Categorized | List Building

Marketing to Your Customers With an Opt-In Newsletter

While an opt-in mailing list is a terrific sales tool, many people make the mistake of using their emails to sell their service or product. Your email newsletters and other messages should be designed to send people to your website – and that's where the selling takes place. There are a couple of ways that you can do this.

Newsletters that address a single topic in each issue are great for building a relationship with your customers. Stay on topic and address a need that your target audience has – a piece on pruning roses if you sell garden supplies, for example – and do not mention your product. Then provide a link to your site with an encouraging come-on like "click here to find more great gardening ideas," and send them to your website while they're already in a problem-solving frame of mind.

Another method is to write several newsletters that each focus on different aspects of the same problem. Each newsletter can discuss the issue in depth, and end with a possible solution to the problem. And, of course, a link to send them to your webpage, where they'll find the perfect product or service to help them out. Each newsletter should present a problem that your subscribers face, and resolve by you showing them how your product ( "click here!") Will provide the answer to their dilemma.

Never, ever send your newsletter to anyone who has not specifically requested it, however. New regulations require all marketers to include an unsubscribe option and a physical address – where your business is located – in email advertising. If you harvest email addresses, buy them from a service, or send mail to your own customers without permission, you could face fines and expulsion from your ISP. You'll also tarnish your business's reputation by being branded as a spammer.

The idea is to establish credibility with potential customers, and you will not do that by spamming them. But if you make your product or service attractive to your target audience, they'll visit your site, want your product and build your sales. Your subscribers will want to get email from you, and they'll be genuinely interested in finding out what new products and innovations you have to offer.

By establishing credibility, creating useful content, and providing links to your sales pages, you'll create a base of happy customers who'll not only become repeat buyers, but who will recommend you to other people, too.

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