One way that small businesses can keep up with the big players without emptying their bank accounts is by launching their own online newsletter. After all, they’re relatively cheap – and sometimes free – to set up and run.
Chicken or Egg?
A common question from people who are thinking of running a newsletter is when they should start. After all, there seems little point in spending time producing something that people won’t read, but on the other hand, how are you going to attract visitors to your blog or website without providing regular content?
Problogger supremo, Darren Rowse, recommends starting a newsletter from day one. Among the reasons he gives are that it helps you to get into a routine that will help you when your readership does take off. Nevertheless, it is probably wise to start off by releasing newsletters every other week until you can justify spending more time on it.
Keep it Light
To set the tone of your newsletter, think about who your readership will be. Presumably they will be ‘get up and go’ type people who will not sit still long enough to scroll through pages of text. Learn how to use images and videos to spice up your newsletter and remember that all Street Fit® Instructors are free to use the promotional videos we’ve created.
Be a Problem Solver
People are often attracted to articles that address issues they’ve been struggling with. For example, we hope that this will answer some of your questions about the value and process of newsletter-writing! Think about what problems you could solve for your readers? They might find it difficult to get motivated on some days; they could be trying to follow a diet alongside their exercise and be looking for low-fat recipes; they may be struggling with certain hip-hop moves. As you go about your day, remain aware of what problems you face and how you address them – it might serve as inspiration for future content.
The Drip-Drip Approach
Once your newsletter is established, make sure that you release it on the same day each week. This will establish a routine for both yourself and your readers and reinforce a message of reliability. This constant flow of information serves to keep your business in the forefront of your readers’ minds. Try not to be too ‘salesy’ in your newsletters; your goal should be raising your ‘brand awareness’ rather than persuading readers to part with their money. Too much of an emphasis on selling your classes could even drive readers away.
A great way to save time in producing content, while building mutually beneficent networks, is to give other relevant business owners the chance to guest-write. Perhaps you know a dietician or a hip-hop dancer who can talk about their fields of expertise, or a fitness professional in a different town or city. Ask them if they would like to contribute a feature – most people are delighted to be asked!
If you write and design your own newsletter from scratch, investigate a deliverability service which can track how many of your emails are delivered, opened, clicked on, etc. If your newsletter is provided by a commercial ESP or list host, they probably offer a tracking service as part of the package.
There’s lots of support and information on how to keeping your core customers and pupils but first you have to offer the public something the fitness brand they require.
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