Email newsletters. You may like them or hate them. You may have too many of them clogging up your inbox. However, the email newsletter can be one of the best ways to keep top of mind with your existing and potential customers.
Here are some reasons to consider adding an email newsletter to your marketing activities. If convinced, read on for some easy ways to get started creating your own free email newsletter.
Newsletters can be an excellent way for a potential customer to get to know, like and trust you and your company.
Think of this scenario… a customer finds out about you on Twitter. Clicks through on a link you shared of a recent blog post and lands on your website.
After reading your blog, they like what they’ve read and may want to get to know more about your company at a later time, but are not ready to contact you directly. They also may not want to follow your company on Facebook or any of the other social networks – they are already following you on Twitter. What else can you give this person to do?
They can sign up for your newsletter – and read what you have to say on THEIR schedule.
Different than on the social networks where they may or may not see your posts (shakes fist at the algorithms) when someone subscribes to your newsletter, it lands in their in box and stays there until they are ready to do something with it.
The customer can feel in control of the relationship. They decide when they’ll interact with your content.
You’ll need email software, content and a list. I’ll explain each of these three components, how they work together and how to get started.
I’m a fan of MailChimp (not an affiliate but a paying user, full disclosure) which has a very good free option which is helpful to get started. The interface is pretty intuitive and their online support is great. They do have much more robust services including automation, so growing with this platform is entirely possible. To sign up, you simply start a free account with MailChimp.
Other email software platforms to consider include ConstantContact, ActiveCampaign, and for a list of comparisons, this article does a great job of profiling the options currently available.
You’ll want to design your email newsletter with the colours, fonts and branding in-line with your company visual identity. All email software platforms have a section of pre-designed email newsletter templates for you to choose from. This makes it easy to drag and drop your images, logos and copy into each section. Of course, if you need something more bespoke, designers are able to create a template for you that will work with the email software.
What will you say? Much like blog writing, this can be a hurdle for many business owners. Your editorial calendar can help as you will have planned out themes for each month of the year, simply follow the plan.
If your newsletter is sent at the end of the month, it could contain the 2 blogs from that month, a tip to share with your subscribers and 1 or 2 third party articles you found interesting that month. Some people wonder if it is ok to repurpose content like this. Of course it is. It is entirely possible that the same people subscribed to your social channels or blog feed have missed the blogs during the month.
If your email newsletter subscribers are avidly caught up on your blogs, the tip and third party articles will be new for them. And keep in mind, as your newsletter evolves and you get feedback from your readers, you can fine tune the content to what works for your audience. The point here is to get started!
I write to you from Canada where we have to be very aware of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL – pronounced “castle”). This and ensure those on our email list have given explicit consent to be on the list. We also need to offer a very easy way for them to unsubscribe at any time.
Many of my clients and colleagues are in the USA and in Europe where the rules are different.
In the USA, one can mail anyone at anytime, without permission, it is up to the receiver to unsubscribe.
In Europe, it is much closer to the CASL legislation we need to adhere to.
I am not a lawyer, so do check this out yourself before mailing. Here is a helpful breakdown on the email opt-in laws for Canada, USA and Europe.
There will be more to fine tune once you get going. You’ll want to research the best time of day and day of the week to mail. You may read a lot on the best time to send email newsletters. However, ultimately you’ll need to test this out with YOUR audience and find the best time for them.
You’ll want to be testing your subject lines to find out which work best to get the email opened ( also called “open rate”), perhaps personalization works for your subscribers better than, say, emojis in the subject line. Only testing can answer this for you.
Ultimately, the point is to get going. If an email newsletter seems like the right thing to add to your marketing activities to help achieve your business goals, give them a try.
New Initiatives Marketing deploys email newsletters for many clients and can help you get up and running with one that works for your business. Give us a call or email today to find out more. Or sign up for our newsletter where you’ll get one marketing tip per month you can implement right away.