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Newsletters that Fuel Conversations

Contrary to what you may have heard, newsletters are not dead. While blogs are a great way to drive traffic to Web sites, most partners don't have the resources to post meaningful content several times a week. A monthly e-mail newsletter, on the other hand, is an achievable goal for time-strapped service providers.

To make the most of your newsletter, take a methodical approach to the content. Your goal is to educate, but you should educate with your endgame in mind. You want to initiate conversations with your readers.

Different Buyers, Different Conversations
Yes, every one of your readers is unique, but you need to divide them into "interest groups" so that you can build focused content. An interest group can be defined as readers who are in the same industry, at the same stage in the buying cycle or share the same business problem. Creating a buyer persona for each of these groups will make it easier to write content that connects with each reader every month. 

Link to Your Web Site
As a best practice, include the first few lines of your strongest articles with a link to continue reading on your Web site. Include links to related content or downloads on that Web page so your readers can dig deeper into the subject.

Mix It Up
A batch of articles can get pretty dry, both to read and to write. Have fun with your content -- your readers will appreciate it. A few ways to mix up the content include:

  • FAQs (frequently asked questions). There are lots of Ready-to-Go resources that you can tap for these.
  • Recommendations for training videos or slideshows on your site or a Microsoft product site.
  • Evaluation checklists to help buyers make smart choices.
  • Mini case studies or interviews with customers.
  • Guest posts from an ISV.

All of your content should pass the WIIFM (what's in it for me) test. Why should the reader care about the information you are sharing? How will it benefit them or their business? Your readers care about their own issues, not about how great you are.

Strong Calls to Action
Always ask your reader to take the next step. End each article with an offer of additional information or an invitation to an event with a link to your Web site. Invite them to send an e-mail or call. Give your reader every opportunity to extend the conversation. 

Newsletters are a great marketing tool for partners with limited time and resources. A monthly e-mail newsletter provides the consistent touch that prospects and existing clients remember. Taking a systematic approach will ensure you get the e-mail out each month with something of interest for everyone.

What content do you include in your newsletter? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on April 16, 2014


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