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Q & A: Readers Want to Read Between the Lines

I’ve mentioned before that I seldom watch the news on TV, so it was a bit out of the ordinary that I saw the coverage of the terrorist attacks in London last week. Several reporters mentioned the dramatic change–from being awarded the Olympics just the day before.

What does this have to do with newsletters and awareness? Just something we hadn’t yet discussed–that you need to be aware of what’s going on in your readers’ world. You don’t have to mention it, but you should be aware of it. That means keeping up to date on news stories that may impact your readers, knowing what’s happening within your industry, and keeping an eye on trends.

If you can extend this awareness beyond the purely professional, that’s even better–seeing your readers as multi-dimensional will make a big difference in the way you interact with them.

Q: When I got all my numbers together, I realized I didn’t like what they were telling me. How do I fix that? Quick?

Perhaps the easiest way to make a difference in your numbers is to shake things up. For suggestions on that, see this issue on avoiding predictability. Extend this unpredictability beyond the content in the newsletter–try out innovative ideas for your subject lines. Intrigue readers with your use of design. Engage readers in a completely new way–perhaps by adding audio or video.

But remember, you don’t want to change everything. Readers need stability from issue to issue. It’s what keeps them coming back.

So, balance that “shake up” with what you do best–and you’ll find those numbers changing for the better.

Q: When I profiled my ideal reader, I discovered not one of my subscribers seems to fit the profile. None of them buy from me. Only a couple ever send me emails, and when they do, the emails they send are mostly critical. What do I do?

Sounds like it’s time to start adding some new subscribers to your list!

From my upcoming teleclass, I offer three action steps to bring in new subscribers:

1. Start with integrity. Make sure your approach throughout your website and newsletter is truly you. Is your home page stuffed with copy that screams high-pressure, while you’re more relaxed? Or, is your subscribe *form* identical to every last one of your competitor’s subscribe pages? Start your relationship with your readers off on the right foot by being yourself at every turn–then you’ll attract readers who like your approach.

2. Be enticing. Almost no one’s on the prowl for more reading material for the sake of something to read. We’ve got plenty–from newspapers to books to cereal boxes. Rather, prospective readers are looking for information for a specific reason–pinpoint what that is and capitalize on it. (By the way, this enticing approach doesn’t have to include any extras like reports, though it can–rather, it needs to be enticing enough to stand on its own two feet.)

3. Set up a win-win relationship. I’m not talking “we provide great service at a great price–it’s a win-win for our clients!” Rather, establish a relationship with readers where you give them something that will make a difference in their lives–information they can take to their bosses that’ll get them that raise, cost-saving approaches, actual steps to improving relationships, etc. If at all possible, make it so that readers benefit by sharing your newsletter–by forwarding your data to their boss, or partner, for instance. That’s a solid win-win approach for a newsletter.

Q: How do I find out my open rate and other numbers?

First, you’ll need to start with a program that records them. Talk with the person in charge of distributing your newsletter to find out about this. (I’m also available for distribution consultations, if you’d like.)

Then, review their help files to find out how you can look up your open rate and click-thru rate. Typically, you’ll need to publish in HTML to get open rate statistics, but most distributors make click-thrus available even for plain text.

Remember if your list is on the smaller side, just a handful of subscribers being on vacation or forwarding the newsletter can make a big difference in your statistics, so look at trends over time–don’t focus too intensely on any one issue.


How to Add Hundreds of (Perfect) Subscribers to Your Newsletter List in a Week

You’ve seen the welcome announcing hundreds of new NIF subscribers week after week.

Have you wondered how you, too, could grow your list so rapidly, so effortlessly?

After receiving dozens of emails asking about techniques for growing a newsletter list, I’ve finally taken the time to create a one-hour telephone-class revealing how you can add more perfect readers, quickly, and easily to your newsletter list.

You’ll leave this teleclass with a step-by-step action plan for growing your newsletter list. Simply put it into action and your list will grow–at an astounding rate!

I learned these secrets through my work with hundreds of newsletters. Clients just like you have put these techniques to work in their own practices and have watched their subscriber numbers climb.

To join me on July 26, you’ll need to be a Newsletter Spa member. (And Spa members can come at no cost.) If you’re not yet a member, consider joining us!

Visit NewsletterSpa.com to join the Spa.

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