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Edition 8

The keys to keeping subscribers

Since most days I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast I would not expect you dear subscriber to remember what exquisite E-newsletter topic I was blah blahing away about two months ago.

But with the hope that I’ll be able to provide you with some powerful memory triggers plus this fancy link back to the edition of Mouse Mail in question in case you want to read it again, I’ve decided to thrill you to bits with a follow-up article.

Need I remind you about my husband Jayson’s thoroughly memorable one liner? “Where do you want you’re sausage?”.

With me? My friend and best branding expert in the world Craig Garrett reckons he’s stored that perfectly crafted pick-up line away for use in the future.

I didn’t have the heart to tell you before Craig, but most women are not as gullible as me!

Anyways, so by now you’re hopefully remembering the issue of Mouse Mail which talked about the early days of my romance with Jayson and the importance to the effectiveness of your E-newsletter of first obtaining explicit permission to email from potential subscribers.

Given that in my opinion, permission is such a key topic when it comes to successful marketing with an E-newsletter, I wanted to talk to you some more about it.

You see one of my gurus, Austrian-based author and email marketing expert Mark Brownlow, reckons that permission (to email) is not something that is ever just given.

It’s loaned.

What he means is, a new subscriber will give you their permission to email them for as long as they are happy to keep hearing from you.

Once they decide you’re boring, irrelevant or plain annoying, they’ll withdraw their permission by hitting unsubscribe or (gasp! Worse still!) reporting you as spam.

Austrian Mark reckons permission (to email) is a prized possession that we should love and nurture over time so that it can be preserved for as long as possible.

With this in mind, here are my four best tips for loving and nurturing your permission to email:

Ask your permission where it would like its sausage. Sorry, couldn’t resist! It worked for Jayson but I must admit, probably won’t work here.

Provide a clear and easy to use Unsubscribe button.

Holding onto an unwilling subscriber simply because they can’t be bothered figuring out how to unsubscribe can be way more damaging to your marketing efforts than allowing someone to drop off your list. They will curse your name every month when they receive your unwanted E-newsletter again and have to hit delete again.

Notice mine right at the top? I’ve had plenty of marketing experts tell me I’m nuts. “Why would you give your readers such a big blatant reminder that they can opt out of hearing from you?” they ask me.

I tell them my absolute number one priority in publishing an E-newsletter is to build a better relationship with my subscribers first so they have no interest in unsubscribing, no matter how easy it is for them to do so.

You wouldn’t consider breaking your best friend’s nose just because you’d been going to Body Combat aerobics classes and could now throw a pretty mean right hook would you? Just because you can, does not mean you will.

Ask your readers for feedback.

As well as giving you a clearer idea about what your audience is interested in, an opportunity to complete a short, simple survey or post a comment about your E-newsletter creates a more interactive experience and genuinely contributes to the development of a stronger relationship.

Consider a sub heading or short introductory paragraph to your E-newsletter.

This little extra will quickly remind your reader of what they are looking at. Most people have a very short attention span when it comes to reading email (except for more highly evolved beings like myself! What was I talking about again? Oh yes!) so help your reader out by reminding them of what they have subscribed to since a whole 30 days could have gone past since they last heard from you. Mine is “Free monthly tips for producing an effective E-newsletter”.

Finally, pay particular attention to your content.

Make sure you are providing your readers with information they want to know, not information you want them to know. For example, you might be very keen to tell clients about the opening of your fancy pants new office but since they rarely have the need to actually visit your office, they probably couldn’t care less. It’s hard but turn off the sales pitch for a while and simply share yourself and your expertise with your clients.

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

Check out our previous editions

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