This summer, while working with Fisher Farms (www.fisherfarms.net), I’ve been following a straight-forward and effective format for the weekly eNewsletter (aka. an eZine) that we send out to our CSA customers and to all of our followers.
We use MailChimp (www.mailchimp.com) as our platform (it’s free for your first 2,000 subscribers!) and have been enjoying eNewsletters for their ease of use, right to the inbox delivery and ease of formatting. It really is easy to make good-looking and informative messages for our community.
Keep in mind that we only send 1 type of eNewsletter to 1 list of subscribers (currently, about 150 people). Since Fisher Farms is a small farm and business, there is no need to create multiple lists or multiple types of newsletters.
Here’s a snapshot of part of one of our recent newsletters. Check out the full one here : http://eepurl.com/DOY4L
Although you can’t see all of it in the above image (but can view the full version here) , these full eNewsletters follow this simple format.
Notice that some content remains the same from week to week (labeled as “constant”) and some changes with every new addition of the eNewsletter (labeled “always different”). Photos change too, of course.
Food for Thought
eNewsletters are not meant to be a long, drawn out sales-pitch : this means that your content needs to be mainly informative and educational, with product or service sales mentioned as an addition
creating a format that’s easy to follow saves a lot of time : planning out the design first saves you time in the long run. Using the above example I know exactly what I need to create for every week’s eNewsletter: 1 informative article, 1 article sharing CSA veggie updates and a current link (or two) to a product sales page (ie. pastured pork, veggie Montage Bags, fresh eggs etc.)
make sure you immortalize the contents within your blog : eNewsletters are not random postings or mini-articles you’re making up on the spot: they are actually short snippets from real blog posts that are already embedded on your website. Make sure to link to your original blog post or article at the end of every snippet within the newsletter. This not only allows readers to read the full post (yay!) but also drives more traffic to your website and to all of your farm and food information (double yay!)
Want to learn more about eNewsletters and find out why they’re such an effective online marketing tool? Head on over to Farmspiration to check out this article: http://farmspiration.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/what-is-the-1-online-marketing-tool/