No doubt that email marketing is an effective marketing tool, but the big question is, “What should I email to my list?”
It doesn't matter what niche you're in, there is always plenty to share with your list. Never let writer's block keep you from using something as valuable as your mailing list.
Here are some ideas for you. 22 ideas, in fact…
1. Make a list of major topics relevant to your target market. Break these down into sub-categories and ultimately into specific topics. Always keep this list handy as it will be great for generating ideas.
2. Keep a notebook or your smartphone handy for recording ideas that come to you spontaneously. We've all been at the grocery store or in the middle of a workout when a great idea comes to us. Make sure you have a way to record them or those ideas will soon be lost.
3. If you are in your own target market (ex. your target is Dungeons and Dragons players and you play D&D), make a list of products that you like and use. You can even make a list of products that you don't care too much for. These lists will give you plenty of ideas of products to promote and educate your readers about.
4. Make a list of the most popular products for your target market and that will give you a nice list of products to promote. For example, if you sell consumer products, just go to Amazon.com, click on the appropriate sub-category and near the top of the page, you'll find a link for bestsellers.
5. Write case studies. If your clients/customers are doing well, make an informative case study out of them. You can interview them, write a report of their results, etc. Just make sure it's interesting to your readers.
6. Ask your readers to submit questions and answer them. Don't have a huge list and can't seem to get many questions? Visit topic-related forums and networking groups and see what questions they're asking each other.
7. Do some keyword research. Look for the information or products your target market is actively searching for by using a tool like WordTracker.com or the free Google keyword planner.
8. Make a video and send it to your list. Make it an informative talk from you, do a screen capture video or just have a little fun. As long as it's entertaining or useful to your readers, they'll appreciate it.
9. Make an audio recording and send it to your list. You can teach something, do an interview or anything your readers want.
10. Write a blog entry and send it to your list. Not only do they receive good content, but you can add some interactivity to your communication by having them leave comments.
11. Send a link to your article on another site. If it's useful to your reader, send them a quick and interest-generating description, plus a link to read it online.
12. Find and discuss a news story related to your market. Go to Google News (or wherever you like to read online news) and find something topical. Share your point of view.
13. Check your affiliate programs for brandable reports. Many affiliate programs are offering information-packed reports that you can brand with your own link. If they don't have brandable reports, they may have some other useful freebies. Give these to your list.
14. Always follow up. Emails get filtered and people forget about things. There's nothing wrong with following up on promos or even reminding your readers about previous offers and content. Sometimes you might send stand-alone email reminders. Other times you might include some extra content with the reminder.
15. Make it a series. You don't have to give away all your content on a certain topic in one go. Break it up into bite-sized chunks and keep your readers ready for more.
16. Answer product/offer objections. If you send out a promotional email and then receive questions about the product via direct email, compile the answers to those questions and send them out to your list.
17. Give out software, a spreadsheet or some useful tool. What you send will depend on your target markets needs so get creative and, if needed, hire a programmer to create a simple piece of software.
18. Browse other information sites / article sites for topic ideas. Check the various categories of the site to come up with your own ideas.
19. Write a commentary about other blog entries you've read and share that with your subscribers. It's a way to bring great content to your list and develop a relationship with a fellow online business owner.
20. Make a top 5 or a top 10 list. When you aren't sure what to write about, just make a list. For example, “Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill” or “Top 5 Ways Increase the Speed of Your Cross-Stitching.”
21. Create “How to” instructions or some type of tutorial. You can send the instructions via email or if illustrations/screenshots will enhance the tutorial, give them a link to a tutorial you've posted online.
22. Build up to your product launches and other promos. Map out your product launches on a calendar and start ramping up to them by delivering content related to your products.
Use this list over and over again and you'll never run out of ideas. Remember, to keep notes as new ideas pop into your head and keep those notes in one handy place. That way, you'll always have a great resource for coming up with new ideas.