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Five Keys To Using Newsletters To Build Your Brand

Written by: David L. Lantz, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 keys to using newsletters to build your brand. You’ll discover why creating a regular newsletter is vital for building your brand identity. I’ll illustrate these five brand-building keys with examples from my own experience in creating my monthly newsletter, Conversations with the Culture.

shot of two male shoes and a floor with text 'passion lead us here'


In my recent Brainz article, Your Landing Page Road Map, I talked about three things one needs in order to create a stand-alone webpage that people can visit to learn what you offer, and potentially buy from you. But once you have someone’s email address, what do you do with it? A great tool that uses those email addresses you’ve acquired is to periodically send them a newsletter.


1. Your Newsletter Highlights Your Problem-Solving Capabilities


It’s a big world out there, so think through who your target audience is, and how what you know or do appeals to that audience. When my kids were growing up, I discovered that our mutual interest in watching movies allowed me to use key scenes from a movie we’d watched to share some fatherly “words of wisdom” with them. I turned that love of movies and my interest in the Bible into a monthly newsletter I call Conversations with the Culture.


When I started the newsletter in 2005, I only knew that I wanted to take key scenes from movies I watched, share some background about the context of the movie, and then relate it to some passage in the Bible – often a story of people in the Old Testament who face the same sorts of problems we face in our day. At some point along the way, I started including a set of three “Questions for Reflection” in each issue. I also created a YouTube channel and podcast so I could dig more deeply into the topics I most frequently addressed.


So, a question you should stop and answer right now is this: What is your primary “target market,” and what information can you offer them that is either difficult to find or perhaps they can only get from you?


2. Your Newsletter is A Tool to Offer Your Readers Helpful Information


Newsletters are a great vehicle for offering a call to action. This can be something simple, such as going to watch a short video you’ve created, accessing a special free publication, or subscribing to your podcast.

Since 2005, I’ve used over 150 different movies and TV shows in writing my monthly newsletters. Three years ago, as I began to use Zoom, I learned that I could create both an MP4 video file, a rich text file transcript, and an MP3 audio file. Having learned how to do that, I decided to create a podcast I call Discovering Truth at the Movies.”


Reaching back into my “library” of old issues, I started updating them to record in video and audio format over a self-hosted Zoom meeting. This allowed me to post the audio file on my new podcast as well as the video on a Rumble Account (www.rumble.com/wisejargon). I’ve also created a series of anthologies I sell as downloadable PDF e-books on my Payhip Account.


At this point, stop and ask yourself: What do you already have that people might want? How can you create a call to action to download free, downloadable extras they might benefit from?


3. Your Newsletter Helps You Better Understand Your Audience’s Interests.


I have used various email services over the years, but for the last five years, I’ve used Mailchimp. Whatever service you might use, there are some basic pieces of information you can obtain. Things like open rates, information on what links they clicked on, when people unsubscribe, etc. This information helps you track what most interests them. Mailchimp offers a tool for paid accounts that lets you dig more deeply into this data. It’s called Mailchimp Content Analyzer. Such tools can prove useful, along with doing mail list testing (i.e., A/B testing).


From time to time, I create webinars that I invite my subscribers to attend for free based on the information I review. Also, you can create a questionnaire using a service called Survey Monkey to ask your subscribers questions you truly need their feedback on. I have found that this information helps me think through new courses I might offer, such as Think Like Jesus, Lead Like Moses.


What about you? Stop and ask yourself how you gain feedback from people who surf into your website, landing pages, or social media.


4. Your Newsletter Allows You to Regularly Clean & Update Your Mailing List


People change email addresses, stop opening their emails, or unsubscribe. Having a newsletter service helps you sort through your top users, as well as those who have no interest/need to be purged.


When you notice that people regularly respond to a topic, you can create one-word tags that help to segment your email database. Therefore, instead of sending everyone on your mailing list an email, you can send it only to those whom you have learned tend to have an interest in that topic.


For example, my novel titled The Chronicles of Belteshazzar is about the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den – Belteshazzar was Daniel’s Babylonians name. I wrote it with my oldest grandson (now eleven) in mind. Using the features of Zoom I mentioned earlier, I recorded myself reading one chapter at a time and posted the episodes on my podcast. I noticed who among my subscribers gravitated to that topic and added the tag “Belteshazzar” to their email profiles. I’ve also done the same on other topics, such as entrepreneurship.


5. Your Newsletter Helps Develop Your Keyword and SEO Presence


My website is wisejargon.com. Take a moment and google “wisejargon.” What platforms do you see it mentioned on?


Now, I’m not at all suggesting that I’m a household name. Far from it. I’m very niche oriented. I’m working on developing my keyword and SEO (search engine optimization) presence on the Internet, and being more intentional about how I develop the brand I’ve created.


When I publish my newsletters, I use a feature in Mailchimp to also post on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Then, I share the posts with different groups I am part of on my social media platforms. Over time, I hope to be able to reach a wider audience and increase my brand awareness.


These 5 points all assume that you are using some sort of email marketing tool. I’ve mentioned that I use Mailchimp, but that doesn’t mean you should. If you are unsure what email platform you should use, or you’re thinking about changing the platform you do use, you may wish to take a minute to read Maria-Paz Hornish’s articleHow to Choose the Right Email Marketing Platform for Your Business.” Like myself, Maria is a Brainz Magazine Executive Contributor.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

David L Lantz, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David Lantz is a leader in the field of online instruction. He was awarded a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs in 1981 and served as their Alumni President from 1990-1991. In 2005, he was named Faculty of the Year by the first graduating class of the University of Phoenix’s Indianapolis, Indiana campus. Having taught both face-to-face and online classes since 2003, he received the distinction of Advanced Online Instructor/Facilitator from the University of Phoenix in 2012. Since 2011, he has been creating online courses in the fields of entrepreneurship and online instruction. A self-published author, he has authored both fiction and non-fiction books, which can be found on Amazon.com. His mission can be summarized in the proverb: “The wise man makes knowledge acceptable.” To learn more about David, visit his website at www.wisejargon.com.

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