A simple definition of marketing is "the getting and keeping of customers." To sell your product or service, you must have customers. To increase your revenues, you must have customers, and you must turn those customers into repeat super-customers.
The easiest way to do this, both on- and off-line, is through a content newsletter. There is no doubt that content sells. Useful content builds trust and credibility, and over time turns your customer from a stranger to a friend.
An online newsletter is easy to begin--all you need is an autoresponder. I use Aweber for my newsletter. You can advertise your newsletter on your website, on forums, on your business card, in articles you write, on traffic exchanges, and in your email signature. If you faithfully do these marketing tasks, your email list will grow over time.
You must provide useful and informative content in your newsletter. If you want subscribers to read it and (eventually) buy from you, do not offer them junk. I define "junk" as opt-in spam. Don't fall into the habit of sending out advertisements veiled as "articles." Don't send only solo ads. Instead, research topics for your newsletter and write quality articles. Subscribers who are impressed with your newsletter will buy from you. But it will take time to build trust. Trust is not built through junk.
There are three phases to this process: 1) Get a lead; 2) Convert that lead into a customer; and 3) Convert that customer into a super-customer. Your newsletter will help you accomplish all three tasks.
If you sell or market a product or service, and you are driving traffic to your website, you typically have only one shot at capturing the interest of a prospect. If I go to your site and click away, I may never come back. You need some sort of follow-up system. A newsletter is the perfect vehicle for follow-up.
If you are sending targeted traffic to your site (any other type of traffic is a waste), visitors will be interested in the content of what you are offering. To keep their interest, and to keep your name in front of them, offer an f-re-e newsletter. Even a simple, once-a-month newsletter will do.
If they sign up, you then have a chance to build a relationship. This is done through your content. Many people don't buy something the first time they see it, but as they come to know you and your product through your newsletter, they become more willing to purchase. Over time, just by offering a newsletter, you can convert more leads into customers.
You turn those customers into super-customers also through your newsletter. If the product or service they bought from you was quality, you have built even more credibility with them. Perhaps now they will make repeat purchases, or join a membership site you offer, or even become an affiliate for your product or service.
But the key is to offer useful, informative content. If the premier issue of your newsletter is nothing but an ad similar to your site, you will lose that lead. Build relationships through high-quality content, and you will convert leads into paying customers into paying super-customers.