I talk to a lot of new clients and one of the things I ask is if they will have an email newsletter. And usually the answer is yes. We’ll plan to have a great Call-to-Action on the site, begin collecting email addresses and then… crickets.
Your newsletter shouldn’t be an after thought, it should be a well-thought out part of your business. Email marketing works, but only if you actually create a connection with your customers. Just collecting their email addresses doesn’t do anything!
Email marketing works by keeping your business in front of your customers. They may not read every email. In fact, they may only skim or even just delete it. But by sending that message, you are giving them a “touch” – and it can take a lot of “touches” to close a sale. Some studies say that someone needs as many as eight touches before they even notice what you are sending them and 16 touches for them to notice your brand.
Each email is stowing away a tidbit of your business in your recipient’s brain, and they can recall that when they remember they need something you offer.
The most common reason people ignore their email lists is because it takes work. Content doesn’t magically write itself. The email design and list segmentation doesn’t happen on its own.
But a nurtured email list will reap rewards. Here are a few tips to help you get started with a new newsletter for the new year.
Create a Drip Campaign
You don’t have to sit down at your computer every week and write new original content for your newsletter, although that would be great. Who has time to do that? Start by creating a drip campaign. A drip campaign is an automated email series that will deliver (or drip) content to your audience over time.
Probably every newsletter service has automated email features. I’ve recently switched my list over to MailerLite and have found their automated email campaigns very easy to design and set up.
Here’s how it works – you create the content you want, the series you want to send to people. It should include a welcome email and then include various useful content that your audience wants. Got an ebook? That can go out in one. Coupons? Send those. Got any great lists that your visitors might find useful? Make that a message. Set them to go out every week or two weeks or however often you want, and every time someone subscribes to your newsletter, they are automatically getting new mail from you and you don’t have to do anything!
In fact, you could set up that drip campaign to include eight messages to get those first eight touches without lifting a finger. (Well, after you set up your automations that is.)
Set up an RSS Feed email newsletter
If you keep an active blog (and I do!) you can set up an RSS feed newsletter, one that automatically gets sent to your subscribers whenever you publish new content.
Not only does this bring people back to your website, but it also shares useful information with your audience and helps build your credibility as an expert in your field. And again, you only have to set it up once, and it’ll deliver on its own so long as you are publishing new blog posts.
Think in advance. Don’t just plan to write a newsletter on Friday. Plan out a strategy behind your email campaign. What information do you want to share? Create an outline, start writing content, and set up your messages to go out later. Here are a few tips for your newsletter that I wrote about previously.
Ask for help
You don’t have to do it all alone. Do you have a partner? Business associate? Employee or someone else who might have something useful to share? Ask them to create new content for your newsletter too.
A neglected email list won’t bring you any sales, so for 2020, think about how to use your email list to create new connections with existing customers, reach out to past clients, and wow new prospects.
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