On one of our recent flight deck sessions, which is going live on the blog this Wednesday, I was asked a great question by Jo, she wanted some fresh ideas for her newsletter content. I went through a few tips on the live broadcast, but thought it would be a good idea to summarise these options in a blog post, and add a few more.
So how can you keep your newsletter FRESH! Up-to-date, current and interesting? Here are some ideas:
1. PLR articles
PLR is a great way to get instant content for your newsletter. You can use the article as it is, change it, break it down, or extract pieces of it to make smaller articles. Either way, you’ll have instant content. High quality packs containing (10) new articles are free every month in the VA passport, or you can buy them in our PLR shop.
2. Google alerts
Sign up to Google alerts for keywords which are relevant to your business, for example, if you have a specific niche, you can be alerted to articles and content on the Web containing those keywords, and you can keep your readers up-to-date with regular ‘latest news’.
3. App reviews
You could search iTunes for some great Apps for iPad or iPhone in the category most applicable to your business, so for example, if you offer bookkeeping services, you could review an App from the finance section.
A competition is a great way to engage your subscribers and encourage them to participate in your business. You could run it for a service, a product, or something from a joint venture partner.
Offers are great if you would like to push a particular service that month. It will also encourage subscribers who are sitting on the fence considering your services to try you out.
6. Social media news
Everyone loves social media, and the best way to get all the inside scoop on what’s happening in the social media world is by subscribing to Mashable and Social Media Examiner, 2 great sources of information. When something new or interesting happens you can summarise your findings in your newsletter, and put the source at the end.
7. Top bookmarks
Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Digg are great places to see what the most popular bookmarked sites and pages are on the Web, keep your readers updated with what’s hot and what’s not by giving them a list of the top bookmarked sites or top sites related to your niche.
8. Photo/portfolio item of the month
This is great if you offer creative services. Do a search on Flickr for a great photo and share it with your readers. Most of them have an embed code you can use in your HTML newsletter. For example, if you are targeting digital nomads or the travel market as your audience, share a great travel photo. You could also share a portfolio item, such as a recent Twitter background your company designed for a client, or a website. Use it as a showcase piece.
9. Share your news
If things have been happening in your VA business since the last newsletter, tell people! If you put a new page in your site, or made any updates, share this information. If you have posted blog posts, introduced a new service or a new team member, or you were mentioned by someone else in a blog post, or you have done an interview, tell your subscribers, it shows you’re being proactive!
10. Create a paper.li
These are online newspapers which are periodically updated with content from Twitter users, which is a great source of information which is current and relevant in general to your audience. It’s what people are talking about. Check your paper.li for stories of interest and mention where the stories came from putting in the Twitter URL. This will also encourage subscribers to follow you on Twitter.
11. Share discoveries
If you find something interesting online share it with your audience, chances are they’ll find it interesting too!
If you use a great product or service in your business, you can introduce that product to your subscribers, putting the affiliate link in your newsletter. You could run a promotion for people who sign up for that product or service through your link.
If you have a colleague who also has a newsletter, you could introduce that colleague to your subscribers with mutual benefit by doing a cross-promotion, mentioning them in your newsletter and them mentioning you in theirs. You can also come up with a special joint offer which doesn’t conflict with each other’s businesses.
VA’s are full of tips! Add a tip to your newsletter which will help clients with working and collaborating online. It also helps educate clients on the virtual world. The tips can be about anything from file sharing to email marketing. For example, if you specialise in a certain area such as blogging, you can suggest plugins or tips to improve blogging productivity.
Ask your subscribers a multi-choice question. Polls are another great way to engage your audience and interact with them. You could also use it as a great form of market research and gather info. Ask things like, what social media site do you visit the most, for this you can use a multiple choice poll on your Facebook page, which could also get you a few new fans as well.
Similar to the polls you could ask your readers a non multi-choice question, something they will need to respond to you with. A good way to gather responses is by placing that question on your blog as a discussion, and encouraging people to comment. If it’s one which is a short response you could ask the subscribers to tweet it to you in an @reply.
17. Top posts from your blog
If you have some great blog posts you want to ‘keep alive’ you could include the links to those posts in the newsletter, don’t forget to ask for feedback via a comment on the post!
18. Interview a subscriber
Give a little back and spotlight your subscribers in a short interview, see if anyone would like to put themselves forward and ask questions about their business and what they do, and you can then use the interview in a later edition of your newsletter.
19. Free material
The subscriber has already taken an interest in you, so why not offer other free products such as ebooks, white papers, reports and useful info? Make them aware of your other free material.
And finally, you could offer a charitable deed. For example, there are many charities that request sponsorship or donations for nominal amounts that do make a big difference. Encourage subscribers to use your services by, for example giving a small donation to a charity of their or your choice on their behalf for signing up with you as a client. This is most applicable when a charity is in the spotlight, such as Red Nose Day or Children In Need, or when there is a build up or event, you could link this within your newsletter too.
So there you have it! 20 ideas to keep your newsletter ‘fresh and current.’ But also extremely useful!