This article was inspired by a conversation I had recently with a client; in fact this isn’t the first time I’ve had a similar conversation with clients, so I thought I’d share my response to them with you. This client basically said to me,
“Tracey, please tell me I don’t have to send a weekly ezine!”
Note: An ezine is another name for a newsletter or electronic newsletter.
I know that for many business owners the thought of sitting down every week/month to write and prepare their ezine is really quite a daunting prospect. And, of course, you can get a VA (Virtual Assistant) to pull it all together, upload it to your list management service, and send it out. But that still doesn’t alter the fact that you have to WRITE it! And this is why many business owners don’t follow through with this very effective marketing strategy.
A few years ago, it was all the rage to send out a “pretty” weekly/bi-weekly/monthly electronic newsletter. And by “pretty” I mean lots of colorful graphics, headers, different sections etc. etc. But now there are two major factors that come into play that makes this method of communication a little outdated and unnecessary:
- People’s inboxes are overflowing. They don’t want a lengthy, pretty-looking newsletter. What they want to be able to do is scan their emails quickly and pick out any tidbits of relevant information. This means that you, as the publisher, need to make your communications quick and to-the-point.
- People are no longer reading their emails on just their desktop PCs/laptops. They’re now reading them on their tablets, iPads, and the majority of your readers are reading their emails on their smartphones while they’re out and about, which means that the smaller screen is going to make viewing of your nicely laid-out newsletter more difficult to read. And if your layout isn’t responsive to different types of media, then your newsletter will be almost impossible to read on a smartphone.
So, given these changes in both society and technology, what’s the answer to this?
Create shorter, to-the-point, and as plain as possible, communications for your subscribers that just have a single call-to-action embedded in them. And this means streamlining the information that you send out.
You do have options!
So with that in mind, here are three alternatives to the standard, long-form newsletter:
1. Send a Tip of the Week. I’m sure if you sat down you could easily come up with a whole series of quick tips around your area of expertise. If you came up with 52 you’d have a whole years’ worth of tips in one sitting.
2. Send an Article of the Week. Instead of a quick tip, send out an article instead. And rather than include the whole article in your email communication, provide an overview with a link to read the full article on your blog (this is what I do — and it works very well!). And, again, if you can come up with 52 different articles you’d have a whole year’s worth.
3. Host a weekly free teleclass. I’ve seen several business owners do this with huge success. If speaking is more your thing, invite your list to a free weekly teleclass. Share a popular topic and then open it up for Q&A. What a great way for your audience to get to know you better! You email communication then would be a very simple invitation to your weekly teleclass and, as your subscribers have already opted in to your list, no need to make them optin again for your teleclass — simply provide all the call-in information in your email.
As you can see, there are several alternatives to the standard ezine/newsletter approach. And in today’s fast-paced, overwhelmed society, it makes sense to come up with something much more streamlined. Pick whichever one works best for you. The important thing is that you have a stay-in-touch strategy in place and that you are consistent on your delivery.
What’s your alternative to an ezine? Share in the comments below. And if you’re struggling with this, ask your question below; I’d love to help.
© 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC