March 9, 2007

Newsletters. Or E-zines. They’re important to a practice as a consultant and coach. I know, because the newsletters (or e-zines) by the consultants and coaches for consultants and coaches all say so.

They say a lot more, too. I’ve been gathering wisdom and useful knowledge about the way to put together a newsletter, what to write, how often to publish, and similar weighty matters. I will list some of the important findings I have made so the rest of you don’t have to dig through all the opinions to find the top recommendations.

➢ Publish your newsletter monthly at least.
➢ Publish your newsletter weekly at most.
➢ Publish your newsletter about once every 10 days.
➢ Publish your newsletter daily.
➢ Why in the world do some people publish newsletters daily? That’s way too often and will turn off subscribers.

➢ Follow a consistent format in each edition.
➢ Don’t get trapped by format.
➢ Have different sections that readers come to expect.
➢ Don’t overdo it by having different sections that readers expect you to put in each edition.

➢ Publish it for free because no one will sign up for an online newsletter.
➢ It’s best to publish a newsletter that people will pay for because you get recurring income.
➢ Publish a free newsletter but use it to promote your products.
➢ Publish a free newsletter and don’t talk much about your products or it will look like a sales letter.

➢ Give away lots of information for free.
➢ Give away tastes of information so people will be interested and want to buy your products.

➢ Just give quick “How to” or “What to avoid” kinds of ideas in a newsletter or you’ll lose interest.
➢ Tell personal stories about your life and your discoveries because people want to be drawn in.

➢ Make sure everyone has a double opt-in, where they ask to be on the list and then also respond to an e-mail to verify they want to be on the list.
➢ Take people who sign up for a free report and stick them on your list as a “freebie” without worrying about that double opt-in.

➢ Use HTML and nice graphics to look professional.
➢ Use simple text and a basic format so it’s not too showy, and so everyone can read it with their e-mail software.
➢ Send out simple text e-mails with links to your newsletter, which is actually hosted on your web site.

➢ Include lots of content; get other people to write guest articles, and look for articles to include.
➢ Keep it concise.

If I’ve missed any of the truly important discoveries, please forgive me. There’s been a lot to sift through.

It reminds me of the years I spent as a member of a professional writers’ group. Aspiring novelists would ask the published authors things like, “How many adjectives should I have in a sentence?” The helpful, detailed explanations about the purpose and use of adjectives would be ignored, so in frustration the authors would resort to the default answer: “One and a half.”

I subscribe to many different types of free newsletters or e-zines. I read a few and parts of others and toss out most of them. It’s not always the same ones I read or toss out.

The key? I read the interesting articles, even if they’re lengthy, and I skip the ones that aren’t relevant or aren’t believable.

Good thing I’m just doing this blog to track my transition to the world of coaching and consulting! Who has time to be relevant, interesting, and credible?

May We All Learn to Trust Ourselves,

Steve Coxsey


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