If you haven’t seen our VIP List lately, you should check it out (view recent sample). We’ve made some recent changes and I’m very excited with the response. In this piece I’d like to lend you a little advice on replicating our success.
We Learned To Send Better Content
Table of Contents
Our success has several factors. First, give your list valuable content. I know you’ve heard that before, it sounds like blogging, doesn’t it? We started out sending only blogging tips. That was okay but I wanted more for our list so I made it a mission to stay up to date and informed on news and events that matter to bloggers. I found that I can share important news, advice, trends and events without taking up much of our reader’s time. Two or three lines will cover most items.
I’m ecstatic over how well our
Newsletter Partner program has worked. Right now we have three weekly contributors, myself, Sheryl Loch and Mitch Mitchell. Mitch covers blogging and writing and Sheryl usually writes video tips for bloggers. Sheryl is also indispensable behind the scenes and keeps me from looking foolish most of the time. This partnership has expanded into to our weekly live video discussions using Google Plus Hangouts on Air.
This is a very easy method that can be replicated by other bloggers. You can share content with each other or just stick to helping promote one another. You can offer featured guest spots on each other’s newsletters, just like we see on blogs.
Test Times And Content
I use AWeber($) and the split testing features are amazing, as are the analytics. It’s easy to test things like layout, send times, subject lines and almost anything with AWeber($). Finding the right time of day and how many sends a week works best for your list is the place to start. Continuous testing sounds exhausting but it only takes minutes and is important; everyone changes and our lists are no exception.
Say What You’re Going To Do and Do What You Say
Let subscribers know what they should expect and give them exactly that. We send out two issues each week and no more than three. A third mailing is a rare exception and is only sent when something important happens that subscribers need to know about and time won’t allow us to wait for the next issue. Now what would happen if I just started sending just sales copy all of the time?
Build Your Reputation
Where have we heard that before? If the money is in the list then your reputation is extremely important with your newsletter, ezine or email marketing. Either way you go, you can only build a honest reputation by being honest. Make sense? Never send an affiliate link because you’ll profit from it, send it when it will help your subscribers. How many times can you get away with recommending complete junk? I’ve unsubscribed to many email marketers and affiliate marketers because the products they promote are garbage.
How I Stay Informed
I read and I read a lot. I’ve become so much smarter since I decided to improve our newsletter. I went in and cleaned up my Google reader and subscribed to relevant and dependable feeds. I have that reader on my smart phone so I can keep up with all that great content. I’m not here to promote Google Reader or RSS feeds, I just like the ease of scanning subjects before clicking on an article. You can use any method that works for you; the point is to become knowledgeable in your field. Whatever your niche is I’m sure there are resources you can use. Just last week I had someone mention they were in a tough niche that no one with any authority was in. I introduced them to Google Alerts and now they have a ton of material and news to read.
Bonus Tips You’ve Heard Before
- Use call to actions.
- Include a prelude at the beginning of your newsletter. This will show in the preview pane of certain email clients and help open rates.
- Keep your list clean by removing those that never open your emails.
- Offer something relevant and of value for new subscribers. This will increase the need to clean your list but it will build quicker.
- Write for your audience and avoid standard sales copy.
- Proofread your copy and double check links before sending.
- Avoid transparent email marketing ploys like intentionally inserting a mistake so you have an excuse to resend later, that doesn’t fool anyone.
- Use a reputable email marketing service or autoresponder($) right from the start. Trying to move your subscribers from a free service later just doesn’t do well. You will lose a lot of your list. I use and recommend AWeber($).
- Keep your subscriber’s time in mind and get straight to the point. Too much reading will increase unsubscribes and spam complaints.
- Encourage people to unsubscribe if it’s not their cup of tea. It sounds like a crazy thing to do but it helps keep a clean and reputable list.
Do you have a newsletter? Do you prefer running a newsletter or an email marking list? Do you have any tips of your own? Any questions? Your comments are always welcome here.