#FiveTipsFriday Start Your E-Newsletter

5167671844_b26432c9ac_mE-Newsletters can be a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. Like anything, though, you need to approach your email campaign with planning, some research, and a knowledge of what are considered best practices. There are far more than five tips we could offer you to help you accomplish the ideal e-newsletter campaign, but then we would not be able to rightly call this #FiveTipsFriday! So, here are five pointers just to get you started.

1. Shaking hands does not mean “Add me to your e-newsletter” – How often have you come back from a trade show or a conference with a bag full of business cards and decided it was time to add all of those “contacts” to your email database? Hopefully you haven’t fallen into this all too common trap, but many do. People regard their email inboxes as sacred in many instances. If they suddenly start receiving unwanted emails from you, they are more likely to think negatively of you rather than thinking, “I want to do business with them!” Don’t risk it – make sure you do your due diligence and get permission before adding anyone to your database.

2. The double opt-in – Even when someone subscribes to an e-newsletter, it is industry best practice to offer a “double opt-in” option. This can be as simple as including an unsubscribe button on all of your emails. If the person does not unsubscribe, they are in essence saying they want to continue to receive your content. Programs like Constant Contact build the unsubscribe option in automatically, so that gives you an idea of how high a priority that step really is.

3. Write for your audience, not for you – You might think that your latest sales meeting was the most fascinating thing ever. However, if your e-newsletter is going out to your customers and prospects, it’s safe to say they will be bored out of their minds. Your e-newsletter needs to offer content that is valuable to the people reading it. Before you begin sending, make sure you understand what kinds of content your readers might be wanting to see.

4. Talk with, not at – Most likely,  people you email are the same people you interact with on social media platforms. They are accustomed to being invited into the conversation, and email does not change that fact. Make sure you add a personable tone to your e-newsletters and don’t use them to promote your company and products all of the time. Ask questions, ask for feedback, and incorporate opportunities for your readers to become participants.

5. Integrate your email marketing with the rest of your campaign – Too often, companies send out emails that are isolated from the rest of the marketing campaign. There is no real reason to separate your email marketing from everything else your company is doing. If you are attending a trade show or a conference, your e-newsletters can reflect that. If you are going to be advertising in an issue that focuses on a subject matter important to your company, tie your e-newsletter to that subject as well. In fact, an e-newsletter can be a good way to draw all of your messaging together into one easily digestible document.

Like we said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot more goes into an e-newsletter than many people realize. If you have any questions or if you’re struggling to get your own e-newsletter off the ground, let us know. We’d be happy to help!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5167671844/ via Creative Commons


8 comments on “#FiveTipsFriday Start Your E-Newsletter

  1. Good tips there Margie.

    The thing that frustrates me though is those double opt-ins. If I’ve signed up to a newsletter, and have typed out my name and email address – it’s frustrating that I have to then click a link in an email to confirm it.

    Single opt-in with an ‘unsubscribe’ option’, is much in my opinion.

    • Well, that’s just proof you can’t win ’em all 🙂 I think if I’m asked to double opt-in I feel better about my decision to opt in in the first place. I know they’re taking the process seriously versus just signing up anyone who they shake hands with. On the other hand, best practices do suggest that simply allowing people to unsubscribe is enough. Figure out what feels best for your own company and go from there 🙂

  2. I really do need to get on this, thanks for the kick in the butt..

  3. I’m with Gerry: I’m waaaaayyyyy overdue getting on the email/e-newsletter opportunity. Ditto thanks for the kick in the butt. Cheers! Kaarina

  4. Oh such a peeve, #1. Now here’s my thing.. is subscribing to the blog the same as to the newsletter? Sometimes it’s a different product and I didn’t sign up to be marketed to (newsletter) I just wanted the blog? IDK. Anyway, very good tips but I’d make #3 – writing for audience should always be #1. FWIW.

    • I’ve wondered about that too. I usually figure that if I’m giving someone my email address, they’re probably going to want to use it for something. But that’s another instance where a marketing plan is so important. If you’re establishing your blog as a strong resource but then come after your readers with heavy sales messages in your e-newsletter you’re going to turn them off. You need to maintain a consistent tonality across channels to really be successful.

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