The E-mail Newsletter Blank Canvas Dilemma

Five months ago I wrote an article about how to implement an effective e-mail newsletter campaign. In that article I stated that the most important aspect of an e-mail newsletter is the e-mail’s subject line. This is true. There are, however, other vital aspects of an e-mail newsletter campaign. One of the most key aspects is the newsletter’s content.

Many a determined business owner has set a goal to keep in touch with his clients through e-mail newsletters only to get mired in the frustration of a blank canvas (or blank word document). There are many superficial ways to make your e-mail newsletter stand out, like giving the e-mail newsletter a custom layout, demonstrating a clear and concise purpose, targeting the right audience (you can segment and send different e-mails to different customers with most mass e-mail programs), and including pictures and video. None of that matters, though, without some content around which to build the newsletter.

We have put together a breakdown of ideas that you can use to escape the curse of the blank canvas.

1. Share professional instruction

Give Tutorials
Tutorials are a fantastic way to highlight your product or service and give your customers free instruction. Consider walking through the basics of how your solution works. A pest management company, for example, may consider breaking down the details of fumigation or spotting bed bugs. For a more powerful tutorial, consider putting together a short and simple video. This is a valuable opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and solidify yourself as an expert.

Share information from industry experts
Gain credibility by standing on the shoulders of giants. Share quotes, videos, or concepts introduced by experts in your industry. Once you have these gems, add your thoughts on the expert’s advice.

Give an interview
Nothing says, “I’m an expert” like your own interview. Put together a quality video interview and send that out to your e-mail recipients. Use the interview to demonstrate your expertise, knowledge, and likeability. Do not forget that people buy from people they like.

2. Talk about your industry and company

Address industry conversations
Tap into the current events and current debates sweeping your industry. Is there a new process, service, competitor, or company that everyone is talking about? Get into the conversation by addressing your take on things in your next e-mail newsletter. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your relevance and introduce customers to your company’s way of doing business.

Talk about best practices in the industry or in your company
Are there some basic best practices that every company in your industry ought to be following? Walk your customers and potential customers through these best practices. This is an opportunity to arm these consumers with the knowledge they need to choose a quality company (yours) to service their needs.

Highlight your niche in the industry
What makes you unique in your industry? How do you stand out from your competition? Communicating your unique selling point to your customers is as simple as telling them. You unique selling point could be anything from customer service, speed, reliability, to environmentally friendly. As long as you can demonstrate a clear and relevant contrast between you and the competition, you are communicating your unique selling point.

3. Interact with your customers

Share contests and promotions
Contests are a great way to involve your e-mail recipients. As the recent $640 million lottery news bonanza proved, we love to win things. Contest ideas can include random giveaways, picture or video contests, or trivia questions.

Ask for feedback around an industry topic
You certainly have some great advice and opinions to share, but do not ignore the valuable insights of your audience. Get your readers involved by asking for them to share their insight around a particular industry topic. Follow through and share the responses in an e-mail newsletter.

Share promotions
Promotions! Everyone likes to feel like they are getting a great deal. Fuel that emotion by occasionally sharing discounted or free services. Promotions are a great way both to introduce potential clients to your company and to stay in the minds of your current clients.

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