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Edition 17

The keys to consistency

Often Asked Question: How do I stick to my E-newsletter publishing schedule?

Ahhhhhhhhh, grasshoppaaaaaah!! A very good question.

Thinking they will never be able to stick to a publishing schedule is one of the biggest roadblocks small business owners face in realising all the incredible profit-building benefits of an E-newsletter.

If that's you, time to stop being a sooki -la- la (that's a technical E-newsletter term!) and jump in with both feet.

But don't panic! I'm going to make it easy on you by sharing my Six Secrets to E-newsletter consistency.

1. Create a publishing schedule you can stick to.

The starting point for developing any E-newsletter strategy should always be a send schedule of once per month. Anything less than that and believe me, you're wasting your time. The whole point of keeping in regular contact with your subscribers is to remain top of mind. Don't flatter yourself by thinking people will keep you top of mind unless they get a regular reason to do so. Course more frequent is always an option - fortnightly, even weekly. But tread carefully. Don't become that half drunk party guest that refuses to leave and never gets invited again.

2. Create a format you can stick to.

E-newsletter formats come in all shapes and sizes. Don't feel like your E-newsletter has to have (for instance) a short personal introduction followed by one main article just because this marvellous publication does so. Let's face it, I'm a writer and a chatterbox, so bashing out 600 or so words on the laptop every month doesn't exactly work up a sweat. Course many others would rather chew off their own arm. If that's you, consider more of an e-postcard with say, an inspirational quote, a photo and caption or a single product focus. Just stay focused on delivering your readers with value.

3. Lock it in Eddie with a deadline.

Your E-newsletter should be sent at the same day and time every month to maximize its trust-building capacity. Treat this like a deadline to have your E-newsletter ready and don't let yourself off the hook.

4. Be clear on what you're trying to achieve.

Of course it's going to be pretty hard to meet that deadline month after month if you've lost sight of the reasons you're publishing in the first place. Push it down the priority list and you won't have to answer to anyone except yourself - but how much business will it cost you?

5. Get creative on content.

Delivering your readers with a regular format they can learn to anticipate and trust is a key ingredient but if you start to struggle, send 'em a surprise by breaking your usual mould with something a little different. And lighten up! It's an E-newsletter, not brain surgery.

6. Create an editorial calendar.

If part of your E-newsletter anxiety involves worry over being able to come up with a good idea to write about every edition, think of it this way. A monthly send schedule is just 12 good ideas a year. Sit down with a bunch of Post-it notes one day and just brain storm a bunch of things to talk about. Then each edition you can just pick one.

Okay, enough chit chat! Time to get to work. Seeya next month.

Brown Mouse Communications helps small business owners build trust and win sales through high quality, individualised email newsletters.

© Copyright 2008 Brown Mouse Communications

All rights reserved. You may reproduce this article by including this copyright and if reproducing electronically, including a link to www.brownmouse.com.au

Check out our previous editions

Why not check out some of the previous editions of Mouse Mail!