Got Content? Leverage Your Web Content
Using E-Newsletters

A content-rich web site is a marketing asset. Use it to
gain exposure and drive traffic back to your site.

By Amy Campbell

You've heard it a hundred times. Content is king! This is especially true for professional services firms for which the most effective marketing strategy has always been — to publish! Publishing "content of value" to your web site is a quick and effective way to showcase your special knowledge and position yourself as an expert.

Why is this so? Because people seek information. And when you supply it to them, you do three things:

  • satisfy a customer (potential customer) need
  • establish your expertise
  • establish an informational relationship.

An Extension of Your Web Site

E-newsletters can help you to get more bang for your content buck by leveraging the original material on your web site. An e-newsletter that integrates with your web site will regularly:

  • expose your name and brand to more customers
  • increase readership/exposure to your published articles
  • drive more traffic back to your site.

Business-to-business users of the web seek information. The more information you publish — and the more strategically you present, organize, index, and tag it — the more likely you are to attract, engage, and satisfy customers with an interest in your special areas of expertise.

Leverage Your Existing Content

As you know, maintaining a steady flow of relevant content to your web site takes time and effort from your already busy professionals. Because creating this content is so labor intensive, you want to be sure that you maximize its exposure to your clientele and potential clientele. No matter how successful your web site may be, it's not realistic to expect your customers to visit it every day. Let's face it — they're busy too.

Enter the e-newsletter, which uses a "push" medium (e-mail) to "pull" users back to your site via hyperlinks. A typical e-newsletter may highlight the most recent reports, data, articles or new service/product information published on your web site. An informative headline and well-written summary is usually all it takes to get the right customer (the one with a vested interest in your area of expertise) to click through to your web site.

The beauty of this type of summary e-newsletter is that it takes minimal effort to produce because the information is already written. The e-newsletter simply acts as another distribution channel to reach your audience and provide easy access to your content of value.

...Or Create New Content

Of course, an e-newsletter can offer original content written for a specific audience as long as you have a ready and willing author for such a venture. But even when you choose to produce a newsletter of fresh content, it still makes sense to use that opportunity to provide links to related materials that already exist on your web site. It's just a good use of resources.

And don't overlook the value of older, archived materials. Some information is worth referring to again and again.

E-Newsletter Do and Don'ts

  • Do publish regulary (weekly/monthly/quarterly)
  • Do offer sign-up capabilities on your web site
  • Do offer unsubscribe info on every newsletter
  • Do proofread carefully and test all links
  • Do offer a newsletter privacy policy
  • Do encourage readers to forward the newsletter to others
  • Do archive past issues on your web site
  • Don't spam the list
  • Don't be too cute or clever — err on the side of being informative
  • Don't give up — building a subscription list can take months

Start Small, Think Big

An e-newsletter can be a viable solution for almost any business. Even a very simple newsletter aimed at a very small audience can provide a valuable service of connecting your customers to your expertise. A well executed, e-newsletter can give a small business the authority and appearance of a much larger organization.

Electronic newsletters can be as simple as a standard text email with a few hyperlinks, or a stylish HTML newsletter that mimics your web site and brand.

Most e-mail newsletters are initially managed using a standard e-mail account with a separate address book for each newsletter's subscribers. When that method becomes tedious due to the size and activity of subscription requests, moving to an auto-mailer, list serve, or web-administered newsletter solution will be worth the investment in time and resources.






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