Did you know that the #1 reason companies lose clients is disinterest? In other words, the client felt that the company lost interest in him or her due to a lack of contact and connection.
Hands down, the greatest marketing tool you can use is your weekly electronic newsletter. But for it to be effective, you must follow the GIFTE formula, which is:
A) it must be consistent – like super, reliably consistent because that establishes you as a business not a hobby;
B) It must begin with a personal greeting that has you open and connect with your people and be followed by a short (500 word) feature article … that is relevant!;
C) it must be sent using an auto-responder service like Constant Contact, I-Contact, or Vertical Response.
I have found that Rule A – Consistency is the hardest for many of you to follow. And I have heard EVERY excuse in the book! In an effort to help you take a “no excuses” approach to committing to your ezine, I share with you 5 tips to getting your e-zine SENT every single week.
1) Hire someone to “set it up” each week, so that you are just writing. This could be a Virtual Assistant or a college intern who understands your chosen auto responder program. Get someone to help you so you can focus on the writing only.
2) Schedule a block of time in your calendar each week for e-zine writing. For me, that’s Monday afternoon. Do it when you are least likely to get taken off path.
3) Write your feature article first, BEFORE you write your greeting.
4) Use the “Newsletter Articles Idea Mind Map” for inspiration on what to write. This worksheet comes straight from Module 7 of the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint. It consists of 6 questions that really pull ideas right out of your head. For example, “What do you geek out about?” For me, I geek out about small, boutique hotels around the world. So that would be an article I would write frequently….”Meredith’s Favorite Small, Boutique Hotels in France.” Beyond this worksheet, pay attention to what your prospects and clients are asking. If you find yourself answering the same question over and over again, odds are, this would make a great newsletter article. Finally, check out what the large, prosperous travel magazines are writing about. They spend millions on selling magazines. They know what travelers are interested in and want to read about. So use their intelligence just by visiting their websites to see what they have written about and write something similar.
5) Use an e-zine editorial calendar. There is a sample in the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint, also in Module 7. If you don’t have access to this, just put your “magazine editor” hat on. You wouldn’t write your articles at the last minute. You would plan them out well ahead of time. So give your ezine (your greatest marketing tool) this attention and spend a chunk of time every three months planning your articles. Plan the next 12 articles all at once, put the title on your calendar and worry about the writing later, for when you have that weekly chunk of time scheduled for writing.
Bonus Tip #1 – Get ahead of yourself. In other words, write 3 or 4 articles to begin, so that you have a few extra articles and you are always a few weeks ahead of yourself. This will give you a cushion for when you travel and don’t have to worry about writing and setting it all up while you are on the road. And by the way, the reward for writing 1 article every week for the past 4 years is that I can recycle every once in a while!
Bonus Tip #2 – KISS! Keep it Simple Sweetheart. There is no need to over-complicate it. Trust me, I made this mistake when I began. I set myself up for disaster by over-doing my first newsletter. It was awesome and detailed and full of wonderful articles with great pictures and maps, etc. But it was way too long and absolutely not sustainable. There was no way I could keep up with that intensity each week, or even each month. And quite frankly, the people on my list would never have time to read it all. So don’t over-think the articles or the personal greeting. Nice and short and to the point. Your articles should not be more than 750 words, but shoot for 500. That’s about 3 paragraphs. If they are too long, your followers will not read them. They will take one look at how long the article is and move on because they just don’t have time.
If you haven’t committed to this critical marketing tool yet, do it today. Set the intention to begin the process. Establish some rituals around it. And just do it! A few months from now you will look back and laugh at how much you procrastinated for no reason at all. And don’t forget to keep your eye on the ball of list-building too. You can have the greatest weekly ezine in the world, but if you only have 25 people on your list, it’s not going to get you anywhere. This marketing vehicle is only effective if you are constantly growing your list. Combine these two and you have a winning formula!