If you ask me what my number one marketing tool is, my answer may surprise you. It is my electronic newsletter. Yes, that thing that most entrepreneurs abandoned years ago.
Some people believe it’s too time consuming to write, that it just ends up in spam folders, and no one reads it. And for some, this may be true. Recently, I read that newsletter publishers are “now the sad old fuddy-duddies of the online marketing world, hopelessly outdated, clinging desperately to a dying technology, destined to be crushed by new and savvier competitors.” But I do not agree with that. I have earned thousands of dollars over the years sharing my tips, tools and advice with others.
My main marketing tool is my email newsletter. My answer may surprise you.Yes, that thing that most entrepreneurs abandoned years ago.
People believe it’s too time consuming to write, that it just ends up in spam folders, and no one reads it. But I do not agree. I have earned thousands of dollars over the years sharing my tips, tools and advice with my audience.
When I started writing my newsletter everybody was using e-mail marketing. Now days most people stopped sending email newsletter and started writing a blog. Today, social media became the preferred method of marketing and communication and newsletters become almost extinct.
Don’t get me wrong. I do all of the above, but I prefer my newsletter going for a variety of reasons:
Although there are numerous popular email marketing services out there including MailChimp, iContact and many others, I choose to use Constant Contact. I pay a modest monthly fee that is calculated on the amount of subscribers I have. I know I receive a return on my investment if at least one or two subscribers decide to purchase one of my products or books.
It keeps me in touch
I try my best to send out a newsletter at least once a month. Any more than that and I might be seen as irritation. Less than that and it’s probably not worth my while to pay for the service.
I share personal stories
I get emails from people who love to read about me, including my achievements and hardships. When I started writing my newsletter, I kept it all business related. Then I decided to open up a bit and everything changed. I started receiving more subscribers. Each month, I personalize the greeting in every newsletter and share what was going on in my life.I have talk about subjects that most people are apprehensive to discuss including my personal life. When you connect from the heart it makes you more relateable and human. That adds up to dollars and good sense. My stories keep people coming back and interested in reading what I have to say each time I send am e-mail.
I announce my latest products, classes and services
I never inundate my audience with a lot of ads. That’s the best way to lose followers. Rather, I prefer to I send out a special announcement or class schedule if I have a seminar or promotion coming up. This way, I can cover more essential topics in my monthly e-newsletter.
It builds credibility
A newsletter is as the perfect place to post articles, podcasts and TV appearances. With that, I direct readers to my YouTube page and my website.
It can be recycled
After each email newsletter is published, I share it on my social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This ultimately gets my face in front of even more potential readers.
It keeps me top of mind
Someone once said, “Out of sight is out of mind.” That’s definitely the case when it comes to marketing. If your clients see or read about your competitors but they don’t see or read about you, they are going to forget you and hire someone else. My email newsletter keeps my name, face and tips in front of more than 5,500 dedicated subscribers. For me, email marketing is the most important tool to building and maintaining relationships with your audience. It could be said that “your list is your lifeline.” When people consider manners my hope is that they will consider me as a matter of first importance.
But, unfortunately not everyone understands how to use email newsletter in the most effective way. In fact, you could be making common mistakes that actually cost you customers rather than strengthen your relationships with them.
Here are a couple tips for best practices when it comes to email marketing.
1.Only send to those who subscribe
It’s best to develop your list organically through personal contacts or useful content. Put a link on your website encouraging people to sign up. You won’t get the best results if you purchase a list or send your email to those who are not interested to subscribe on their own.
2.Weed out your list occasionally
Give individuals an approach to quit if they no long want to receive your emails. Take them off your list as soon as they ask, and react quickly to any correspondence.
3.Make it easy to subscribe or unsubscribe
Your subscribers will get bothered and lose interest if they have to go through a multi-stage process to unsubscribe or complete a transaction, or uncheck a list of subscription boxes. One click of a button should direct subscribers to where they want to go, with clear and polite guidelines.
4.Don’t overwhelm them
One way to get blacklisted is to send emails extremely often, especially every day of the week. Send emails on a scheduled basis so people anticipate the regular arrival of your stories, or send them only when you have something substantial to say.
Do whatever it takes not to put a lot of information or include too many pictures that take too long to load. Consider that people scan their emails and read quickly, write to the point and put your most important information up front. Take the time to craft a elegantly composed, cleanly-formatted message and run it through spell-check at the very end. Don’t copy and paste text from other email newsletters or plagiarize text from sites. If you’re not a writer, hire a professional copywriter.
5.Customize your subject line
Communicate clearly and offer a headline that hints at what is to come. Compel people to read further. Stay away from exclamations like “Read This!” or “Exciting News!”
The best newsletters are genuine, sincere and contain valuable, useful or worthwhile content. Email marketing is still the most practical, affordable way to express what is on your mind. Once you build trust and develop your relationships with your audience, you will have to work less to keep your customers and clients forever.