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Creating and Perfecting Your Online Newsletter
By: Matt Russ
A newsletter is a powerful tool for promoting your business and communicating with your customers. I have found the following guidelines will help get your newsletter read, and maybe even spread.
•Make it appealing. At first glance the reader will make a decision about your business. Is your newsletter professional and well done, or does it look like something that was thrown together? I pay a monthly fee for online software. I have found it helps me put my newsletter together quickly, easily, and it looks professional. I can also track how many people read my newsletter, exactly who has opened each article, and what articles and features are most popular.
•Add an "opt in" box to your website and a forward feature. Every month since I have added these features my list has grown. Do not automatically sign up visitors to your website. This is considered spamming and may end up angering them.
•Have a theme. Instead of throwing a bunch of articles together I try to have a theme each month such as "the aging athlete" or "building your base."
•Keep it brief. No more than 3-4 featured articles. Most people will quickly scan the contents to see if there is something that interests them. I put the table of contents right after the opening paragraph. Do not expect your reader to scroll down. You have to grab their attention in the first few inches.
•Use pictures. Graphics add a lot of appeal and make your newsletter look more professional.
•Make it personal. Coaching is a personal business so I use the opening paragraph to talk to the reader as I would a friend or athlete. I send out two monthly newsletters; one for my athletes and one for the general public. In my athlete newsletter I recognize their accomplishments, welcome them, encourage them, and make them feel part of a community. My newsletter to public is more informational.
•Send it to potential advertisers. If they like it they might just by some space. I put one banner add per month at the bottom of the newsletter. My data base is a very specific market that is interested in fitness, coaching, and training. Make sure your advertisers know who your target market is.
•Promote Yourself. I try to write an article each month and feature it. This way I am not just promoting the other coaches that contribute.
•Make sure your newsletter links only to your site. Sending readers to linked articles on other sites will draw business away from you.
•Get feedback. When I bring up my newsletter people usually politely compliment me on what I am doing right; what I would like to know is what I am doing wrong. Get as much feedback as you can, especially from professional sources, on what you should change.
About the Author
Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt coaches athletes for CTS, is an Ultrafit Associate, and owner of www.thesportfactory.com his email is email@example.com
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