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Better Websiting: Super Site Promotion

Monday, April 04, 2005

Newsletter Content

So you've decided you want to create a mailing list to keep in touch with your visitors. Now the question remains: What's the best material to put into it?

Start off with a catchy title in your email's subject line that hooks the reader ("Win a Trip For Two", "Save 50% On Our Top Brands This Weekend"). When they bite, let them find content that makes them look forward to reading it, not be ready to hit the "Delete" key. Add value to your newsletter by including something of interest to them: unbiased product reviews, links to similar (non-competing) sites, how-to articles... The list goes on and on.

Be careful what you include in your newsletter, whatever its purpose. People don't only want the "hard sell," where your letter is nothing but a sales pitch and list of products. If that's all you have, they may ignore your mailings, or worse, report your letter as spam. Being known as a spammer is a critical blow to any legitimate business.

You can find a great deal of free content simply by searching the Web. There are databases of articles available at no charge to be put into newsletters, just so the authors can promote their work. You can also find useful information from other websites. Just be aware of copyright issues. Always give credit in the form of a link to your source and never take more than a paragraph or two without permission unless they explicitly say you can.

Make sure you include several of the following in your newsletter. Starred (*) items are essential:

  • *your website address(es)
  • *an easy way to subscribe or unsubscribe
  • *copyright information
  • *the email address of your company contact(s)
  • personal introductory note
  • links to any products or sites mentioned
  • note telling readers to forward the letter to people they think will be interested
  • shortened privacy policy ("We'll never sell your email address...") and a link to the full one

Wow your subscribers with a great newsletter and they'll spread the word, driving traffic to your site.