Blog | February 15, 2012

9 Tips To Refine Your Blog Or Email Newsletters

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

I’ve held enough interviews to know that many VARs don’t do a great job of marketing to their customers. Lack of marketing budget need not be an excuse. There are many free things you can be doing to get in front of your customers. Have you considered a blog or email newsletter to your customers and prospects? If you’ve got the inclination and the time to write your own case studies or blogs, here are some tips that might improve your marketing messages.

Headlines

  • Your headline is the biggest factor determining whether or not someone’s going to read your content. If your headline is too long, too promotional, or not compelling, no one is going to read your content (brace for disappointment).
  • Good headlines compel readers to click on them. Before you settle on a headline, consider what your target audience will think when they read it. Seeing your company name won’t cause readers to click. Seeing a product name might not do it either. How about phrases like “reduce your shrink,” “curb sweethearting,” or “how digital signage can increase your sales.”
  • Use short headlines — 10 words max.

Content

  • Be a thought-leader, not a self-promoter. The most-clicked articles are educational and in no way promotional. Promotional materials are often discounted by readers as advertisements.
  • Step stories ("3 Steps To Turn Tables Faster"), Tips ("5 Tips To Help You Understand Mobile Payments"), and Beginners Guides ("Beginners Guide To Mobile POS") do extremely well.
  • The maximum word count for a single article/topic should be 800 words. Any longer and you should consider breaking the article into separate parts. If your article is short, but contains valuable content, it’s perfectly fine.
  • Don’t worry about not being a writer. Good articles can be in Q&A format. Write your own questions (nonpromotional) and have your team answer them (nonpromotional).
  • Work with vendor and distributor partners to develop content. Many have the infrastructure and/or tools to help you generate content. If you need help, just ask!

Topics

  • This is quite simple: If you’re doing your job right, you create solutions to solve business problems your customers face. Those business problems are great topics for your marketing pieces. Write about those issues in a nonpromotional way and your success will greatly increase.
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