Knock knock…

Knock knock…

Knock knock – Who’s there?

Three simple techniques to help you gather information which you can then use to create valuable content for your e-newsletter readers!

An effective e-newsletter is one that readers open, click through and look forward to receiving. Ideally, they forward it to friends and colleagues and those recipients sign up as well. It is a publication that drives traffic to your store or website and keeps you engaged with your customers between visits and purchases. Creating content that keeps your readers interested and engaged is key. Understanding who your readers are, and what they are interested in, makes creating that content easier!

Here are three simple ways to get to know who your readers are.

At Sign-up:

One of the easiest ways to learn more about your readers is to ask them about their interests as they sign-up for your e-newsletter. Offer a choice of lists, each with a different area of interest, for them to check off. Say you have an Outdoor Store; you might have lists for Watersports, Hiking, Skiing and Swimming. Indicate that people can check as many as they like and that there will be special offers, such as discount coupons, etc. available in the specific categories they choose.

Doing this will help you in a number of ways. First, you can see, right away, which categories interest your readers most. That will help guide you when you are considering topics to write about. And secondly, it gives you segmented lists so if you do want to do a Ski promotion, you will be able to send an additional mailing, just to your ‘ski’ list with a special offer, knowing that these are people that have already expressed an interest in skiing.

Targeted mailings are much more effective. You want to make sure that your readers are receiving content that they perceive as valuable – in the example above, knowing that the readers on that specific list are interested in skiing, will help you do this.

Use a Survey:

A few months ago, I asked my readers whether they wanted me to cover both e-newsletter and social media tips in the same, or separate, publications. The answer was unanimous and I will now address both topics in the same publication. But had the answer been different, if people had asked for separate issues, I would have sent out another request, asking for readers to indicate which issue they wished to receive.

Surveys can be as simple as a one question ‘poll’ or more elaborate quizzes with numerous questions. As a rule, do not ask for more information than you really need. You do not want to waste your readers’ time!

Encourage existing readers to Update their Profile:

And if you are just now thinking, ‘hmmm, wish I had known this when I started to create my mailing list!’ it is never too late to do this. If you are just starting to build your mailing list, then by all means, create those segmented lists right away so that you can start gathering this helpful information as soon as possible.

And if you already have a contact list, of any size, you can always ask them to ‘update their profile’. With Constant Contact, you can create a link, to appear at the bottom of your publications, which allows readers to, with one click, return to that landing page with the choices of lists. An email, with a note explaining that you have created these lists in order to provide them with the best content possible and directions on how to click the link and check the boxes, should be enough to get your readers to follow-through.

By using these three simple techniques, you will be able to gather reliable information which you can then use to create content of value to your readers!

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