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Question: The end-of-year holidays are just around the corner. Is this good or bad for my e-newsletter?

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Answer: Mostly good. In today’s 24/7 work environment, a surprising number of folks check their work e-mail during holiday lulls. You’ve got two weeks coming up that you shouldn’t write off: Nov. 22-26 (Thanksgiving) and Dec. 27-31 (between Christmas and New Year’s).

Here are five tips for how to take advantage of these "lulls," when you might get a surprising amount of response to your e-newsletter.

  1. If you publish in HTML, commission a holiday logo or two for the masthead of your e-newsletter. Readers love this kind of twist. Think of how popular Google’s changing logo has been.
  2. Start combing through back issues of your e-newsletter for a round-up of best articles of 2004 to feature in December.
  3. Start planning your Top 10 predictions for 2005—another great end-of-the-year article.
  4. Solicit from your readers their "most important lesson learned in 2004." Then edit and compile responses into a PDF that you give away free in January. Readers love seeing their names and their company’s name in print, as well as trolling to see what everyone else had to say. Of course, this also gives you ideas for newsletter content in 2005, as you’ll learn what readers’ pain points and challenges are.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to include an end-of-the-year promotion. Last year I published an issue of "WordBiz Report" on Dec. 30 advising readers they had until midnight Dec. 31 to take advantage of a special offer. Dec. 31, 2003, turned out to be one of our highest-grossing sales days of the year. The offer was a complementary copy of a new PDF report if they purchased anything from the WordBiz store.

I publicized the offer several times during the month of December, then plugged it one last time, reminding readers "only 24 more hours." Yup, there must have been a bunch of subscribers logging on to their e-mail, itchy to get back to work in that lull between Christmas and New Year’s.

Debbie Weil helps CEOs position themselves and their companies as thought leaders in highly competitive markets. She is an expert on marketing cost-effectively with e-newsletters and blogs. Learn about her Business Blogging Starter Kit at http://www.BloggingStarterKit.com. Subscribe fre*e to her biweekly e-newsletter "WordBiz Report" at http://www.wordbiz.com/signup.html. Read her blog at http://www.debbieweil.com.

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