When you're in the process of creating a newsletter
series for your list, all sorts of niggling questions, trivial or significant,
are bound to pop into your head.
I know as well as you do that when it's hard to find the answer to something right away, it's easy to lose interest, and progress can get delayed.
We don't want that happening!
That's why I've collated answers to many of your common questions about setting up a newsletter series from various places around the Affilorama website. I've put the information right here in front of your noses so that there really is no excuse to be side-tracking that large but crucial task of creating your newsletter series.
What should the ratio of promotional to informative content in my newsletter series be?
There is no hard and fast rule for this one, but you do have to be careful to get a balance. The purpose of your newsletter series is to build a reputation of trust and authority with your subscribers. Bombarding them with promotional content is unlikely to win you respect, which is unlikely to win you sales.
Getting this right from the beginning is crucial to establishing the nature of your relationship with your subscribers. For this reason, many newsletter series will often start off with a ‘6 part mini course' before any promotional emails are sent at all (see our free lesson on this).
A good rule of thumb is to do one promotion (where the content of the email focuses purely on promoting an affiliate product) for every seven emails you send. That is:
1 promotion: 6 informational emails.
For every promotional email you send, you may also send a follow up - so the ratio 2:6 might more accurately describe the ratio of emails.
Remember, this is just a rule of thumb and you might decide to run a promotion after 3 or 4 informational emails. If your informational newsletters are really high quality, you can probably get away with more. However, this is something you will need to test for yourself.
How often should I email my subscribers?
An email every two to three days is perfectly acceptable, but again, it is up to you. Sending emails more frequently than this may risk annoying your subscribers and cause them to unsubscribe.
On the other hand, sending emails far less frequently (i.e. more than 10 days between emails)will inhibit or slow down the process of building a relationship with your subscribers - thereby making it harder to convert sales.
While this may seem like your subscribers will be hearing from you an awful lot, remember that they are unlikely to open every email you send. The choice remains with them how engaged they become with your newsletter series.
How long should my newsletters be?
Consider the following two questions:
How long would your attention be held on a topic that you have no interest in?
How long would your attention be held on a topic that you have a lot of interest in?
I assume that you would have more time for a topic that you are interested in. I also assume that subscribers are on your email list because they match your target market, and are interested in your niche.
With that in mind, your subscribers are after quality information and the more you give them in one email, the more likely they are to respect you and ultimately, purchase from you.
You also want to allow room for a short soft sell or two to be inserted into your newsletter, without obstructing the quality content that you are providing. The shorter your newsletter is, the harder it is to do this.
Newsletters of 500 to 600 words are actually a conservative length, but you can still fit a soft sell in if you are very careful. A newsletter of 800 to 1000+ words allows room to provide true quality content, and several opportunities to promote a product. Of course, writing every newsletter at this length sounds like an overwhelming task, so you might choose to scatter these longer ones throughout your series.
How do I put a soft sell into a content newsletter?
Soft sells are mini advertisements a subscriber reads within a content newsletter and they work much like an audience sitting through an advertisement break on television. It is a means of ‘paying' for the free content that they are receiving.
These soft sells are very short. They work by identifying a problem that the subscriber is likely to have, and proposing a solution (the product), or identifying a benefit and pointing the target market to where they can get it. An example:
"Getting (benefit) is the dream of every (subscriber market group). Visit (product website) for secret, insider XX you've never even thought of before:
These may be inserted at the beginning of the newsletter, again at the end, or part way through. Exercise careful judgment on how best to craft these into each newsletter, and try to make the soft sell relevant to the content of the newsletter wherever possible.
How many products do I need to promote and how relevant do they need to be?
A minimum of seven products should be worked into a year's newsletter series, as promotions for the same product can be repeated several times throughout this period.
If you're niche is very specific, you may be concerned that it is hard to find enough different products. Keep in mind that products suitable to promote don't necessarily have to be specific to your niche. They can appeal to a wider audience and yet still be relevant to your subscribers.
For example, self help and motivational products can be relevant for many niches - subscribers of a weight loss email series will likely be interested in these as well as weight-loss specific products. On the other end of the spectrum, pairing a golf skills product with subscribers of a dog training niche is unlikely to do you or your subscribers any favors.
There is no hiding the fact that there is a lot of work involved in getting together a quality email series. But there's also a great deal of evidence testifying to just how well this work can pay off.
Have you got more questions or advice to give? Post them below.
Good news: AffiloJetpack will soon be available to purchase again. Each Jetpack comes with a fully completed year-long email series to use - so you don't have to concern yourself with any of the above issues!