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Start a newsletter and stay in touch

One of the main secrets of a successful Internet venture is to tell enough people, often enough, what you offer so that your business is always present in your customers' minds. An electronic newsletter does all this work for you.

An electronic newsletter can be as simple as sending an e-mail from you to those who have chosen to receive it. Newsletters usually have a theme - finance, IT, or advice of various types – about what you do best. Subscription to the newsletter is usually free and subscribers sign up for a subscription on your website and will then receive the letter via email with a certain periodicity, eg twice a month.

I have sent out en an electronic newsletter called “Flying Start” for eight years. The letter gives free marketing tips to over 16,000 subscribers every other week. It's free to subscribe to “Flying Start”, yet the letter is profitable. How can this be? Let's start from the beginning ...

The newsletter “Flying Start ”has two purposes: One is to be able to reach all customers with information, tips, and new offerings. The second purpose is just as important and necessary. A newsletter also puts a blowtorch to my butt because it forces me to keep myself up to date on trends in the marketing field. If I can't tell you something new and exciting to my subscribers in an interesting way, they will disappear. The advantage for me is that I get free education all the time.”Flying start ”comes out every other week and I spend about half a day a week to keep it running. It's time that is well planned because the company often receives more than one hundred orders each time the newsletter comes out. Another amazing thing about newsletters is that it could eventually fill your website with smart content because you can publish old newsletters on the site. Are you still not convinced that you should have a newsletter? Here are some more reasons:

The newsletter will help you to:

• Create relationships with your customers.
• Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
• Inform customers about why they should do business with your company.
• Create additional sales.
• Extend your customer database.
• Build confidence in your business.
• Make the customer service even better.
• Create natural reasons for subscribers to visit your website again.
• Encourage you to improve your website because you know that it'll attract new subscribers at all times.
• Communicate with customers and only pay with your time.

As you can see and understand - it's verging on a crime not to have a good newsletter if you want to promote your business in an inexpensive, but effective way.

And - yes, you will be able to start and run a newsletter.

For starters: You don't need to be a writer or a journalist to publish a newsletter.
It's perfectly acceptable to write and simply tell people what you do best and that you do it in a way that you yourself would want to receive such information. The newsletter is all about giving away your knowledge or other information that subscribers want - just like a newspaper does.
The short-term result is higher sales and the long term result will be both higher sales and more people to sell to – fantastic!

Seven things you should always have in your newsletter:

• Make sure you always have one (but only one) offer in the newsletter. Readers know that you have a for-profit business and that you want to sell, but let the customers set the pace. Try different offers, one at a time, and place the offer at the end of the letter. The better the deal, the better you will get the time you devote to the newsletter to pay for itself.

• Create a reason for readers to visit your website. Add, for example, a quiz and place the answers at the bottom of the page. You can also add the specific information that you talk about in the newsletter. Always keep part of the information on your website, so that you can recommend readers to continue reading about the exciting topics there.

• Newsletters can certainly be regarded as a news source. Unlike sales letters, newsletters have the same status as a newspaper. Respect it and make sure that the information you provide customers with is up to date, true and newsworthy.

• Good, helpful and useful information should always be presented in a timely manner.

• Provide the readers with a possibility to easily leave feedback on the newsletter. Anyone who has provided feedback once, will gladly do it again if you answered him/her the first time.

• Have a direct link to a page where you can cancel the subscription by the email.

• Contact information should go directly to you. It creates a good and personal feeling.

Acquiring subscribers to a newsletter
To get me to sign up for your newsletter, it's essential that you clearly let me know what I get if I start to subscribe. It can be anything from getting interesting information to special discounts exclusively addressed to subscribers. It's also important to talk about what happens to my mail address, so I know you can't sell it to anyone else.

Finally – what's important is not the technical solution you use. The key is that you do this with your customers in mind. You will get better at your job, but soon you will also be laughing all the way to the bank.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.