Email Newsletter Step By Step Guide: What It Is & How To Create
The Ultimate Guide: Getting Started with Your Company's Email Newsletter
Thinking that it's finally time to launch your company's email newsletter?
With so much happening on social media and the web in general, capturing those email addresses so you can reach out and reconnect sooner rather than later, is definitely the way to go.
In fact, if you aren't bothering to send an email newsletter, you are REALLY missing out on some regular sales coming in from people who want to hear from you.
An email newsletter is a known converter of customers.
It's often said that it takes 7 points of contact before a new customer purchases for the first time. An email newsletter makes the perfect sales vehicle using the informational, soft-sell approach.
An email newsletter can be used to relay helpful details that your customers will appreciate having.
For example, imagine if you decided to change the deliverable of features that are included with your latest product package. If you had an existing email list, you could reach out to the entire group of people (which would greatly cut down on the amount of one-on-one communication you'd have to engage in with each customer).
An email newsletter can serve as both a way to share knowledge, and a sales vehicle for your business. The approach is simple and it works. It definitely puts less pressure on people to buy, and takes away that spammy, salesy approach that's become more of a turnoff in the information age.
The aim of your newsletter should be to help people.
Publish articles that people understand the nature of your business and what's involved in the work you do. This may seem like giving away trade secrets, but there really shouldn't be anything to worry about over this.
Anyone who is that motivated to steal your ideas probably was already a competitor to begin with.
And just like McDonald's and Burger King operating on opposite sides of the highway from each other, competition will always exist so there's nothing to do but keep on serving your customers to the best of your ability.
An email newsletter can help you pick up right where you left off. At some point in the life of your company, there could be any number of reasons why you end up scaling back on your marketing or business activity. If you have an email newsletter and a ready list of subscribers, you can go for a long stretch of time and then jump right back on the horse to let potential customers know you're out there and ready to serve them.
Email Newsletter FAQ
Thinking you'd love a crash course in email newsletter management to help you get started?
It's always a smart idea to stay in touch with your website visitors and customers. An email newsletter works like a mailed newsletter, but you're saving on postage and you can reach a far bigger number of people in much less time.
How often should I publish my email newsletter?
When people sign up for an email newsletter as you may be calling it, they'll typically expect to hear you from at regular intervals. Most people probably think of "monthly" as the standard. But you might also send out a bi-monthly newsletter, or a seasonal (winter, spring, summer, fall) quarterly newsletter.
Can I send a daily email newsletter?
It's up to you how often you decide to reach out to customers via email. Some companies mail out several emails per week, or even every day. However, just know that this is not really what one might expect from a "Newsletter".
A daily email is good for people who have signed up for your list with the expectation of receiving special offer - something that's less informational and MORE salesy in nature. As long as you let people know up front that you'll be contact them every day, then a daily email should not be a problem. Just know that the more often you email people, the more folks will be likely to unsubscribe for your list.
How many articles should I feature in my email newsletter?
There seems to be a converse proportion at the root of this question. The more often you send out emails, the shorter your message should be, and vice versa. Sometimes coaches send out a "tip a day" to serve as inspiration and motivation to their readers. But if you wait for a longer period of time between mailings, then you might want to beef up your newsletter with some really great features to make people glad that they decided to open the email and read what you have to say.
How long should each article be?
A good newsletter article should be able to stand on its own on a web page or blog post. So if you plan to include articles in your newsletter (and you well should), then you should make them about 600 to 800 words, more if you've got lots to cover on the subject matter.
Should I manage my company newsletter on my own, or hire someone to handle this project for me?
It's your choice to determine who will manage your email newsletter. If you're just starting out in business, then you might decide to take on the project yourself just to keep costs down. But also remember that it's possible to streamline the process so that you can hand this off to someone else who can serve as an admin helper for you.
How do I advance plan my email newsletter?
The way to do this is to advance-plan specific topics that you'll talk to in the coming months or the entire year. Then, find a way to collect content that covers these topics, either by writing rough drafts on your own, or by hiring a writer to create the articles for you… OR, by purchasing the articles and changing them a bit to make them your own
Where do I get content to put in my email newsletter?
If you intend to purchase articles to publish in your email newsletter, you have a few options for doing this.
One, you can jot down some rough outlines and then have a writer flesh out the details of each article for you.
Or two, you can purchase something called "private label rights" articles or PLR. Also known as done-for-you content, the articles become yours to change however you like, and publish under your own name.
What if people don't want to continue receiving my email newsletter?
Many new business owners who are just starting out with an email newsletter may feel personally offended when people opt out of receiving future mailings from them. The best thing you can do about this is take it as a lesson in growing a thick skin.
How can I get people to stay on my newsletter list?
They may have any number of reasons which have nothing to do with you, about why someone chose to unsubscribe from your emails. If you really burn to know the reason, you can always set up a form and ask them. This could be a way to get helpful feedback from your audience. For example, if more than one person writes in that you email too often, then you might consider changing your approach. This way, people will have some time to anticipate hearing from you.
What types of products can I offer in my email newsletter?
Income streams are the way to go for small business owners.
And an email newsletter is a really excellent way to drum up sales of all of your products.
Remember that this is email, which gives you an ideal opportunity to promote digital products - both yours and other people's for a cut of their profits. We talked about having trade secrets. Any information that you share with your readers can be sold online in the form of an instant download ebook in PDF format.
Email Newsletter Creation Tips: Crafting Your Inaugural Issue
Preparing to launch your company's email newsletter?
This is a great way to stay on the minds of your ideal customers. An email newsletter is also a really good tool for turning one-time customers into repeat buyers. The more people hear from you and the more helpful information you share, the more likely you are to gain the trust and respect of people who need what you sell.
Here are some basics to have in place before you get ready to craft the very first message to send out to your audience.
Choose a permission based email list manager.
People who have never sent out an email newsletter before should know that it's a very bad idea to try and manage this from your personal email account. One, because there is a limit to the number of recipients you can add on to a single email, and two, because inevitably things get hairy when people try to unsubscribe from your list.
The last thing you need is to be labeled as a spammer, so do your due diligence and look for a quality email marketing management software such as Aweber to be sure your messages will get through in an above-board way.
Plan your first newsletter issue.
Craft your intro. Wondering what you should include in your first email newsletter issue? It all starts with a friendly opener. You can remark about the recent weather or local events, exciting seasonal activities that are coming up, or new product plans that you might have in the works. Or if you enjoy sharing personal tidbits, mention what you've been up to with family and friends.
Next comes one in-depth article. The article can be a series of tips, steps for how to do something, or a similar type of informative piece. You can print the article on a page of your website, then paste the first few paragraphs into your email newsletter template with a "read more" link pasted in. That's a GREAT way to drive more traffic to your website (although if you opt to print the entire length of the article into an email, that's okay for now).
Don't forget a good promotion. This is where the "sales" part comes in. You definitely will want to remind your readers of all the great things they can purchase by way of your company. This could be your services, it could be a new, limited time only product. It could be an ebook, or a video course… or an in-person class. Keep you promotion short and to the point - just 2 or 3 lines explaining the main points, with a "read more" link.
Include links and calls to action. Whatever it is, your readers will not magically know what you have to offer them that they might find useful. So you must use your email newsletter to show and tell them all about it. Don't forget to include a strong call to action. "Hurry, while the discount is still good!" "Book now, just 10 spots open!" Paste in the link to your sales page or product checkout area, where they can make the purchase right online. Or, if this is about signing up for consulting hours with you, then you will definitely want to include your email address or phone number, or both.
After you get the hang of publishing an intro message, feature article and promotion into your email format, you'll want to get some good branding in there. That means selecting colors that speak to your target audience and reflect the personality of your brand. And if you don't yet have a logo yet, that's okay for newbies… but you definitely want to put those plans in motion to add the polish and pizzazz to your email newsletter publication.
Set up your lists. A major part of sending an email newsletter is setting up your list. You will do this in your chosen permission based email software, such as Aweber. Just log into your account and start by creating a list. Add all of the details, including the name of your list and what this list will be about. For example, maybe you share company updates, offer freebies and announce new products and discounts.
Strategize your entire email newsletter campaign. Once you get some subscribers, you'll send a few email newsletters out, and maybe some people will respond, or they might actually buy something from you. When this happens, you'll feel more like you're actually talking to real people who are interested in what you teach and/or sell. At this point, it would be a smart strategy to come up with an entire calendar's worth of email marketing plans. All good email list managers offer the option to advance-post your email newsletter publications - so you'll be well ahead of yourself if you manage to automate these to send out automatically.
What's The Difference Between Email Marketing and an Email Newsletter?
Do you wonder if there is a difference between email marketing and sending out an email newsletter?
The term email newsletter generally refers to a routinely emailed publication whose purpose is to inform your readers on the latest news or teach them something they want to know.
An email newsletter is more of an informational update, while marketing emails tend to be more salesy.
Email newsletters generally go out on a less frequent basis than emails that are part of a marketing sales campaign.
People who sign up for your company's email newsletter might expect to hear from you once per month, twice per month, or maybe even once per season.
Typical content that's included in an email newsletter would be:
An intro or greeting
A feature article, or perhaps 2 or 3 articles if you only send your newsletter out seasonally
A promotion - the latest product that's on sale, or a product of someone else's that you are an affiliate of
Other elements of an email newsletter might be…
Customer testimonials or words of thanks
Company news, such as press releases
Many companies decide to make an email newsletter part of their marketing campaign. It's more of a keep-in-touch soft sell. Certain businesses lend themselves to being extra friendly with their customers. For example, if you're the owner of a small, local gift shop or restaurant, you can get a bit more personal in your email newsletter. You could open your email newsletter's greeting with a story about something that recently happened and relate it to what you sell.
On the other hand, if you're the email manager of a Fortune 500 company, you might just stick to sharing a generic, seasonal greeting without getting too into storytelling or over-sharing. This is because people aren't easily fooled by the false intimacy created by a large corporation. They know that you're talking to potentially tens of thousands, and not just to them.
An email newsletter that's regularly sent out from a large company such as this might showcase some of your latest products that you've put on sale for the upcoming season.
Some types of businesses have email newsletters that are more active at certain times of the year. This would make sense for a gardening website. You might send out a mailing four or five times per month during the active gardening season, when the weather is warm. But during cold months, maybe you only send out one mailing per month.
Can you send both an email newsletter AND an email marketing campaign?
As a business owner or marketing manager, it's certainly your choice how often you decide to make contact with customers. But just know that you do run the risk of losing subscribers if you email them either too often or not often enough.
Too-frequent emails might make your readers and customers feel like you're constantly bugging them or pushing for the sale.
Emails that are not send often enough might cause your readers to forget that they signed up to hear from you in the first place.
Another interesting fact about email marketing is that certain products lend themselves to setting up an "email blast." This is a series of sales-driven marketing messages about a certain product.
Your email blast might let people know:
that a new and exciting product is on the way
ways that the product can help your customers solve a problem they're having
a special price or offer that's related to the launch of said product
a message that the product is now available for purchase and discounted for a limited time
a reminder that the product will only be available at the discounted price for a limited time
a final recap of what your customers will get such as features and benefits
a "last day" reminder
a last call that lets them know the offer is about to expire.
Once the email blast is finished running its course, then your customers can expect not to hear from you in this salesy way for a while, at least until the next exciting product launch or promotion.
This type of aggressive email marketing lends itself to certain audiences better than others.
Increase Open Rates: 5 Tips to Help You Send Out a Better Email Newsletter
Wondering how you can improve the open rate and as well as the level of reader engagement in your email newsletter?
Below find some helpful suggestions for small business owners:
Give some thought to planning.
Everything in your email newsletter should match up to a theme. So for example, if you sell custom monogrammed teddy bears and you're planning your company newsletter for January then you could plan for a Valentine's Day is Coming theme. Maybe you share some facts about how the practice of sending stuffed animals as a gift came to be. And perhaps you invent a special Valentine Bear that will only be available from now through the first week of February.
Be consistent with visuals.
Readers love knowing what to expect, and looking forward to that. Decide on a color scheme, chosen fonts, and a logo for your newsletter. Keep those in the design that you send month after month. Visuals go a long way to helping you be recognized and remembered.
Be consistent with format.
People who sign up to hear from you via email will come to expect a certain level of quality and consistency. They'll want useful information, presented in a predictable format. So if you choose to feature just one article that's written in tip format, with one promotion and one letter from a reader, and people seem to like that, then keep going with this formula.
Tighten up your writing.
People love information but they don't have a lot of time to read. So if you can find a way to shorten your paragraphs yet still pack a lot of helpful tips into a small space, your readers will appreciate that.
Go the distance with your newsletter marketing plans. That means that instead of just writing one newsletter and sending it out, you will do yourself a huge favor by planning your newsletter content for the entire year.
This starts with making a list of relevant subjects that correspond to each season and what your customers may want to read about at that time. Also design your product launches and features around whatever theme you're going with in each newsletter issue. This way, everything will be cohesive and your customers will naturally respond to the information because it's relevant to what they were hoping to learn.
Tricks for Getting Your Newsletter Read and Responded To
Got a good open rate for your email newsletter but now you want to increase engagement?
A good email newsletter accomplishes several things:
Opens with a warm and engaging greeting.
Delivers valuable information that your readers want and need.
Brands your business effectively.
Establishes you as an authority in your niche.
Builds trust with your readers.
So let's cover each of those points with some fine details.
Opens with a warm and engaging greeting.
Most business owners who send out a monthly or seasonal email newsletter go with the standard "Happy Summer," "Happy Fall" etc. which is generally expected. But don't forget that the change of seasons lends itself to interesting stories that you might want to share and get people connecting with you as a real human being and not just a robot-like sender of emails. So if this November had you making homemade candles at home with your children, and you can relate this to whatever you sell (like essential oils, for example), then use that story to draw people in.
Delivers valuable information that your readers want and need.
Going with the candles and essential oils example, maybe you have do-it-yourselfers on your list who would appreciate some tips from you on how to do projects at home. Your next step could be to write up a quick set of instructions on how to make homemade candles using essential oils. (Of course, you will want to apply this to what you actually sell, which may or may not jive with this example).
Many people who send out their company newsletter forget that it's important to repeat the company name so people won't forget who they're hearing from. You don't want them thinking "Oh, it was nice to hear from that lady at the pumpkin farm"; you want them to have your name burned into their minds. This way, they won't confuse you with the other pumpkin farm that's one and a half miles up the hill in the other direction. To do this, you'll need to share your company name at least three times during the course of a single article that you publish in your email newsletter.
Establishes you as an authority in your niche.
The best way to become an authority is to know your subject. As a business owner, hopefully you've launched a company within your field of expertise. Otherwise, why bother, right? So the best way to help people see that you know your stuff is to make a list of questions that people might have, and then answer them.
If you're short on questions, you can always reach out to your audience and invite them to write in with their most frequently asked questions. Then, when you write out your answers to the questions, they'll have the added excitement of seeing their name and words in print.
Builds trust with your readers.
The best way to make people trust you is to teach people what they want to know, and continue to do this consistently. An email newsletter is an ideal way to accomplish this. You can start by posting articles in your website. If you continue to publish new content on a regular basis, you'll begin to drive traffic organically from search engines.
But then you really want to take the next step, and also send out the same article that you published on your site, in your newsletter. Think about it, when the information hits the inboxes of your readers, you're now popping up in their territory and this alone will get them looking and clicking. The more they read all the great advice you're sharing, the more they're apt to think of you as an authority in your niche. And that's how trust in your company grows.
Time it Takes for an Email Newsletter to Convert to Paying Customers?
While people who invest their time and dollars into sending out an email newsletter will want to know how long it takes for a reader to become a customer, it's difficult to put a number on this.
Some people might read something they find on your website, decide to sign up for your email newsletter, and then begin buying from you all in a matter of a few days. Other people might be recipients of your email newsletter for several years before they ever make a purchase from you. And still others might read your email newsletter yet never once give a thought to buying what you sell.
People who make email marketing a part of their company's advertising approach will generally enjoy a conversion rate of about 23.4%. This sounds low but it's only because there are so many variables that are beyond your control as someone who markets via email.
You may wonder how to get this number up. One thing to keep in mind is that it generally take about seven points of contact before your readers become customers.
Does this mean that after sending seven newsletters over a certain period of time, some readers will suddenly begin lining up to buy from you?
Not necessarily. "Point of contact" can mean different things. Someone may have engaged with you on social media as their first "touch point" with your company. Then maybe they read the initial introduction email that you send out to new subscribers. So that's two points of contact. Now, the other five times that they come into contact with your company can definitely vary depending on their own online surfing and engagement habits.
It can definitely depend on which types of marketing you employ to help you get seen. So for example, someone may have engaged with three of your email newsletters over the course of several months. Then maybe one day they land on a video that you posted on Facebook. Maybe the video shares something they really wanted to learn about, and you're also advertising an upcoming event that teaches more about that topic in detail.
So in that case, maybe this particular customer took five times of engaging with content that you shared before deciding to sign up for your upcoming event. But it won't play out this way with everyone. And your email newsletter is just another element in the grand scheme of your online communication and marketing plans.
But still, email marketing is one of the best ways to "capture" new readership and keep that momentum going as far as having one person engage with your content numerous times. It works because you're showing up someplace where you know they routinely go - their email inbox. And you're giving them information that they signed up to receive.
So as far as worrying about the number of times it takes you to connect with each reader before he or she becomes a customer, there's no point in fretting over the exact formula. A far better approach is to design a killer email newsletter that would definitely prove exciting for people to receive because they feel like they're getting something of great value from you. And then, be sure to consistently send out new information that people can use.
How to Improve Your Email Newsletter Open Rate and Engagement
Do you wonder how you can improve the number of opens on your email newsletter? How about engagement? Open rate means nothing if, after clicking on the email, readers do a quick scan before moving along to something more appealing that catches their attention.
Things that affect your email open rate can include…
Getting around the spam filter. Common spam trigger words are to be avoided if you send out an email newsletter. Saying things like "Big sale," "free," "savings" and other promotional words can definitely spell trouble when it comes to landing in your recipients' email inboxes. Each time you create a new draft of your email newsletter, do a thorough run-through of the copy to check for spam words. Find other, less salesy ways to say the same thing "without saying it."
Frequency of emails sent. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is almost true for email newsletters, except for the fact that if you wait too long to communicate, the people who signed up to hear from you might not remember you at all. So choose to show up in their inboxes on at least a monthly basis, quarterly if you've decided to be a less frequent emailer.
Relevance of the subject matter. As an email newsletter publisher, you may be tempted at times to deviate from the main subject that your readers signed up to hear more about. Maybe your friend who sells friendship bracelets has a fun promo going and you want to share it with the people on your sports equipment list. Keep in mind that the less relevant the topic is, the more likely people will decide to remove themselves from the list. They aren't going to care if the maker of said bracelets is your BFF from grade school. If it doesn't apply to their niche, they likely don't want to know.
Methods used to get people on your list. At times, people can feel pressured to join your email list. Maybe it's someone who you met at a networking event and they're desperate for new business connections. They thought they might get some paid contracting work out of the deal, but you thought you were gaining a new customer of, say, nontoxic wood toys. The methods that you use to keep your list growing may not always work the way you want them to. Best to stay focused on your ideal customer and get people signing up for all the right reasons.
Subject line. The subject line of your email is definitely something that you can play with to see what works for your readers. Truth is, different approaches appeal to different people. Some love the short, suspenseful subject line: "did you see this?" Others might click open at the sight of their own name. And still others prefer the direct approach: Biff's Bagels: Bits 'N Bites Newsletter Oct 2020.
Quality of your newsletter's content. It generally stands that the more authentic your communication in your email newsletter, the more people you're going to reach. This happens because people are tired of being talked "at" by various marketers trying to sell them things. They want that warm, human touch which may mean getting used to chatting with your list in the same way that you might write an email to a friend (though maybe not quite as personal). And they definitely want really good information to help them learn all about your trade.
There are other facts of email marketing and email newsletter management that can affect your open rate. These include time of day and day of the week that you choose to connect, as well as whatever is going on in the real world such as politics, news headlines, and situations that may preoccupy and distract them.
Your best bet is to keep on trying different things. Be open to new ideas. Recognize that what worked last month might not fly today. Realize that the business of the current season can affect the attention span of your readers. Know that as long as you keep on trying, your email newsletter is sure to reach some of the people some of the time, and continue to bring new faces to the fold who can one day become customers.
Newsletter Campaign Strategy
Make Company News a Part of Your Email Marketing Campaign
Wondering what's a way to stand out among the herd when publishing your email newsletter? Start thinking of your company happenings as newsworthy events. With so many faces in the crowd of your competition, people's attention will only stay on the most intriguing individuals. This means that you can't just publish boilerplate messages. You've got to get comfortable with being real.
Here's how to do it in your email newsletter.
Seek out that Candid Camera moment. You may be too young to remember the show Candid Camera. But the idea is that people are attracted to real human beings who are like them. So try to get a slice of life peek into the daily work that happens at your company. Get video footage of ordinary people doing both ordinary and not-so-ordinary things.
Get people in the door with events that relate to what you sell. So if you're a coach looking to add a few new clients to your roster and you know that you love to work with people in career transition, run a workshop on this topic. Warm up your workshop attendees on the first step - defining a direction that they may want to go in their career, and outlining steps to get there. And don't just stop there. Blast out the news of your upcoming event by doing a short write-up on what will happen, and sharing it in your newsletter (as well as on social media).
Hype up a new product launch. The best way to get customers excited about what you sell is to tell them all about it and how the product will benefit them. Don't skip this part! So many small business owners down play their offerings by being to humble in their message. If you can't seem to get comfortable tooting your own horn, then hire a marketing professional who can do it for you in the form of some persuasive product copywriting.
Show up at the local be-seen events. So if you're a specialty food purveyor, set yourself up with a booth at the local farmer's market this summer. Create a press release that includes all of the details of what you'll be offering such as taste testers and a special summer recipe that's available at a discounted price for a limited time only. Give your newsletter readers a heads-up that you'll be participating in this event, and mention other names in the industry who will be there.
Email Newsletter Tech:
6 Technology Related Tips
Email newsletters are a tricky thing.
Aside from the obvious challenge, which is creating content that people want to read, you've got other issue to contend with... like that pesky spam filter. Did you know that certain trigger words can send your newsletter straight into the Junk Mail or Trash folder of your recipient? And of course, there's how it renders in HTML. The appearance of your email newsletter can vary considerably, depending on whether it's opened in Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
Here are some tips on how to improve the appearance and deliverability of your email newsletter.
#1 - Avoid CSS and inline styles. If you use a WYSIWYG editor to style your email newsletter content before publishing, you might want to take extra care. It's better to make a clean copy of the text using a text editor such as Notepad, so that you can strip out any funny looking style elements that might cause your newsletter to show up looking funny in people's inboxes. You can style the text minimally, using limited fonts, headline treatments and bold or italics where needed, but sparingly. This way, you'll be sure to emphasize only what you want, and not anything extra.
#2 - Avoid spam-trigger words and phrases. Greetings, Dear friend, save, savings, sale, buy, deal, price, $, free... these and others are big no-no in the world of email marketing. Rather than keeping a list, a much easier way to deal with this problem is to run the anti-spam filter that's typically offered free with any online email newsletter program. They will flag any spammy words for you, or at the very least, score you for the amount of spam words your newsletter contains. Go back later, remove the suspected words, and re-test your publication before sending. Learn more about cold emailing.
#3 - Use line breaks instead of paragraph returns. Many email clients (such as Yahoo mail) crunch together paragraphs which are separated by < p > tags in HTML. To avoid having your newsletter present as one big blob of text, replace all paragraph returns with two line breaks in a row. The code for this is < br > (without the spaces), and you'll need two of them if you want to create a space between your paragraphs.
#4 - Replace Smart Quotes with straight quotes. Do you prefer to type up your initial newsletter draft in MS Word? Beware, the Smart Quotes feature may be turned on. This turns "straight" foot marks and inch marks into "rounded" quotation marks and apostrophes where appropriate. Unfortunately, Smart Quotes aren't so smart in HTML. If you send out a newsletter that contains these, you'll get back gobbledygook in the final delivery.
#5 - Use absolute URLS when linking. A relative link is relative to the domain it's housed under. This is great for web browsing and for people who decide to switch their website to a new domain name but keep all the old pages the same. Unfortunately, it's bad for HTML newsletters. If you fail to do this, readers may complain of "broken links" in your newsletter. They're not actually broken, they're incomplete - but it's all the same to the email client.
#6 - Subscribe to your own newsletter using multiple email addresses. Sign up for several "junk mail addresses" - one in Yahoo, one in Hotmail, one in Gmail, etc. Test out the appearance of your newsletter by sending it to yourself at each one of these addresses. Do this not once, but every time you create a new email broadcast. It will be interesting to see the different ways each email client interprets the same HTML code.
Getting Your Email Newsletter Read: Bring New Business Each Month
Want to convert more clients?
Email newsletter remains one of the best ways to accomplish this seemingly magnanimous task.
Here's the trick to getting your newsletter read each month: you want to keep the quality of the content extremely high.
For each newsletter issue that you craft to send to your readers, aim for the following:
Put your heart into what you share. Imagine being on the receiving end of the information. As your own reader, what would you be inclined to think if you were seeing this show up in your email inbox. Would the content surprise, delight and maybe even amaze you? Or would it make you yawn with boredom?
Share something people aren't likely to know already. It could be an insider tip from your industry. It could be a secret promotion that your friend who you're an affiliate for just launched. It could be something that only an established tradesperson (such as yourself) might know how to do with expertise. Maybe it's a shortcut or a money- time-saver.
Play around with subject lines. See what works for the particular audience. Some people like the no-nonsense approach where you say what it is instead of making them guess. Others can't resist playing a little guessing game. Some segments of your audience may respond differently than others. If something clicks for a certain niche, keep using it. Don't be afraid to try new things.
Get great images. Keep that digital camera or smart phone battery charged so you can snap high quality photos on the fly to use in your business. Now more than ever you've got to come up with original photos because this is what helps you stand out from the rest in an ever crowded medium - the web. If you don't have a good camera or can't seem to get picture taking down, then go searching for professional quality photos on the stock free images sites. You can add your own text, edit the photos as needed - just be sure to make them professional looking as possible.
Email Marketing Copy
7 Points of Contact
They say it takes seven points of contact before someone who shows interest in your Web site, knowledge, products, and/or services becomes a paying customer.
Even people who are already your fans often need that extra poke to help remember the ways you provide value to them.
What does this mean if you're an online business owner? It means that it takes a lot of concerted ongoing effort to attract, convert, and retain clients.
Some avenues for success:
Keywords. Refine your keyword strategy and combining with a plan to add new original content every month.
Sign-up form. Collect subscriber names and sending a monthly newsletter that shares information your readers want and advertises your latest offers.
Article/blog marketing. Submit articles and blog posts to authority sites in your industry that rank well (because they give you a link back plus human interest).
Networking. Build profiles and participating/sharing your links on sites like Ryze.com, Quora.com, LinkedIn.com, etc. Lead visitors back to your site and "capture" via your subscriber form.
Blogging. Blogs are indexed quickly. You can even ping the blogosphere to let people know you've added something exciting to your blog. Many marketers play host on their blog, inviting and inspiring vigorous debates that keep folks coming back for the daily dose.
Your web site can also be promoted in the form of newspaper advertising, client giveaways that share your brand/company name/URL, postcard campaigns, press campaigns, radio guest spots and such. This will bring more clicks, which contributes to your site's overall popularity.
The search engines use a math algorithm to "count and rate" the effectiveness of your Web site content and linking strategy. Much like real people in the social hierarchy who "rate" you on who you know and which important people seem to trust you, the search engines "rank" you according to which "reputable" sites point at your site.
You are ranked and categorized on:
The number of inbound links from higher ranked Web sites and blogs
The number of pages and links on your site that contain your targeted keywords
The exact words used in the HEADER and keyword links throughout your site (the engines actually "read" and "index" or file you away in their memory for your primary topic categories - think of an index, like the back of a cookbook)
If you rarely or very occasionally update your site, then you're not going to see the results of someone who aggressively self-promotes all the time using the above listed methods.
Sure, you can have a Web designer and/or copywriter help you launch a static site, which is better than nothing. But it will not drive business the same way that a Web site that's being constantly updated and aggressively marketed will.
Without beating around the bush here, Web site marketing requires a lot of work in order to be successful. Nevertheless, the results of turning your site into a money making machine are well worth it if you stick it out through the lean times. And once you begin to see real results, there's no turning back!
How to Write a Quick Press Release to Share in Your Email Newsletter
So you're brushing up on your email newsletter publishing skills. You want to keep on cranking out high quality content. Consider that the more you start thinking of your company's daily happens as newsworthy, the more you're likely to get people genuinely interested in what you do and wanting to buy from you.
Company news is different from an informative article, though both are important and can be utilized in publishing your company newsletter. To get warmed up with thinking about news, remember the 5W's and H of any press release that you would submit to the newspaper. That's the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of the story. It's different from a list style of article that teaches someone how to do something step by step or offers a set of tips.
Let's make up a story about your company to use as an example:
WHO: Your company
WHAT: invented a new, safer dog harness
WHEN: This summer
WHERE: in your product development engineering lab
HOW: by adding a harness that doesn't chafe the dog under his arms, has extra padding, moves with the dog without tugging, etc.
WHY: Because too many dogs are uncomfortable in their doggy harnesses
(Substitute your own product and details for each of the above.)
After you've outlined the 5Ws and H of your news story, add a quote or two. You can quote a leader in your company, or a person who took part in the product development. Another idea would be to quote a customer who has tested and approved of the product.
For fun, you could "quote" the dog who wore the harness (if this was your product). He could say something humorous, like "My life was ruff until my owner bought me a Happy Hounds Harness" (or whatever you decide to name your product).
Email Newsletter Features: Management Service
If you're serious about launching an email newsletter for your company, then you'll want to shop around before settling on a list management software system to help you collect leads.
Why is this important?
Because you really cannot manage an email newsletter from your personal email account. Even with the best of intentions going in, as your list of subscribers grows, the more headaches you'll have. People will try to remove their email address from the list. Yet through no fault of yours or their own, copy and paste will have them back on, getting your next email that they didn't want. Now you're dealing with nasty correspondence from disgruntled folks wanting to know why you continue to contact them.
Also, you're technically a spammer if you operate without a permission based list management system in place. Luckily though, CAN-spam laws have been put in place as a workaround to help business owners get their messages through to people who want to hear from them.
Potential customers who sign up to hear from you via email must have a way to opt into or off your list by way of a link that they receive via their own email inbox. This is a good measure to have in place if you want to be sure that your IP address isn't blacklisted, which can prevent your emails from reaching future customers.
All of this said: what types of perks should you look for when signing up for an email list management service?
Look for a way to host multiple lists. Most creative business owners have a few irons in the fire. So maybe you sell gardening tools from a site where you share tips on how to grow organic vegetables. And you also make custom monogrammed baby bibs that you sell on Etsy. So that's two lists. Your gardening people won't necessarily want to know about your bib business. So you should have a way to keep these two audiences entirely separate.
Look for a way to send out an auto responder series. This is helpful if you'd like to run one of those 7-day, 15-day or 30-day challenges that are so popular right now. They also work if you're running a campaign. For example, maybe you want to set up seven emails to go out at timed intervals and talk about a limited time only offer you have on a helpful e-guide that you're selling.
Auto responders are different from the "broadcast" type of message that you'd create when sending out a monthly newsletter from your company. But you should have both options available. This way, if you send a general message out to the subscribers on your main list (your newsletter recipients), you can let them know that you're launching a 5-day challenge. Then, ONLY the people who sign up from that list will be added to the separate list that sends out the auto responder series in the daily email challenge.
Look for a spam trigger feature. Certain words should be avoided when crafting emails to your newsletter recipients. These are words like sale, deal, price… and also generic salutations like "dear friend" or "greetings". Having a way to check your emails for spam words before hitting send on your publications can help you get your emails through without landing in the junk folder of your recipients' inboxes.
Look for a way to send attachments. It's always handy to have an attachments feature available for use when you're sending mass emails to your list. However, also know that a better way to send files is by way of a link. Your attachments may land you in a spam folder or they may prevent your emails from getting through at all. An even better feature is if your email marketing software company lets you upload files such as PDFs right on their server which you can then link to from your emails and have your readers retrieve free ebooks and e-guides fro you that way.
Great analytics. Analytics are a really helpful way to better understand the reading habits of your email subscribers. You can take note of which subscribers opened your mails at which times of day, how your open rate on a repeat email compares to one that was only sent one time, how subject lines affect your open rate, and other factors. This way, you can fine-tune and tailor the information you share to ensure that your readers are getting more of what they want, and less of what they don't.
Fun Themes to Include in Your Email Newsletter
Do you send out a company newsletter via email?
At some point, your readers may grow bored of hearing the usual from you. You could see a decline in your open rate, or you might see more subscribers drop off your list than usual. When this happens, it may be time to take a fresh look at your email newsletter content to see where improvement can be made.
It could be as simple as swapping out one feature for another. A quick off-the-cuff example, suppose it's getting to be the Christmas season. You might have a temporary "wish list" area featured in your mailings. Customers can pick and choose from specially featured items that are discounted for the holidays.
"Mail Bag" or "Q&A" from readers is another way to keep things lively in your monthly email newsletter.
With each issue, you can write out a common question (either actually submitted by a real person who writes in via email, or you can make one up if you don't have any people writing in just yet). This is one of the best ways to pick the brains of your perfect clients and find out what they really need and want from you. And your customers will likely feel excited to see their name and question published on the web.
Photo contests. Another popular way to get people noticing your company is to encourage customers to submit pictures for a contest or a photo feature in your emails newsletter and/or website and social media pages. The winner might enjoy a special discount or freebie from you. Before offering cash prizes, check into contest rules to be sure that this is legit and you have followed all of the proper protocol.
Customer reviews. Again, people love to see their name in print. If your customers have written to you wanting to share positive testimonials, then you can definitely leverage this for more sales by sharing their kinds words of thanks in an upcoming email newsletter.
Case studies. A case study is an up-close and detailed examination of a particular case. These work well for business coaches, life transition coaches and marketing consultants who want to do a "before and after" showpiece that highlights the work they do for their clients and how they have helped their customers improve their situation.
Sign Up Call To Action
How to Get People to Sign Up for Your Email Newsletter?
These days, you may have noticed that everyone and his mom has a sign-up form on their box or website wanting people to stay in touch, sign up to hear from them vie email, sign up for deal alerts, and so forth.
This makes it seem like there's an awful lot of competition out there to get people on your list. So what can you do to make it worthwhile for them? A giveaway is always a great incentive. The typical giveaway would be information.
Here are a few ideas:
A series of free tips. This might arrive in the form of a helpful guide, set of tips, starter kit, or some other short yet useful list that your readers will appreciate. For example, if you're a real estate agent looking to build your list of contacts, then you might get some new subscribers by sharing a list of helpful home purchasing tips for first time home buyers.
A list of recommended tools and resources. If people are signing up wanting to know the basics for whatever industry you're in, then they may feel overwhelmed by information. Sharing a list of low-cost or free tools that can help them accomplish what they want to can be a great way to get them on your list and opening future emails from you.
A short ebook. If you already have a more comprehensive guide that you're selling, then a shorter version of whatever you've already published is a really good idea to use as a giveaway. To make something like this, first copy and paste the full text into a new document. Then, cut the copy down to just a teaser version that will give your readers an overview of what's to come in the full, paid version.
A try-before-you buy. One really effective type of opt-in gift to get more subscribers to your list is to include a try-before-you buy. This might be a free, "light" version of your website membership if you have one. It could be limited time access to software that you sell. Or it could be a product sample to try that is a smaller version of your complete product package.