Are you the only company doing what you do? To be honest, probably not, even though your product or service may indeed be unique, there are likely hundreds of other businesses that can be similar or even the same as yours.
- How do you make what you do stand out?
- How do you keep your clients coming back and using your business to satisfy their needs over and over again?
Keep them in your loop!
What’s your loop? Why your email newsletter of course.
I’ve heard more times than I can count that email marketing is dead. Well, it’s just about as dead as the magazine you keep buying from that newsstand every month. “They” said that magazines were a dying breed too. Not true at all. There’s plenty of information that you have in your head, about your business that your audience would love to hear. You just need to get it out of your head and into your newsletter.
Here are some ideas you can use to help you get your newsletter up and running and regularly arriving into your client’s inboxes.
1. Go Digital
It just doesn’t make sense to create a paper newsletter anymore. Digital is easy, fast and can be free, depending on the provider you use. I like both MailChimp and Constant Contact.
MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers, which is perfect if you’re just starting out. However, their interface is just a little challenging. But once you get it, you won’t turn back.
Constant Contact, on the other hand, is ALL about being user friendly with their drag and drop interface. Plus, you get the first 60 days free.
2. Keep it Short and Simple
Yes, digital is easy and cheaper, but that also means it could be overlooked quicker if your newsletter seems like it’ll take too long to review.
Your audience is busy and bombarded with email newsletters and other information every day. If you don’t catch their interest with brevity, you’ve lost them for good.
Choose one main story and only include the first paragraph. Link back to your blog so your audience can read the rest of the story. Add in a puzzle or “did you know” fact about your industry and a sale item that includes a description, price and link back to your site to purchase. That’s enough to get you started. Once you get on a regular schedule, your readers will let you know what they like, don’t like and “wish they could see more of.”
3. Get on a Schedule
Speaking of schedules, consistency is key. If your audience knows that each month or every 2 weeks, they can expect a little present (your newsletter) in their inbox, they’ll be more apt to look forward to it and actually read it. A hap-hazard publishing schedule equals loads of unsubscribers each time you hit “send.”
Confession: I started this series about a year ago. It was fine at the beginning, then I started getting business (which is a good thing), but I didn’t make time to create the newsletter. I stopped sending it until I could get a handle on scheduling and production. That’s why I’m sharing this with you.
4. Fresh Content is Best
There are so many tools out there to help you with content for your newsletter.
- Make the web work for you by storing all those sites, articles and snippets using Evernote
- Use the Feedly service to search RSS feeds, blogs and articles to find information that includes your preferred keywords
- Good ole’ pen and paper and a folder work when you just need to jot down an idea and put it in a safe place
- Facebook pages and groups, Twitter searches and Google+ pages and communities are great tools to use to find interesting people and information to share with your audience
- Visit local bookstores and browse the magazine racks. See what headlines the covers are sporting and use those topics to craft content your audience WANTS to read FROM YOU.
5. Welcome Your New Sales Team Member
Let’s face it, you’re in business to make money. Even if you are a non-profit, you still need money—in some way, shape or form—to keep things going. Use your newsletter as a way to get new clients, keep old ones and broadcast how special your company really is. Use coupons, limited time offers and referral programs to keep your company on top of your audience’s mind. Each time you send out an issue, something should come back in the way of a contact, a lead, a new client, a returning client or a prospect.
That’s it for today, thank you for joining me for this issue of Email Marketing 101.
If you are ready to get your newsletter up and running,