There may be seven thousand reasons why your newsletter won’t get the response you’re looking for.
Most of those reasons have the same common problem, though: readers just don’t like it.
And that’s probably because you’re making one of these five mistakes.
Mistake # 1: Your newsletter isn’t helpful
This is a big one. My wife signed up for a newsletter on Ayurveda, thinking she would get some helpful articles and ideas on a topic she was very interested in. All she ever got was a whole bunch of promotional stuff.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You know very well that non-stop shameless self-promotion doesn’t exactly endear you to others, and of course you’d never make every single newsletter into a pitch.
They mean to write something useful, they mean to be helpful, but they end up being self-promotional because it’s easier. It’s easier to say “Yoga class on Friday, 17th December” than it is to write yet another article about yoga.
Voice is not everything, but it sure counts for a lot. When you speak to a friend over the phone, they sound excited and vibrant. Ask them to put down their feelings on paper and you often find what they’ve written just doesn’t sound like them.
Their voice doesn’t show up in their writing, and that means their writing doesn’t really convey how they feel. Every artist, singer, and yes, writer has a signature voice. This voice needs to be authentic.
If you’ve tried and failed to find your voice before, put down the pen and Skype a friend. Get them to ask you questions about the topics you’ll be writing about in your newsletter — recording every word, naturally. Then just blab away, and transcribe what you’ve said.
Many people think their newsletter has to be full of perfectly organized and structured articles — and since they don’t know how to create those kinds of articles, they get frustrated and stuck when they’re trying to write.
As human beings, we’re entranced by stories from an early age. Start with stories about your clients. Write about what you’ve experienced in your industry and your thoughts about it. When you’re trying to elicit response, nothing gets your readers engaged like the color and drama of a good story.
And how do you finish? Tell the moral of the story — just like you would in a real story. Explain what you learned or what you should have learned or what someone else could learn from this experience.
This week, you need to fill up your yoga class. In your newsletter, you’re going to ask a customer to write back or comment. You need that customer to respond. You can’t hope they will — you have to ask them to do it.
Most folks just hope their customers will act on their own. And their customers mostly don’t — because they’re too busy to figure out how you want them to respond. You need to tell them. Just a little nudge will do.
One of the big reasons for the lack of response is that your newsletter is a stranger to your readers. You can’t send them a newsletter whenever you feel like it and hope they’ll respond. Response is directly related to frequency. Muck up on frequency and the rest of the four points don’t even matter.
- Pure self-promotion won’t work — make it useful.
- Your tone of writing is critical. Record yourself if you have to, but connect with your own unique voice.
- If you can’t get your head around structure, use customer stories.
- Don’t be half-hearted about promotion — give a strong call to action.
- Without consistent frequency, your customers will forget who you are even if you do everything else right.
P.S. Have you checked out Internet Marketing for Smart People, the Copyblogger email newsletter? It features a free 20-step course that will build your business, so you really should click here and subscribe.