So I’m talking with my friend Abner about how he’s staying in touch with his prospects, and Abner say, (as do lots of people), that he’s mostly using his newsletter. “Cool” I say, “How often to you send it out?”
“About once a quarter”, he replies.
“Gee”, says I, “That doesn’t seem very often. Why don’t you send it out more frequently?”
“Too much of a pain to put together.”
And there-in lies the rub.
Newsletters were all the rage for staying in touch back 5-10 years ago. And they worked, primarily because they were new. There must weren’t that many of them, so it was kind of cool to get one.
And then there were a bunch of them.
And most weren’t very good.
And they were a pain to produce.
So what happened?
Newsletters didn’t exactly go away, but they became the lazy man’s way of staying in touch. Absolutely, we stay in touch with our prospects. We send out our newsletter!!!”
But here’s the thing.
If you do them right (and by that I mean with great content and more frequently) newsletters are a great way to not only stay in touch, but also to convert prospects into paying clients.
“Sure Mark, but it’s still a pain.”
Not necessarily. Here’s a simple way to take the pain out of producing yours.
First, how frequently.
If you were my client I’d have you producing a weekly newsletter. (And you’d do it to, since 1) you were paying me a lot of money to be my client and 2) you knew that I’d be nitpicking you during the weekly call), but the truth of the matter is that you can create a great newsletter just by doing these three simple things.
Simple Thing #1 For Creating A Great Newsletter
I’m going to assume that you have a blog already. (If you don’t, you really should. It’s one of the important building blocks for positioning yourself as a true expert in your field.) Your goal is to write 2 blog posts a week. Although this might sound daunting-it really isn’t.
An easy trick for writing content is to set up “Google Alerts” which will monitor the web for content on any topic or topics you choose. At a very basic level you can simply alert your subscribers to interesting content, but I’d recommend that you write brief opinion pieces. For example, “You may have seen Tom Smith’s recent article about the leadership traits of successful CEOs in CEO magazine. I think Tom raises some good points but misses out on a couple of key ideas…” You then cover Tom’s article and add your own commentary. This works great.
Remember, this is important, that we want everything we do to lead to the next step in the marketing funnel. So you want to make sure that at the end of your blog posts you make an offer to have your readers become regular subscribers to your communication stream. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If you have a report or book or some other material you can give away for free, offering it at the end is powerful. You’ll notice this is what I do at the bottom of all blog posts with the offer of a free copy of Unique Sales Stories.
Another option is to say at the end of each article something such as, “If you enjoyed this and would like to receive more articles about (the topic you write about) I hope you’ll consider becoming a subscriber. It’s free and you can sign up by going here.
Simple Thing #2 For Creating A Great Newsletter
You’ll want to set up a newsletter template so you don’t have to create one from scratch. (If you get stuck here, let me know and we can set one up for you.) The template not only contains the links to the blog posts (remember we always want to be sending people back to your website for content) but if you want to accelerate the sales conversion process, you want to include an introductory video.
I got this idea from the old Wonderful World of Disney TV show, and it really works great. If you recall the show (and depending upon how old you are) Walt or CEO Michael Eisner would appear in the beginning, thank viewers for watching and set up what was about to take place. I do this with my weekly newsletter and the feedback has been extremely positive. These video snippets are powerful tools that enable you to connect with your audience so that they know, like and trust you (the three classic elements of sales conversion). In fact when I get on the phone with people for a consultation, one of the most common things I hear is, “I feel as if I know you already.”
If you’re not comfortable doing a video, then a simple introductory text paragraph or even a narrated powerpoint slide introduction can suffice. (And again, if you’d like for us to handle any or all of the components of your newsletter, let me know.)
Simple Thing #3 For Creating A Great Newsletter
Marketing initiatives don’t fail because they don’t work. They fail because they don’t get launched. I may have told you the story of the program I enrolled in with Frank Kern. There were about 100 of us and I think we paid around $3,000 to be in the six week program. It culminated in a meeting in San Diego where I was shocked to dissever only myself and one other person had actually implemented what we had been learning over the past month and a half.
If you can’t commit you can’t compete. So if you have collected lots of information but haven’t put anything into action, that’s a big heads up that you need to stop collecting more information and figure out a way to get what you know you should be doing implemented.
And the reality is that if it’s been more than 3 months and you still haven’t moved off the dime, then you need to hire someone to help you. So if that’s you, let me know and we’ll get your marketing funnel launched.
As my friend Lisa Sasevich says, “You want to fix the plane when it’s in the air.”
Want me to personally create a sales & marketing funnel for you? Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube