Inspiration for my E-newsletter turns
up in the weirdest places and at the most inconvenient times! But
before sharing this month's tips with you I must recount the
following rather amusing story.
The garden of my home in the seaside
village of Binningup, Western Australia is lined along both sides
with beautiful native peppermint trees. Some people hate them
because they are a haven for blood hungry mosquitoes but I love 'em
despite the fact my arms, legs and even ears (yeah I know!) seem to
be the equivalent of chocolate in mozzie land.
It turns out the other
creatures who love peppi trees are Australia's rare and endangered
ring-tail possums who, it also turns out, have a bit to
tell us about successful E-newsletters. As you can imagine, this all
rates very highly with me.
Peppi trees do have a major drawback
though. Around 11pm every night my ridiculously bouncy
three-year-old cocker spaniel Holly waits in anticipation
for passing possums to run along the fence so she can bark like
mad. You would think the furry little mites would just keep
running but no, they freeze in fright so Holly just keeps on barking
until my poor husband Jayson rolls out of bed to hurry them along
with a gentle broomstick near their possum bottoms.
One night though this daily summer
ritual was interrupted by a possum that found itself trapped
underneath our raised back deck. Holly as you would expect was
barking up a storm making us very popular with the neighbours,
particularly as it was 1am.
Wearing just boxer shorts and
gardening gloves (huh!) Jayson attempted to rescue the
possum but not feeling in a terribly grateful mood it promptly
wee-ed on him before clamping down on the soft bit of skin
between his thumb and forefinger. Ouch!
Despite Jayson's obvious disgust
the poor possum was really only using the best defence
mechanisms it had at its disposal to stop an immediate
threat, from coming any closer.
Now you my patient reader might be
thinking I spend way too much time pondering the subject but as my
cranky husband was washing the possum wee off his arms and
chest I started to think how the possum's defence mechanism
related to E-newsletters.
A common question from clients when
seeking to build their E-newsletter subscriber list is: "How
do I stop potential readers from hitting the delete
Our subjects are bombarded with more
email every day than they know what to do with and their instinctive
defence mechanism in dealing with it is to just hit delete, delete,
But it is possible to
overcome a potential reader's natural defences, halt that
trigger finger and have them not only open your email, but read it,
enjoy it, forward it on and regularly subscribe until one day it
becomes an essential part of their life.
"How do I make my
E-newsletter essential?" you're shouting at me.
Well here's the big tip you've been
Drop your own defences and share
yourself with your readers.
Share your expertise openly and
willingly without any regard for what you might receive in return.
Provide your readers with information they will value.
US E-newsletter guru and marketing
expert Michael Katz says: "Biased
self-promotions disguised as "information" only push prospects away.
Instead, recognise that a commitment to helping people do their
jobs, run their companies or live their lives better - without
demanding anything in return - is a frighteningly compelling way to
grow your business."
In sharing your knowledge though,
don't allow the message to be lost in industry jargon and overly
formal language. Writing the same simple way you speak is
the tastiest recipe for communicating with your clients. A
clever way to check yourself here is to read your E-newsletter out
loud and if you can do it without cringing or worse still, laughing,
you've done well.
Finally, add some of your
own unique self into the mix. Chuck in some of those "isms"
that only you can get away with saying (a good friend of mine loves
calling his mates mammals?...a term of endearment he reckons!), tell
anecdotes, give opinions and inject some personality. After all,
there's probably a paddock of competitors who can deliver your
particular service as well as you can, but only you will be
the one to win the work when your client not only knows you can get
the job done but comes to know and trust you as
Got a favourite saying that
everyone but you thinks is a bit weird? Lay it on me, send an email