You have a website that sells a product or service. You have decent traffic, but most of the visitors are unique visitors, meaning, they visit once and then leave and possibly forget that your business even exists. One of the single most important things that website owners should do, but all too often do not, is capture the names and email addresses of visitors to their site. Obviously it’s not usually possible to capture the information of every single visitor to your site, but that is really ok, because you don’t want every name. What you do want to capture is the information of individuals who visit your website, are interested in your product or service and either, want to learn more from you, or want to hear about deals or specials you may offer. But how do you get this information? The simple answer is with an ezine or newsletter. To help you decide whether to develop such a tool, here are the 5 Ws of Newsletter or ezine creation:
(1) – Who should publish newsletters? Just about any online business can benefit from distributing a newsletter or ezine. There is no better way to promote your business with little expense than by sending an ezine to your opt-in list.
(2) – What kind of content should my ezine include? The key to any successful ezine is great content. Your readers have subscribed because they have an interest in your industry or area of expertise. The information you provide to them should therefore be relevant and fresh. Topics can include anything from product reviews, industry news, useful resources, tips and tutorials and specials or promotions. The content can be written by you, by a ghostwriter or obtained through some of the hundreds of free article banks on the internet (as long as proper credit is given to the author).
(3) – When do you send a newsletter? This depends on a few things. First, how much time do you have to put into it? If you don’t have much time, you might consider sending a quarterly newsletter to at least get your name into people’s consciousness four times a year. This may however, give readers too much time to forget about you. With quarterly newsletters, there is always the danger that by the time newly subscribed readers receive your newsletter they will have forgotten you. Sending an ezine monthly or bi-monthly provides a higher probability that your readers will remember you, but won’t feel that you are monopolizing their inbox.
(4) – Where do website visitors opt-in? There are various ways that you can have your readers opt-in to your newsletter. Some ezine services provide you with code to add a pop-up window to your site asking visitors to opt-in as they arrive at, or leave your site. Although these methods have proven successful, many fear that their visitors will be annoyed by these tactics and opt for a simple sign-up form. Placing your form so that it is immediately visible to your visitors when they arrive on your site is likely to gain you more subscribers, as will having an opt-in incentive such as a free e-book or a discount on a product or service.
(5) – Why distribute an ezine? An ezine or newsletter is an incredible way to develop a relationship with your website visitors. As you probably already know, repeated exposure to a brand promotes familiarity and usually encourages positive feelings towards that brand. The more familiar consumers are with your product or service, the more likely they are to buy from you rather than from one of your competitors. By sending your readers information regularly, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field, thus increasing your readers’ receptiveness to your products or services.
For most, the benefits of putting out a newsletter well outweigh the work that you will put into creating it. Every online business should have a means to capture visitor information and ezine or newsletter distribution is a great way to do just that.