most important decision you make regarding your ezine will be about the content
that you choose to
deploy.† Whether It is original content specifically
written for you, content sourced from other providers or some combination, the
road to success is paved with relevant, informative, quality and timely
experts suggest that all original content is the way to go. While I accept that
this is a good argument
a major consideration is do you have the resources, e.g., internal staff with
competency and time to dedicate to researching and writing these articles or
financial resources to pay professional writers.
There is another option for
involves identifying industry experts that would be willing to contribute
articles at no or little cost to your ezine, but as I am sure you already guessed,
this can be a time consuming process since you must have multiple sources to
ensure you will have content.
The other clear option is to source other
In this day and age this is a very popular method because of the great
diversity of resources that are available on the Internet and in specialized
printed media. Most newspapers, magazines and newsletters use this method.
Beyond choosing the right content it is critical that you focus on the other factors mentioned above - relevant, informative, quality and timely.
Your success will come from how you uniquely combine your content to create the image that portrays your firm as a high quality service provider and a leader in your industry. Some of the most popular features found in successful ezines contain a combination of these categories:
2. Feature Article
3. Industry News
4. Customer Support
is your opportunity to personally connect with your readers to build rapport
and to enhance your relationship with them.†
It is your chance to let your readers get to know the Ďreal you,í not
just your position and what your responsibilities are. You can share the
humorous side of you
, †personal information like vacations, marriage, child
graduating from college, etc. However, even as you are connecting Ďpersonallyí
with your readers, never lose site of the business purpose of your ezine.
It is also a good idea to tell your existing clients that you:
- Appreciate their business (throw in a discount now and then to show them you really mean it)
- Share your vision of where you business and/or the industry is heading††
- Request readers feedback, input and comments on how you can better serve their needs
experts and/or writers are willing to give you articles for free as part of
their own marketing strategy. Make sure that you are comfortable with their
writing style and that it compliments your intentions for your ezine. Also be
very clear on the front end with writers that this in not an opportunity for a
free commercial. Make sure the content focuses on something that will be of
value to your readers and of course, at the end of the article give the writer
a chance to mention their business and contact information. Or you may choose
someone internally contribute the feature article about something you want
With the Internet there is no shortage of articles or information to access from many sources for free. However, be mindful of the need to cite your sources and to adhere to copyright guidelines. When you report on industry research you increase the value of your newsletter. It is great if it is original research that you have the scoop on, however, remember even if you donít conduct the research yourself, you get the credit for having sourced it and expertise is attributed to you. Also as you know, this saves your readers a lot of time because you are delivering this information to them and they donít have to spend the time to go out and find it. While using this strategy can be very effective avoid giving readers information that they likely already have or are likely to be getting anyway. For example, covering the big news story that is headline in a major newspaper or the feature story on the news, even if relevant to your industry, will not serve you well because there is no added value.
highly effective approach is to use success stories to illustrate how a
customer achieved success by using your products or services.† A good case study that shows
problem that needed to be solved and then how your
products or services helped to resolve the issue is worth itís weight in gold.
Keep in mind that ideally the problem should be one that the majority of your
customers†are likely to have experienced or can relate to.
added value to your readers by giving them technical information and answers to
their real problems.† Answer letters or
questions you receive in your newsletter for the benefit of all.
further to consider that is a popular approach that many magazines
take is to include a regular column called ĎAsk the Expertí where you provide
responses to reader questions.† Before
you jump in and start to offer this support consider who will be responsible
for researching questions and responding; whether you will choose one or two
questions to respond to in each edition or all questions posed; how you will
handle questions you donít answer in your newsletter; determine the parameters
on type of questions that will be responded to, etc. This is a tremendous way
to establish your expertise, but it also creates a commitment to follow through
each and every edition.
In the final analysis while there are many factors that will determine the success of your newsletter nothing else will be as important as the content so think very carefully about your approach.
1. The Handbook of E-zine Publishing, http://www.e-zinez.com/
2. katz, Michael, , E-Newsletters That Work, www.EnewsletterBook.com
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