Newsletter as a list building strategy

One way to build your list and gain new leads is through newsletters. People want good information. If the seekers are looking for something in your niche, you want them to find you.

Wouldn’t it be great to get the information you need delivered right to your inbox? You can, or at least your readers can if you create a newsletter.

Your website contains content that will help draw your target market to you. You use keywords (that you’ve carefully researched), catchy headlines and other tricks to provide interesting tidbits for your readers. Do you have some awesome marketing or technology tips for your target market? Save those for the newsletter.

Is it worth doing a Newsletter?

What makes a newsletter so special? It gives the reader more detailed information than they can find on your website. You can upsell it as being exclusively for subscribers. That alone can get your readers to opt-in for it and also tell their friends. Make sure to include a ‘share’ link to make this quick and simple.

You can also be more personal in a newsletter. And depending on the frequency, you have a regular opportunity to share time sensitive information. It’s an important element of an online marketing campaign as it provides another channel to reach your audience.

What are the components of a newsletter?

It varies, but the more features or sections you add, the more attractive it will be. Here are a few ideas you could use:

  • Contest entries
  • Preview new products before the general public
  • Discount coupons
  • Letters from you
  • Tips and articles
  • Pictures
  • Your calendar of events
  • Promote special events

Newsletter Delivery

Newsletters are usually delivered the same time each week, fortnight or month. I recommend at least twice a month. You can set your newsletters up to be delivered through your autoresponder service so your subscribers get them on your set schedule.

Newsletter Format Options

Newsletters can be created in a couple of different ways. Some people have their entire email be their newsletter, most often using a branded template. It is a one-page piece that includes links to areas on your website where they can find more information. If it is a contest entry, a link will bring them to the landing page where they can enter and read up on the contest particulars. That page can also link to other offers they may be interested in such as specials on products, workshops or courses.

Others post emails that tell you the newest newsletter is available. Subscribers click a link that takes them to a “subscriber only” area of your website. Here they can read and download the newest newsletter. Also let them know that they can access your archive of newsletters that were created before they found your site. Creating timeless content makes these past pieces valuable months or years later.

Opening rates

Just like emails, you can track and measure the opening rates of your newsletters. The percentage is useful feedback and you can even see who has opened it and what links they have clicked on. Depending on the sophistication of your autoresponder you can use this information to segment your list. This will allow you to really fine tune and target your email campaigns to increase your results.

Want to build your list? Offer newsletters to readers as part of their subscription. By including some of the information above, readers can stay connected in such a way that eventually leads to recurrent sales.

 

Editorial CalendarCould an editorial calendar be your ultimate secret weapon? Well, if you’re producing any kind of content the answer is YES! If you’re creating and distributing newsletters, blog posts, social shares, graphics, podcasts, webinars, tweets and/or videos—to market your coaching business, you’ll know it can get pretty complicated.

The print publication industry originally developed the concept of Editorial calendars. These were implemented to provide busy editors and publishers an at-a-glance overview of each issue as it developed.

Because magazine issues most often required numerous team members working over several months, editors needed a document that gathered and recorded specific, relevant information. Recording each piece of staff-produced content in each issue and the status of that content’s development gave editors the control they needed.

Content marketers and bloggers began adopting the concept over the past decade and you can do this too. The benefits editorial calendars bring to the table more than justify the additional time and effort it takes to create one and keep it current. A well-structured, thoughtful editorial calendar benefits any content marketer:

  • Allows you to take advantage of holidays and special event days;
  • Encourages you to stick to a regular publishing schedule;
  • Enables you to strategize your content planning; and
  • Helps you to target specific content to specific niche markets, among other benefits.
  • Makes outsourcing so much easier.

The types of information contained on an editorial calendar can vary from site to site, or business to business, but generally, the editorial calendar should contain the date of each scheduled publication along with the title or topic for each piece of content.

You can take the editorial calendar concept even further with just a little fine-tuning, and turn it into a fantastic planning tool for your digital marketing strategy. By repurposing your content, you can increase your reach without extra effort.

To create this kind of editorial calendar, consider including the following kinds of information for each piece of scheduled content, in addition to the scheduled publication date and title/topic:

  • Type of content (i.e., blog post, social share, infographic or other image-based content, video, podcast, email newsletter)
  • Channel (i.e., blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc.)
  • Current status (i.e., research, draft, revisions, published)
  • Call to action (Do you want readers to click a link? Sign up for your newsletter? Buy a product or package?)
  • Any source/resource URLs (i.e., any previously published information that serves as background or context for your content)
  • Team member to which content is assigned (if you’re working with others—employees or outside contractors—to develop content)

What format should you use for your editorial calendar? You have many options here, ranging from a very simple Word or text-based document to a spreadsheet. You can even use your computer’s calendar program. If you’re using self-hosted WordPress for your website, you may want to explore an editorial calendar plugin, such as CoSchedule or WP Editorial Calendar, which will allow you to plan your content in conjunction right from your WordPress dashboard.

A well-designed editorial calendar, especially one that’s kept current, can be a busy entrepreneur’s best friend. Keep yours up to date by devoting time to planning future content on a regular basis (say, an hour or so, a week before the beginning of the next month).

While it may seem like more “busy work,” a well-thought-out and up to date editorial calendar can be your “secret marketing weapon,” helping you to grow your digital presence and, ultimately, get more clients.