission first (even if you’re in the states, if you have Canadian people in your list, you’ll be affected).

          So unfortunately your blog subscriber list can’t be sent a newsletter but you CAN post a blog post (of which they would get notified of it) asking them to opt into your (new) newsletter list.

          For your clients, the law is a little less rigid where it can be assumed they gave permission by doing business with you and you have another 2 years to get their express permission.

          What I’d do with that list is email them all and ask them to confirm their subscription to receive a newsletter.

          Having an “opt out” included with your bulk emails is also part of the law so that must be included regardless.

          Hope that helps!

          • Christy Johnson

            Fantastic info, thank you Susan. I only have a handful of Canadian clients but think it makes sense to have a one-size-fits-all approach to this. I knew I needed an opt-out in the newsletter itself but not the rest of the details you provided. Much appreciated!

          • Glad I could help! Let me know if you need any assistance with any of this – we do this a lot for our clients on a daily basis.

Why NOT Sending Regular Newsletters is Hurting Business and What To Do About It When I talk to entrepreneurs about all the benefits of adding a newsletter/eZine sign up form to their website, they are usually quite enthusiastic and commit … Continued