Build Your E-Mail List With the Relevancy Principle

“Dear ETR, I was wondering if you accept articles for your newsletter?”

I get e-mails like this on a weekly basis. And I applaud the senders for their initiative. Since ETR has over 450,000 subscribers, it is a good marketing strategy to get your name and ideas – and a link to your website – into our newsletter.

If you have an Internet business, you, too, should be looking for reliable methods of generating traffic to your site and growing your e-mail list. Publishing articles in other people’s e-newsletters is an easy, free way to do both.

But a word of caution: You must adhere to what I call the “relevancy principle.”

You see, you can’t just write any old article, send it to an e-newsletter, and expect it to be published. (All too often, I get submissions like these for ETR, and I have to turn them away.)

First, of course, you need to ask if the publisher is looking for submissions. Next, you should ask for contributor guidelines so you know exactly what the publisher is looking for. Plus, you should read the newsletter you are submitting to. That way, you’ll be familiar with its style and content.

But most important, you need to make sure that you, your business, and your article complement the newsletter.

For instance, if you run a home improvement company, you probably wouldn’t be a good “fit” for an e-newsletter about mutual funds. You’d do better to send articles to newsletters that target real estate investors, new homeowners, or even recently single women.

Abiding by the relevancy principle can help you in two ways. First, it’s more likely that a newsletter publisher will accept your articles. She wants to send relevant, useful information to her readers… so you’ve just made her job easier. Second, you’ll make a stronger connection with her readers – and attract people to your site who are already interested in what your business is all about.

Comment on this article

  • Hello Suzanne,

    Very good and very relevant post.

    These are the same guidelines that print magazines have always had. Following them is just good business, and it saves time — yours and the publisher’s.