Good morning everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working hard to try to improve my ability to promote my brand and my business. I’ve made changes to my website, tweaked my SEO, had a customized marketing plan made, and even had a business logo created – which I just love!
One of the items that was addressed in my marketing plan was to start using email marketing to promote my business. This was pretty foreign to me at this point though. I had thought about starting an email newsletter when I first started out, but I was honestly struggling enough coming up with content for my blog let alone create a newsletter at least once a month! Now, a few years down the road and a better grasp on creating content and I think I’m ready to start using email marketing. Now I know what you’re thinking – starting a new aspect of marketing can be daunting especially when you’re already spending so much time marketing your business and your brand other ways! I felt the same way, believe me, which is why I started out by doing what I always do – researching!! And now that I’m ready to start implementing email marketing for my business, I thought that it would be a great idea to pass on the knowledge that I’ve gathered so it can hopefully help others too. So here is a list of tips to try when considering starting to use email marketing:
How to Build an Email List-
Your email list is going to be invaluable to promoting your business. The more subscribers that you have, the more you will advance in your business niche – and if you are an author, the more attractive that you are to agents and publishers. There are a few ways that you can efficiently begin to build your email list. One way is to have email subscription cards at all of your events. You can ask your customers that come to your booth to sign up to receive your email newsletter. It will only take a few minutes and even if they don’t buy your product, they may sign up since it’s free. The other main way to build your email list is to have a promotion and offers a giveaway. You want to make sure that your giveaway is valuable or useful to your audience so a few ideas of what to use as your giveaway are:
- First few chapters of your book
- A short story
- First novella in a series
- A Top 10 Tips List (i.e. Top 10 Tips for Social Media Apps)
- A video of you reading your work
- A video of you talking about a topic (i.e. writing, marketing, etc…)
Steps for a Giveaway-
The first step in setting up your giveaway is to set up an email sign up or opt-in link on your website. You can use a plugin or widget to accomplish this, especially if you are going to use a third-party email company to manage your emails (learn more about these options further down under Managing Your Emails). Once you have an email sign up set up on your website, then you want to begin to draft the promotion communication you will use to let people know about your giveaway. You want to keep this short and sweet as this is what will entice your audience to sign up to be added to your email list. Then you will send your promotion giveaway to your audience using your blog posts and your social media sites.
Creating an Email Newsletter-
Once you have built a good email list, you want to keep them engaged so that they will remain interested in your business and spread the word to their friends. The best way to keep them engaged is to create an email newsletter. Again, I feel your pain when you’re already doing blog posts and social media posts on a regular basis to market your business. The good news about utilizing an email newsletter is that you want to keep it brief and easy to read to encourage your audience to open, scan and click-through. The first thing you want to do is make sure you make your email stand out and grab your audience’s attention so that they won’t be tempted to ignore it in their inbox. One way you can do this is to create a good subject line – you want something that catches their attention so they want to find out more about you.
Once they open the email newsletter, you want to keep the tone casual and fun while keeping your target audience in mind. You want your reader to feel like the newsletter was written by a friend and that they’re learning inside information just for them. I’ve created a list of what you want to have in your newsletter to help guide you through this step:
- Content should be focused around relevant news to your business or product, or that you think will interest your target audience. You can actively search out topics by doing research or passively use what you come across in your regular marketing of your business.
- Include information about speaking schedules or vendor events so your readers can plan to visit as well.
- Include images to keep your audience engaged. Make sure you have Alt Text on your images in case they cannot be viewed.
- On occasion, you can include an offer or giveaway. One idea would be to have a survey for your audience to complete in return for a freebee.
- Make sure you have a reminder in your newsletter telling your reader how they got on your email list so they don’t mark you as spam.
- It is very important to include an opt-out link on your email so your reader is able to unsubscribe at any time.
- Include links to your website, your blog, and social media buttons so your reader can click-through to access more information about you and follow your business.
The final things to consider when creating your email newsletter is to try to use a sender name with your emails. This will let your audience feel like it is being sent by an actual person and not just a business, which will increase your engagement. You also want to make sure that you edit your newsletter thoroughly so that it is as clean as possible. Don’t let your readers be turned off by misspelling and punctuation. Finally, make sure your newsletter can be opened in multiple browsers and formats. Readers may be using mobile devices as opposed to Outlook and they may not have access to HTML so you want to make sure you are using plain text as well. This final item leads me into the discussion of third-party email companies as earlier indicated.
Managing Your Emails-
There are several companies out there that offer email management for business owners…AWeber, MailChimp, and Charley.io are just a few. The main benefit from utilizing one of these companies to run your email marketing campaigns through is that they assist you with formats, templates, opt-in and opt-out links, and keeping your email lists organized. Some of these companies are free, but they can begin to charge you if you exceed a maximum subscriber count so I recommend that you research them for which would better meet your business needs.
I hope that this answered some of the questions that you had surrounding email marketing and that you feel like you’re ready to jump into the fray now! One final thing…. I’d love it if you would opt-in to MY email list too! Just enter your email in the box on the right side of the page and be added to my subscriber list to my new email newsletter that will begin in the few weeks! And don’t worry, if you opt-in before I offer a giveaway, I will still send the freebee to those who are already on my email list! 😉
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