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Christopher Knight

Ezine Readers - Do Your Email Newsletter Members Pay Attention?
By Christopher Knight

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Having a big permission-based email list is worthless if your readers are not engaged, responding to you or are lost in the woods.

First, how do you know if your ezine members are listening to you?

  • Do they buy from you when you recommend or endorse a product?
  • Do any of them email you after each newsletter goes out?
  • How many report that they opened your email (for those who send HTML)?
  • Do you receive testimonials?
  • Do your list members forward your ezine or article to their friends?
  • Is your list attrition rate climbing or declining? List members who are not engaged will leave you or abandon their account without updating their email address with you.
If you sense that your email newsletter members are not paying attention to you, there are two areas I would immediate recommend that you review:
  1. List Source: Where are you members coming from? Co-registration members are always less responsive than members who find you from your website directly. How you grow your list has everything to do with how responsive your members become!

  2. Relevant Content Factor: If your content is timely and relevant to your ideal profile email list member, you can do no wrong. On the other hand, if your audience is in the basketball court and you are playing football, you are going to lose them completely.
Note: List "age" also can be a factor in how responsive a member is. List members under (1) year old with you will almost ALWAYS be more responsive than members that have been with you for 5-10+ years unless you have the magical gift of content and writing style that can keep your audiences attention over the ages.

9 Quick Things You Can Do To Immediately Increase Responsiveness From Your Email Members:

  1. Ask Them: Provide them with an easy way for them to ask you questions. Don't guilt trap yourself into thinking you have to respond and reply to every member who asks for free consulting from you because that is not the case. This is an excellent way to get your members to interact with you *AND* provide you with topic ideas for your next newsletter.

  2. Survey Them: At least once a year, send them a survey to ask what is most important to them, which issues they are having the most problems with and other questions to identify more about your audience and their needs.

  3. Review List Sources: No one is better at getting qualified list members to join your list than you are. Are you using dozens of list building techniques on your own website and business processes? These are your golden members. Need to grow your list? I recommend the EzineQueen's "SPECIAL REPORT: 101 Simple, FREE and Low-Cost Ways to Quickly Build a MASSIVE Email List":

  4. Run a Contest: People love free stuff. Give away a product or service that they will value that is somehow related to your product (or not) and make it easy for them to engage you in the contest.

  5. Run a Free Teleseminar: Ezines can be so one-sense-dimensional...whereas your voice communicates much more powerfully than your written words. Give your ezine audience a chance to hear you, ask you questions, participate in an event that you can then pitch or sell some back-end product to make it worth your time.

  6. Accept Comments: Encourage your members to add comments to your new ezine article posts, your blog entries or participate in your forums.

  7. Profile Your Ideal List Member: Think seriously about your ideal list member. This is who you are speaking to. You can't serve every niche simultaneously. Narrow your comments, style and commentary to address your niche very specifically.

  8. Be Timely: If your newsletter is normally on Monday's, but some big event happens on Saturday that impacts your field of expertise, send a special alert on an off-day.

  9. Mix It Up: If you send HTML only, send a TEXT version once in a while with a special gift of information, a special report, an invitation, or anything to address them outside of your normal format.

One controversial idea that is often recommended by other 'experts' is to remove or purge dead members from your list who don't respond. While that strategy works and will most likely raise your open rate, it is NOT a good strategy because you will lose legitimate members who are not reporting to you that they are in fact opening your emails up. Permission-based opt-in email list building is the lifeblood of your bottom line, but only if your members are responsive! :-) What plan can you implement this week to engage your audience to make them more responsive to you? How can you better meet their needs?

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for February 23, 2006

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