I know from experience one of your biggest questions is likely to be: How do I squeeze more out of my newsletter?
How can I get more response?
The good news is, there's lots you can do. Just doing one extra thing will help. So here we go:
1. The personal paragraph. I've written about this before…but it's powerful. Just add a few lines each month that are from the heart. Reveal something about yourself. Tell people what you did on the weekend. Tell people what you are thinking. That one paragraph will turn what could be a generic newsletter into a much more personal correspondence. People respond to that.
2. Use 'engagement devices'. I add several of these engagement devices to my newsletters. Unbelievably, some people remove them…and that's a shame. What engagement devices do is prompt people to respond. It turns a newsletter that is "broadcast" – like traditional media – to one that starts a conversation. Engagement devices can be offers of free information, solutions to puzzles, or simply questions.
3. Segment your list and send appropriate messages. People are more likely to respond to messages that are appropriate for them. So consider how you can segment your list according to demographics or interests, then send a slightly different version of your newsletter to each.
4. Be interesting! People are hungry for entertainment and useful information. So give it to them. Lighten up…don't be dull. And make whatever you write relevant to your readers. Think – what would they like to know? rather than – what would I like them to know?
5. Send regularly. I occasionally get requests from people for quarterly newsletters. I tell them that sorry, that's not on the menu. The main reason is that quarterly isn't frequent enough to make you a part of your clients' lives…which is the place you want to be, eventually. At a quarterly frequency, you just drop in, rather than building a relationship. That means people are much less likely to respond to your newsletter.
6. Rant! Love them or loathe them, there's a reason why people such as Rush Limbaugh have such a following – they have opinions and they're not afraid to share them. Now, I'm not suggesting you alienate large swathes of your audience, but at the same time don't be afraid to say what you think. You'll elevate yourself above the sea of blandness that drowns most of your competitors.
7. Think about what makes you different.Too many people in your industry think alike and act alike (see my point above). The result of this is that everyone becomes a commodity – forcing people to shop by price alone. Instead, think what makes you different – what makes you unique. Why should people work with you above every other person out there? When you've nailed that, make sure that your newsletter is infused with this differentiation.