I was working with a client recently and as always she was looking for the things in her business that wasn’t working so she can spend more time on the things that do work. One suggestion she made was to drastically reduce the amount of newsletters she was sending out. This client was sending out a weekly newsletter and she was thinking to once a month. Her reasoning was, she was not getting click throughs and therefore didn’t see the value in her newsletter. Well after two weeks of not sending her newsletter she got a response from one of her subscribers asking if she was no longer on her list because she did not receive that weeks newsletter. She could not believe it.
When I first started my online journey I learned about all the components of how to be a successful blogger. Anyone who I thought was successful I listened to and immediately did what they did. One thing that I was told was you want to direct all traffic back to your blog. This is still true to this day, but somethings are a little different and you’ll see in a few. I quickly signed up to feedburner and burned a rss feed so people were able to receive my blog post in their rss reader or email. I then figured out how to use AWeber to send out my blog post so that I can begin building my list and be able to stay in contact with those subscribers. I was super excited because I was obvious doing what other successful entrepreneurs was doing. I was growing my list as well as sending out an email to my list to let them know of new articles posted on my website and directing traffic back to my site. I did this by making sure the the rss feed pulled the first paragraph of the blog post and then there was a “read more” link directing subscribers back to my site. I was all set. But this didn’t work for me. At that time although I was new to the online world, I didn’t think it was fair to have people click back to the site to read the rest of the article. Especially if the first paragraph was really good. I felt like I was interrupting the readers flow. I also noticed that my click through rate was low and my traffic was not increased at all by this method. I didn’t know what to do and was saddened by what was going on.
I didn’t give up. In fact I learned that those even more successful than the one’s I was listening too were sending out Newsletters or Ezines (same exact thing) and so they were getting even better results. So I figured out how to create and send an ezine with AWeber and did the same exact thing. I had a section where I was able to write a brief introduction to my subscribers, but my article was still the first paragraph with a read more link back to my blog. There were no major difference and I was still not happy with just sending out the first paragraph. So I decided to go against what I was told and begin putting the entire article into my newsletter. I just new this would work and if I stopped being bothered by click throughs and more concerned about getting people to open my newsletters things would look better for me.
Well here I am a few years letter really understanding the purpose of an email newsletter (which confirmed my thoughts in the beginning). Your newsletters shouldn’t be looked at as the end all be all to gain profits or even to increase traffic. Your newsletters are a tool to assist you with that. Just like there are a number of tools out there that will help you to increase traffic your newsletter is one of the pieces of the puzzle. It’s a place where you can gain relationship with your subscribers so that when you are putting out a product they know you and love you and therefore will purchase from you. The metric use to see if this tool is working is not always clear. In fact since I started sending out newsletters consistently (keyword – consistently), I didn’t even know if I was getting any results. I did have subscribers open my newsletters, and I did see an increase of traffic to my website (my alexa ranking is down to just under 682K when it was over 1million about two or three months ago). But what has been even more important to me has been talking to my clients and potential clients. I’ve had some say “yeah I remember when you mentioned how uncomfortable that made you in your article” or quoting something else. I even had one person tell me they read every post and link that I put out. How amazing is that? Your newsletter is a great tool to help nurture your relationship with your audience. Grab and pen and paper and remember that marketing today is built on your relationship with your audience. So nourish it. And as women we have the advantage because we love creating relationships with people.
Please comment below and share your views on sending email newsletters or Ezines. Are you sending them? Why or why not?
Felicia Pratt is an author, WordPress Enthusiast and a Social Media Fanatic that supports women entrepreneurs who run their business online. She helps them streamline, automate, and build their online presence so they can increase their visibility and provide consistency in their branding and marketing efforts. Through various entrepreneurial endeavors including Real Estate, and the travel industry, Felicia has finally found her niche empowering women by helping them manage their time effectively and creating a work-life balance that works for them.