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Email newsletters: it’s never too late

When I recently wrote about email newsletters, I mentioned having been involved in them for over 20 years and in doing so, may have inadvertently reinforced some readers’ misconceptions that to have a successful newsletter, the only time to start was long ago. Far from it. Even in this venerable medium, new publications launch every day. The best time to start an email newsletter is as soon as you can.

It doesn’t matter if your initial circulation is only half a dozen people. You’ve probably spent half an hour before now writing an email to just one important prospect, so writing an email for half a dozen is already time better spent. The circulation will grow. And what’s more, it automatically gives you some great content to republish on your website. The sooner you start, the larger the circulation will be at any point in the future when you look back.

Before you begin, there’s plenty to sketch out. Even if you only have to get the nod to do this from yourself, it’s still worth writing a proposal. Who is it aimed at? Customers, prospects, people you don’t even know, or all three groups? Is it sales-oriented, educational, or both? How much decent content is likely to be available? Does this suggest fortnightly, monthly or quarterly? How should you present it? For ideas, there are loads of ‘email newsletter examples’ articles out there on the web.

There are many decent mailing services out there, most offering easy to adapt templates. Don’t go for free services; doing things properly isn’t expensive. Make sure you’re monitoring the clicks from the email; if the mailing service doesn’t tag for your website analytics service natively, you’ll need to tag your links manually, but this isn’t difficult.

It’s never too late.