The challenging economy has encouraged many small businesses to test out email marketing in 2009. It’s simple, affordable and trackable after all. Maybe you started out with a “thank you for your business” message or you enticed customers with offers for repeat business and referrals. But the idea of creating a consistent e-newsletter to issue on a monthly basis seems daunting.

Well fear not, you can put a surprisingly compelling newsletter together with a small amount of information. In a recent Extreme Email Makeover session that VerticalResponse hosted, we found that many customers are putting too many offers together in a single email and calling them newsletters. The result, nothing stands out, it isn’t clear to the customer what action they should take, and over time recipients stop opening the emails. A great e-newsletter can be created with very basic information that is readily available. The key is a balance of information and offers (remember the “what’s in it for me” factor). Start by testing a newsletter format with 3 content sections and then increase to 5 over a series of a few months. Let your audience decide the right about of content with open and click through rates.

Easy E-newsletter Content Topics:
1) A Message from the Expert- A short paragraph from you to your audience or an introduction that drives recipients to your blog for a feature length article. Consider offering 5 Ways to Improve X in 2009. Include the first 2 lines of copy in your newsletter as a teaser and link to the full story on your blog for the full list

2) Customer Testimonial- A simple quote from a happy customer about how your product or service helped them or fixed a problem, a measurable result achieved, or link to a video testimonial that you host on YouTube.

3) An Offer- Do you have a white paper, discount, or promotion currently running to announce?

4) Event Schedule- Link to the event page on your website or directly to an industry event you plan to attend.

5) Quick Fact- What’s the post popular selling product last month? What do your customers view as the greatest challenge for them next year? Gather important insights and facts with a simple online survey tool and share results in each issue.

The final challenge is committing to frequency so that your audience will come to expect your newsletters. Write your first 3 issues at the same time. Line up 3 customer quotes, 3 notable events worth covering, and 3 facts to share from a single survey. Remember, this month’s event can become next month’s main article. That’s a formula for successful newsletters in 2009.

Back to the Fundamentals

Back to the Fundamentals

Want to learn more tips from the experts at VerticalResponse? Attend the webinar! March 11th at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

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