Every business can and should be a web publisher. Everyone knows that.
But there’s a problem. Regardless of how much you spend on your content marketing prose, your UX, SEO or social, you won’t be achieving optimum engagement unless you have a sound email strategy or know how to tap into someone else’s.
Publishers from the New York Times to the Australian Doctor Group have known this for years.
That’s why the Times has no fewer than 50 regular email newsletters and has invested millions of dollars in recruiting 13 million email subscribers across the world.
The Australian Doctor Group is in the game with four daily newsletters and several weekly, fortnightly and occasional newsletters for niche interest groups.
The beauty of newsletters is that they reach out to the reader and pull them in wherever they are. No passive waiting and hoping that a doctor or a pharmacist will search for your SEO term, stumble upon your site or find your thought-leadership piece in their LinkedIn feed.
Here are five things to think about before sending out your next newsletter:
1) Your list:
Are the wrong people on it? Initially, focus on quality rather than its size. It’s better to target 20 people who are likely to be interested in what you have to say than to potentially annoy 200 in the hope that 20 might engage
The best way to grow an engaged email audience is personal referral. Don’t be shy to ask your recipients to forward your newsletter to their network and give these people an easy tool to request future emails.
3) Are you going rouge?
Send emails, not spam. Ensure you have ticked the legal boxes – importantly, this includes giving your recipients an easy way to remove themselves from your list.
4) Less is more:
All your hard work will be for nothing if people don’t open your mail. Spend time thinking about a catchy subject line. Less is more: Five to seven short words are better than ten, particularly if the last three aren’t visible on your recipient’s screen.
5) Get a head:
If the subject line is the key to engagement, the headline is the door. Use a variety of techniques, such as teasing heads, lists and questions. For example, Man bites dog is the preferred style for newspaper headlines. For your newsletter, you might want to try: Why the dog bit the man.
Author: Clifford Fram is the former editor in chief of the Australian Doctor Group