build a little biz, newsletter tips

a newsletter (or sometimes called email marketing) can be one of the best tools you have for marketing your business.

it is a way for you to keep in touch with fans, customers and visitors to your site. but how do you make a newsletter that stands out from the rest? one that your readers will be sure to open, read, click and share.

1.    use a newsletter service
my favorite newsletter provider, and the one i always recommend is mailchimp. i absolutely adore mailchimp, aside from the fact that it is super fun to use (who doesn’t love a monkey that compliments you on your awesomeness?) it is free for a really long time and very user friendly. other popular providers are mad mimi and aweber. an email marketing service such as these will ensure that your newsletter looks and feels professional, plus they are so much easier to manage then collecting email addresses yourself & sending out newsletters via your personal email.

 

2.    it must be opt in & have an unsubscribe option
email marketing is also often called permission marketing. seth godin explains this better than i ever could, so do read that link. the bottom line is that you should never just send unsolicited emails to your entire email contact list. that is hugely spam-ish and can result in your fans dumping you like a hot potato. instead ask people to subscribe to opt in (or subscribe) to you newsletter – when they do they are telling you they want to hear from you! awesome, right? it’s professional and non-yucky.

3.    brand it
be sure that your newsletter matches the branding of your business. use your logo, colours, patterns/graphics, fonts, and the same type of language they see from you on your website, biz cards etc. (a service like mailchimp allows you to very easily brand your newsletter.) come up with a creative name for your newsletter and perhaps even for your subscribers – use something that matches your branding and creates interest in what you have to offer.

4.    have an incentive
many biz builders will offer some sort of incentive for subscribing to their newsletter – if you like you can think of it as a thank you gift in exchange for a very valuable email address that allows you to stay in contact with your fans. you can offer a free ebook/guide/checklist, a discount on a next purchase, a bonus gift with next purchase, a downloadable template/image/pattern… anything really that your fans would find valuable.

5.    have a purpose
think of what your fans & customers really need from you and use that to drive the purpose of your newsletter. what will they be thrilled to receive in their inboxes from you? some ideas for your newsletter are: a magazine showcasing gift ideas, new products, inspiration and more; a round-up of interesting or helpful posts from around the web; tips, tricks, hints & advice that will help them with whatever problems they need solving; ask the expert Q & A style information…. be creative and have some fun with your newsletter!

6.    have a plan
decide what you want your newsletter to be, what your ultimate goal is for having that newsletter, how often you want to send it out, and where you are going to get the content from. be organized as you would be with any other part of your business! you can schedule posts and have autoresponders set when you use a newsletter service. you can write content yourself or source & link to fabulous offerings online. and you should have a call to action for your readers in every newsletter – do you want them to click & buy, share with a friend, reply with a comment or question… decide what you want people to do and ask them to do it!

if you aren’t sure yet what exactly you want to do with your newsletter, that’s ok. just get started! get people to subscribe and start interacting with those readers. you can survey them to find out what they need, test out different formats and purposes, and try out different styles. it is ok to just get started now and have your newsletter evolve as you figure out what your people need. and if people unsubscribe, don’t sweat it! those people are probably not your right people anyways – focus on the fans that are still with you. have your goal be to knock their socks off each time they receive your newsletter in their inbox. =)

karen Gunton's passion is helping busy mums kick ass with their little biz idea. her gift is helping biz builders get unstuck and find their excitement for their biz again. her dream is for is for every talented, passionate biz mum to find success and put something amazing into this world. find her at http://www.buildalittlebiz.com/, http://www.facebook.com/buildalittlebiz, http://twitter.com/#!/karengunton