Although this article is written for coaches, many solo entrepreneurs can use these tips in their business.
No matter what anyone says, your newsletter list is one of your greatest assets as a coach, but you have to know how to work it. Your newsletter is your key to building a relationship with your prospects so that they trust you and see you as the expert they need to solve their problems. This is a bit hard to do if no one is reading your newsletter, so here are a few strategies that are guaranteed to increase your open rate, and one advanced trick for the newsletter pros out there.
The more you write the more you build a relationship with your readers. A frequent question I get is how often should one send a newsletter? At most I would say once a week, at least would be each month. It all depends on your particular audience and niche. For most coaches a weekly newsletter is going to be the sweet spot. This will keep you in front of prospects without bugging them, and you’ll find that if you get into the habit of a weekly newsletter it is always top of mind and you’ll always be thinking of topics to write about. At a conference I attended a couple of weeks ago a speaker said that if your newsletter open rate is consistently high (in the 30%+ level) then you probably aren’t sending often enough.
The most common argument I get for this way of thinking about your newsletter frequency is that coaches don’t want to annoy their audience. The truth of the matter is, prospects are not going to open your newsletter every week, they may not even notice it every week. They will notice which topics interest them, so even if you are sending weekly a typical person may only read it once or twice a month. However, as your list grows you have a base of people that need different things at different times. So the more frequent your newsletter the more of a chance you have to catch pieces of your audience with a topic of interest. Make sense? Of course if you’re finding that you have a lot of unsubscribes every week (more than 1%) then by all means cut back! That rarely happens though if you have a quality newsletter that is focused on helping your prospects which we’ll talk more about in the following strategies.
Have you ever gotten really excited for a weekly TV show only to end up with frustration when it skips a week because it’s spot’s been taken by a basketball game? Your newsletter is that TV show. Humans are creatures of habit, if we find something we like we keep doing it. On the other hand humans can also have attention deficiency where even if we are used to reading the same newsletter every week if it’s suddenly gone then we move onto something else. Don’t make the mistake of losing your audience because you’re inconsistent. Plus, as mentioned above if you are consistently writing, then writing actually begins to get easier and less of a hassle.
Don’t Be So Pitchy
No, I’m not going all “Randy” on you dawg, one of the biggest mistakes you can make with your newsletter is to pitch in the title. No one likes to be sold at, and prospects aren’t going to open your newsletter to see your biggest sale. This doesn’t mean you can’t send out an occasional promotion, but that should be separate from your newsletter. If prospects are enjoying your newsletter and are used to hearing from you consistently then they will certainly be more likely to check out your promotions. The best way to write subject lines for your newsletter is to make sure they are descriptive and benefit driven. So if you include articles that solve your reader’s problems in your newsletter, then you might use the article title in your subject line. When prospects are scanning through their emails they are more likely to click if they see that your topic might help them solve a particular need they are having at that time.
Write Quality Content
I’ve mentioned a few times already that prospects are going to read the newsletters that are interesting to them in that moment. So make sure that you are writing about topics that are relevant to them and that solve a problem. I’ve actually written a post about brainstorming blog post topics that may help you get started and avoid writer’s block. By writing quality content that is relevant to your readers you are also showing off your vast knowledge of your topic and establishing yourself as a category authority.
Bonus Sneaky Tactic For Increasing Your Open Rate
This one is for those coaches that want an unfair advantage when it comes to increasing their newsletter open rate. This is a tactic that I would usually save for a teleseminar or course, but I’m feeling generous today. In most newsletter management services such as Aweber (which is what I use and recommend to my clients) you can track who is opening your newsletter. Of course, you already knew that. However, what you may not have noticed is that there is usually also a way to see who hasn’t opened the newsletter and to send an email only to them.
So here is what you can do, a few days after you send your newsletter you can log back in and resend the newsletter to only those that didn’t open it the first time. Just change the title because if they didn’t find the title interesting the first time, then they probably still aren’t going to. You also don’t want it to show up as a duplicate email in their inbox because then you just look silly.
Now for the most part your open rate is probably fairly consistent, even though different people are opening it every time. It just has to do with statistics. So you may get a 30% open rate on your first newsletter, and when you resend it with a different title you may get 20% (because the audience is smaller the second time). If you do the math this increases your overall open rate from 30% to about 40-45% which is kind of ridiculous for such a simple trick!
So get cracking on your newsletter! I guarantee that if you implement these strategies you will not only increase your open rate but you’ll also start to get more business. Your newsletter is all about building trust and credibility with those that have already expressed an interest in learning about what you do by signing up in the first place. Embrace that and let go of your newsletter fear, and start getting results!© Copyright 2013 Holly Chantal