Affiliate Update:
10 Must Haves for a great free newsletter

Establishing a free newsletter for your website or blog is a great way to “speak” to your audience and really engage them.

But what does it take to make sure that you have an effective, well written newsletter?

This month I am bringing in an expert on the subject to tell you just that.

Wendy Montes de Oca is one of the world’s most respected Fortune® 500 eMarketers. She is the author of, Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz which was a former #1 Amazon Internet Marketing bestseller for ten straight weeks.

This lady knows what she is talking about and I recommend that you take in what she has to say. Read it a few times and then implement some of the suggestions in your own business. There is nothing better than a vehicle in which to promote affiliate products. You need one to be successful.

10 Must Haves for a great free newsletter
By Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA

  1. The newsletter must be entertaining and engaging—in other words, a good read. It should also provide useful, valuable, and actionable content.
  2. The content should be written informally, as if you’re speaking to a friend who’s across the table from you. It shouldn’t be worded in academic or clinical language.
  3. The content should have a Flesch–Kincaid readability scale level of sixth to eighth grade. You can find a free readability score checker at
  4. Keep in mind that the overall goal is to build a community of loyal readers. Building a strong community of readers helps your business increase its customer lifetime value (LTV), resulting in increased consumer loyalty, product sales, and referral business (word-of-mouth marketing).
  5. Use the real estate in your free newsletter to cross-promote your products or your affiliate partners’ products via text or banner ads. You can also include advertorial blurbs that tie into the actual article but link to related products via editorial notes. However, the editorial messages should outweigh the marketing messages. Keep your content- to-advertisement ratio to no more than 80:20 or 75:25. Each issue has the potential to bring in revenues, but you still are providing valuable content at no cost.
  6. Offer a free bonus report or whitepaper to prospects as an incentive to sign up for the free subscription.
  7. Tout your privacy and anti-spam policy on your website and in your newsletter, to help readers and prospects feel more secure about giving you their email address.
  8. Remind readers at the top of your newsletter that they opted in to receive this information. For example: “You are getting this email because you subscribed to it on or, or because you are one of Wendy’s clients, prospects, seminar/event attendees, or product buyers. You may unsubscribe below via SafeUnsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.”
  9. Have the options Forward to Friend, White List Us, and Cancel clearly available in your newsletter.
  10. Include a “Syndicate Our Content” blurb at the bottom of each issue and on your website’s newsletter archives page, to encourage web syndication and viral marketing. For example: “Like what you’ve read? Republish it for free and share the knowledge! Attention readers, publishers, editors, bloggers, marketers, and webmasters: You may republish or syndicate my articles without charge. The only thing I ask is that you keep the newsletter article or blog post exactly as it was written and formatted, with no changes. You also must include full publication attribution and back-links as indicated: “This information has been provided by Precision Marketing eNewsletter published by Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit here.”

Source: Content Is Cash (Que Publishing,2011)

Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA, is one of the world’s most respected Fortune® 500 eMarketers. She is the author of, Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback], which was a former #1 Amazon Internet Marketing bestseller for ten straight weeks. Content Is Cash was also nominated for the 2011 Small Business Book Awards. Wendy is also the creator of the acclaimed SONAR Content Distribution Model TM. She is the President and Founder of Precision Marketing and Media, LLC and publisher of the Precision Mar keting newsletter. Her diversified background includes nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, publishing, financial services, and law. During her career, Wendy has generated more than $150 million in total revenues for various corporations, consulting clients, and her own consulting firm. For more information, please visit Learn more about the bestseller, Content Is Cash.

And remember, one of the advantages of being in the AWAI affiliate program is that you have the opportunity to republish any of the content that you find in our archives.

And you only have to provide attribution. A very easy way to populate your blog on enhance the editorial content of your newsletter, just like I have done here.

To a profitable partnership,

Jessica Kurrle
American Writers & Artists Institute

P.S. I am always here to help so if I haven’t addressed your question here or if you would like to suggest a topic to cover in a future newsletter, please write in to and I will do my best to get you an answer.

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Published: March 6, 2013