A Newsletter Adds Value to Your Opt-in List

A thing of value

As the owner or possessor of a given item the one thing you would like to have happen to that item is its appreciation in value, in the same or similar way that your home appreciates in value. Well, consider for a moment that when you subscribe to a list the subscription, in and of itself, is something you share ownership in along with other subscribers, and you get an opportunity to increase its value. You would welcome such an opportunity, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.

And although the appreciation here is not in $Thousands as it would be in real estate, but rather, in increased knowledge and helpful information which you might be able to use in your own home or business to increase cash flow, the fact still remains that your subscription would become a more valuable commodity. My point here is this: If you, as a subscription owner, would welcome the opportunity to enhance its value, wouldn’t you also provide such a value enhancer to YOUR subscribers or list members if you had such a list? Of course you would because you know they would benefit from it.

Such a value enhancer to any opt-in list is a newsletter which, when provided to your opt-in list subscribers, provides many benefits, one of which is sharing your expertise and knowledge about a given topic – preferably the one in which you’re most adept – as well as industry news, trends and other informational pieces that may be beneficial to them. Providing such a newsletter will be helpful to you/your business also, since it will give you an opportunity to put your expertise on display, thereby making a positive impression on your list members, who in turn might respond with positive feedback.

Subscriber-to-customer conversion

One benefit you/your business might derive from this entire process is the conversion of your list members from subscribers to actual buying customers; and another is the probability that these newly converted customers will recommend their friends, colleagues and family to you based upon their satisfaction with your knowledge, expertise and other ways they’ve benefited from your newsletter. In fact, all of them could very well be future customers.

But there are indeed other ways in which you/your business could benefit from a newsletter that you publish and send to your subscribers, not the least of which is driving traffic to your website, which often results in boosting the sales and profits of your site and company. It has been said that sending a newsletter to a subscriber list is merely a marketing ploy that will not make a huge dent in the sender’s marketing budget since it does not require many man-hours to develop; but my response is, such an important value enhancer is much more than a mere ploy. It is an integral part of your list maintenance and servicing program.

Ask yourself this question about sending a newsletter: If I could inform the my subscribers – and through them, the public – about my company, products and services, while keep them informed with valuable info, market data and industry trends, would I do it? If you answered yes then you are certainly in agreement with “78 percent of respondents” to a Content Marketing Institute study who said that they used newsletters; and 90 percent of respondents to a Nielsen Norman Group study who, when asked “how they preferred to receive company updates,” cited newsletters.

Theme-specific consistency

Of course it is entirely possible that you are not currently publishing a newsletter or having one sent to your list of subscribers on your behalf; and if this is the case then you may have to start doing a little research so that you can be as well informed as possible about how to have one published, if not publishing it yourself. I must admit that this task is not as easy as it may seem, but if and when you get an idea of what the process entails, the difficulty of such a task will be greatly reduced. So try to take the time to learn what you need to learn and get the work started on a newsletter that will add value for your list members’ subscription and enhance your credibility at the same time.

Contained in the following paragraphs are a few suggestions you can take into consideration when you decide to start your/your company’s newsletter.

First – Make sure that the content of your newsletter pertains to, and is closely associated with, your business or the theme of your website; and even when you divert from your main theme make sure not to stray too far from your field of expertise. Obviously you’ve started a website and your theme for that site will always be a topic you are knowledgeable about, so make your newsletter content based on that topic as consistently as you can, even if you have to include content about your company, your own origin and that of your staff.

Remember that visitors to a given website are there because they are interested in the content offered by that website, and if they sign up for a subscription via an opt-in list or for a newsletter, it should be interpreted and understood by the business/marketer that they want to be updated and informed about the same subject. So be sure that when you publish your newsletter you are providing information that meet the needs, and satisfy the interests of your subscribers.

Professionalism throughout

Second – It is of the utmost importance that you create well written, informative, content rich articles. Articles will be the body (main attraction?) of your newsletter, so they must be written in a clear, concise and – when possible – compelling manner so that your readers can understand and appreciate the content and feel a sense of gratitude to have received them, while they look forward with some excitement to your your next issue. Make sure to fact-check articles and spell-check them for spelling and grammatical errors to keep them looking professional and believable. The trust of your client to you and your newsletter is at stake here.

Third – Make sure to provide fresh, new articles that consist of new information that subscribers can use and appreciate. If you publish stale and rehashed content in a newsletter that your subscribers have probably read and known about already you will lose their interest and they won’t get to read what is most important to you, the offers you are promoting. In most cases they might not open or read any of your subsequent newsletters which will result in erosion of your own credibility in their eyes, and the trust they placed in you, thereby defeating the whole purpose of the newsletter.

Plagiarism is taboo!

Fourth – Avoid plagiarism by never using copyrighted material (content created by others without prior written authorization) such as photos and articles. Engaging in plagiarism will get you into a lot of legal trouble, which often results in financial loss. You can lose your business and get sued over copyright infringement. So if you do not have the time to write your own articles, there are many professional article writers who are ready, willing and able to do it for you at reasonable rates. Such an investment in writing and publishing articles by capable professionals will be well worth it when you see your list-building pursuits paying dividends in increased traffic, profit and value.

Proven Steps for Building a Subscriber List

Birth of the WMS model

According to Internet Growth Statistics provided on the Internet World Stats website, in December 1995 only 0.4 percent of the world’s population used the Internet; by December 2005 that percentage had risen to 15.7 percent (fueled in part by addition of the World Wide Web, circa 1997); and by June of this year (2017) the number stood at 51.7 percent of the world’s population using the Internet. So it is reasonable to state that there was a growth rate of Internet use which was indeed rapid.

That having been said, it is probably as reasonable to state that the growth rate of online marketing have surged just as rapidly as that of the Internet (Web), except that it did not cover the same period of time; but as more Web-based businesses were created and vied for a share of the eCommerce marketplace, the need to develop new marketing skills and information products became more evident and, as a result, an increased number of marketing strategies were being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of business in the eCommerce world.

Needless to say, such growth could not have occurred without a demand for the services provided via the Web and the new business type it fostered. However, there was also demand for online marketing tips and strategies which resulted from the astronomical number of new businesses that were created on the Web and continue to be created, leading to the birth of a new Web-based business known as Web Marketing Strategies (WMS). Part of understanding this seb-set of Web Marketing is accepting the nature of business, the market it serves, and its motivating factor which is profit.

Staple of email marketing

So it follows that while there are companies engaged in WMS activities that are all too eager to help your Web-based business build a clientele for a fee, there are also a number of methods you can utilize to promote your website in a more cost effective – and in many cases – free way. One of these methods is Email Marketing (EM), also known as permission marketing, in which Web-based business owners (known as merchants) can actually engage by getting permission from site visitors to send them emails about their company and/or product offers. Those who grant such permission become subscribers to such emails and are considered members of a subscriber list maintained by the merchant.

The staple of email marketing is a subscriber list which, as stated above, requires permission from website visitors, supporters and past customers of a merchant or publisher (website owner) who are willing to subscribe to marketing materials, newsletters, catalogs and other promotional material via email; and the more marketing emails are sent by the merchant or marketer, the more chances s/he has of making sales and perhaps encouraging more future purchases. To do this s/he, the email sender, must build a list consisting of all those who wish to subscribe to the list.

From this list the merchant or email marketer will be able to designate certain members of the subscriber list as target customers for some product types and other members for different product types. This is considered a good list since these different sections of it will have already shown interest in different product offers the merchant has to show and sell. As list members have a preference for what they’ve seen on the merchant’s site, and have decided they want to see more, and maybe even purchase whatever product or service the merchant – through his/her website – offers they will have the opportunity to follow through on that preference.

Strategic patience

In view of the above many people may harbor the opinion that building a subscriber list takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses; and when approached in the wrong way this could indeed be true. However, if the correct steps are taken, the process takes a bit of patience and a few solid strategies that have been proven to be effective in building subscriber lists. Such a list-building process can be instrumental in a publisher’s ability to open his/her website and business to a whole new world of target marketing.

The central point here is that simply making the effort to build a subscriber list by utilizing strategies that have been proven effective can take your business to a new level which will often result in increased traffic and decent profit, if that’s your objective, and can ultimately do wonders for your business venture. keep in mind that there are many sources and articles which are accessible from the Web to anyone wanting who wish to build a subscriber list, even though they can sometimes be confusing because there are so many sources; and seldom do they all promote the same approach.

And while different groups of marketers, “gurus” and tutorialists have different approaches in building subscriber lists, be assured that there are certain fundamentals that must be adhered to when building your own list; and some of those fundamental steps are outlined in the following paragraphs.

Steps one & two

Step one – requires that you install a good, workable, legible web form on your website which can be located immediately following each of your articles and/or blog posts, or in the side bar of your website. While some may say that immediately placing a web form on a newly created website is too soon ask visitors to subscribe to a list, there is really no best or ideal time to ask a visitor to opt-in to your list. As long as your homepage provide a quick, good (first) impression and a website visitor finds something s/he likes, that might just be enough reason for signing up.

A good web form for opting into a subscriber list is not hard to come by, and asking your website visitor opt-in to your list is really not hard to do. Simply write a simple short statement inviting your visitors to see more and get updated information about the site and what it stands for. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail addresses. This web form will automatically save and send you the data entered on the form; and as more people sign in, your list will grow accordingly and proportionately.

Step two – requires your site’s home page (or landing page if other than your home page), as mentioned in the first step, be as impressive as you can make it; and the articles, as well as the description of your website should be clear, well-written and free of any derogatory language or graphics. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s interest while making your content useful and your site easy to navigate. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy! Invest in having good programming on your site and make your graphics beautiful while making sure to not overload it.

Don’t waste your time making the homepage or landing page overly large megabyte-wise, since there is a strong possibility that all visitors to your website will not have dedicated T1 connections; so the faster your site gets loaded (a consequence of reduced number and size of the graphics placed on it), the better experience your visitors will have. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

Steps three & four

Step three – requires that any products or services you offer via your site be of high quality, value and reliability which in turn will have the affect of satisfying any customer who makes a purchase, and can therefore result in very positive responses. Remember that a returning customer is more likely to bring in more business; and a satisfied customer will more likely recommend new customers that do business. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more and better business than an expensive ad. As your clientele roster grows, so too will your list; and with more members on the list even more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.

Step four – requires that you maintain a clean and private list while never losing the trust your customers who have entrusted to you their email addresses and other private information; and remember this rule if you don’t remember anything else you’ve read thus far: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER engage in unlawful activities by sending SPAM email to anyone! Bad news has a tendency of spreading fast, and such illegal activities will reach your subscriber list members quicker than you can compose a one-line email.

Be assured that many of your subscribers will most likely unsubscribe from your list as a result of such activity, or even accusations of doing so. Keep your reputation untarnished, because a good reputation will drive more traffic and subscribers to your site/business, as well as strengthen the loyalty of current customers.