- What are the themes of your articles?
- Who is the focus of your articles?
- What are you trying to achieve with your articles?
- Are you providing value in your articles that will improve your subscribers' lives?
That final question is the most important. Indeed, it's the answer to having a newsletter that connects with your customers.
Think about this: how many ads do we get in the mail every day? How many do we see on TV or pass by on the street?
How many of them really add value to our lives? Would we be any worse off if we hadn't seen them?
And that's what makes them less effective than communications that aim to make readers' lives better; that add value to subscribers' lives.
Why it's important to add value
- Customers are selfish; they are interested only in what helps them. Communications that don't obviously benefit the reader are discarded.
- Customers are skeptical. They've seen too many false claims to believe most pitches. They want to know that you stand by what you claim.
- Communications with value are kept and passed around; the rest go straight into the trash.
- Communications with value build a relationship over the long term. Keep showing up and helping people and their trust in you will grow.
- Communications with value turn you into the trusted expert, not just another salesman. That ensures your product or service isn't seen as a commodity.
How to add value with your newsletter
- Remember the golden rule of newsletter publishing: think of your reader. What are they interested in? What do they want to read about? What kind of information will make their lives better? What is it about what you do that will make their lives better?
- Give away most of your knowledge...but sell the implementation. Show that you are a real expert; that you know what you are talking about.
- Inform first, then sell. Stay away from the temptation to pitch your products or services right away. Focus on building the relationship, and continually drip-feed your readers with new offers about products and services that will make their lives better.
It's good to sell. But it's better to build a relationship that adds value to your clients' lives. Because when you do that over time, you'll find the selling comes much easier.