Now that you’ve built a solid mailing list, you’ll need to deliver on the promise you made to your new subscribers. You’ll need to fulfill the explicit promise of delivering the promotional item you hooked them with (ebook, free report, etc.), as well as the implicit promise of producing useful and valuable information.
Here’s how to engage your readers and provide them with exceptional and relevant material, which they’ll hopefully come to rely upon.
One effective way to meet your readers’ needs is to determine what content is most frequently visited by installing analytics software. This tool will expose how people found your site, which pages they visit, and how long they spend on each page before navigating away. If you use the free Analytics code offered by Google (http://www.google.com/analytics/), you can also access demographic information such as geographical location. Over time, this information will help you determine how users are interacting with your website, and what their specific needs are; guiding you to generate effective content in the future.
Read Comments and Message Boards
If your blog settings allow user comments, or if your site features message boards for discussion of various topics, then it’s important to review this feedback and be aware of your users’ opinions. Rather than give direct feedback, often users will discuss the strong and weak points of particular products, point out missing information, or compare similar products available elsewhere. By being receptive to constructive feedback, you can easily strengthen the quality of your product offering.
Spy on Your Competitors
Chances are you’re not the only business that’s operating in a particular niche – and if currently you do exclusively offer a particular product or service, it won’t be long before competitors appear on the scene. Use your competition to your advantage by checking out what other businesses are offering. Are there any products or services that you’ve overlooked, or not previously considered? By subscribing to your competitors’ newsletters, Twitter feeds, and Facebook accounts you can stay current on what your untapped prospective customer base is interested in, and apply this information to advancing your business.
Finally, don’t neglect the most direct approach – ask your subscribers what they’re interested in reading about. You’ll get the most direct answers, and the act of asking them will strengthen your relationship – it conveys that you value their input. You can accomplish this by making periodic requests for input as part of your normal article or blog post publication schedule, and perhaps even including a free product or service giveaway to provide additional incentive for your readers to participate.
So now you know how to satisfy your readers, but how about accomplishing your own business goals? In the next post, we’ll discuss how to ensure your emails achieve the results and conversions that you’re looking for.