Do you unsubscribe from the many newsletters that clog up your inbox? Increasingly, that’s what people do. Me too. In fact, the ‘unsubscribe’ option is one of the most common links I ever click!

Yet newsletters remain one of the best ways of keeping in touch with existing and potential clients.

Newsletters may be past their peak, but here’s how to make them work for you:

1. Don’t call it a newsletter. Call it a tipsheet.

No-one wants a newsletter. But, people do want free hints, tips and advice, so they might just sign up for a tipsheet. In order to encourage sign-ups, you can also offer an incentive. For example, a free ebook for subscribers only, or a downloadable white paper. Only ask for first name and email address, because the less information you make people give, the more inclined they are to provide it.

2. Don’t make it an advert. Make it add value.

Why would anyone invite your sales message into their inbox? No-one wants an advert (unless it provides information and/or entertainment for them). So don’t try to make your newsletter sell – at least, not directly.

The objective of your newsletter is to build relationships, remind people you exist and are thinking of them, demonstrate your expertise and hopefully gain a clickthrough to your web site (which is where you do your actual ‘selling’). To do that, sneak in a special offer or other encouragement.

I originally wrote this article for Fresh Business Thinking

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