SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR NEWSLETTER A BOOST
Our patience will achieve more than our force.
– Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)
JUST WANTED TO SHARE MY PERSPECTIVE
Now, by no stretch of the imagination am I the newsletter guru. Every newsletter launch I do is a learning experience. I still make mistakes. It’s the only thing that qualifies me to write this post – my mistakes. And believe me, there are some doozies.
I have found, that with good strategy and a commitment to see things through, objectives can be met. Even in this challenging economy. But it’s getting more difficult each day. The “robots” are getting smarter and more paranoid about suspicious marketing. So you have to think one step ahead and work within very specific guidelines if you want to get through. I can help with that.
I’ve run a handful of newsletter campaigns. But the ones that I am the most proud of are the ones I did for AWASH Eco Systems, Miller Genuine Draft, Adidas, Visa, my own personal self-promotion mailers and of course Vectorvault (my baby).
Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:
MAKE A LIST – CHECK IT TWICE
A solid mailing list is very important. If it’s not populated with the right targets, your beautiful newsletter may fall on deaf ears. So don’t bombard “Aunt Shelly” with your band’s latest video upload. It gets tired quick and it’s also not free. You pay for every delivery, so make it count. Your Piggy bank will thank you for it.
I use LinkedIn as a fine resource to network properly. But I also export my clients from my Freshbooks Account (highly recommended) as well as my store, my blog, my personal site and the handful of business cards that I pick up along the way. Having some kind of social media presence takes time. Start by setting yours up today. (I can help with that too)
Sort your contacts into groups. Organize those groups into categories that make sense. You may need to promote to several groups or be very targeted. It is time consuming in the beginning, but a real cost-saver down the road.
Jeff Nolan of Nolan Interactive set me up with a piece of online software called Interspire Email Marketer. I actually really like it. It has a very intuitive dashboard, great reporting and it plays nice with many other applications. My blog registration fills up on auto pilot, but I also reach out to artists every day encouraging them to sign up.
Jeff has graciously thrown in an exclusive discount offer to help beef up this post a bit and get you excited about changing your communication strategy. Together, we offer cost effective ways to get it moving for you. Look into it:
*Thanks for the offer Jeff. It sure helped me out.
READ MORE BELOW:
BE A BRAND THEY CAN COUNT ON
Now I am certainly not a role model in this regard. Sometimes the month goes by so quick that it comes down to timing. That doesn’t mean that consistency is not an important factor – it is.
If you want your message to penetrate through a tsunami of distraction, you have got to be regular. It’s not easy, but try.
I like to imaging that one person out there who loves reading them. I write to that person. “Someone” out there is counting on you. Don’t let them down.
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Your audience will loose interest if you are not coming across as “interesting”.
When they leave you, it’s like when a girl you’re talking to at a noisy bar becomes distracted. If you’re going to become “friends”, you’ve got to get her attention and keep it.
Want to be interesting? Be interested.
Buy her a drink. Tell her you like her shoes. If you don’t get “that look”, you’ll find yourself standing there with a couple of fruity cocktails (insert sad visual here) : (
Listen to your audience. Get to know them. I set up a series of social networks that are designed to harvest these valuable connections. See how I did it here.
She gave you her number. Think before you pick up the phone.
LINK EXCHANGE IS ALIVE AND WELL
Link Directories are often overlooked. By exchanging URLS and displaying them proudly in a link directory, you solidify your incoming traffic. In turn, those individuals are much more likely to share your brand with their own audience and are more likely to open your email. I like to think of it as “Barter Advertising”.
Oh, and did I mention – It’s free?
WORK FOR IT
People can tell when you’ve “gone the extra mile” and they tend to be curious about those who are really making an effort. So roll up your sleeves and challenge yourself to make it better that the one before it. As the quality of content and strategic approach begin to line up, your newsletter will slowly evolve into a Juggernaut.
SIGN OFF WITH A SMILE
Always sign your newsletter with a personal touch. This is not some cold website. This is “correspondence”. Treat it as such. Be professional, likeable and honest. Allow your brand personality to shine through. This is your chance to give voice to your brand. Think – then speak. Then edit. Then send.
ALWAYS check your spellong! Some will turn their back on you out of principal alone. I don’t care if you text shortcode on a phone, newsletters require a little more care. You’ve got a millisecond to catch their attention. Bad grammar is the kiss of death in business, but Spam filters are unforgiving. It could cost you allot over time.
Grade 9 English class, don’t fails me now!
Some look at it a sign of weakness. I think that it elevates the class of your brand when you talk all fancy like.
Say please and thanks, and try to present yourself as someone who wants to be “invited in”. You’ll be surprised at what good manners will bring – and that goes for all aspects of life.
CHECK FOR SPAM KEY PHRASES
Remember that there is a firewall between you and “them“. Try and make your message as “spam negative” as you can. Use any filters provided. Interspire Email Marketer comes with a good one.
Stay away from text phrases like “BUY NOW!” or “GREAT OFFER”. They will stop you dead in your tracks. If you have to use phrases like these, put them in a jpg. Images cannot be read (well not yet anyway).
ORIGINALITY GOES A LONG WAY
If you are a shy person – explore your other side. Let people in just a little bit. Enough to smell the chocolate chip cookies in the oven. The task of a newsletter is simple: get them to click on something. Just make sure you have somewhere interesting to send them.
The best way to do this is by being yourself. Don’t try too hard. Speak from an honest place.
Design landing pages that expand the conversation. Don’t just fire them to the checkout. Romance them. Steer the traffic where you want.
I developed a glossary of terms relevant to my audience. By linking back to it, I generate additional traffic into my brand while educating consumers on the “language of my business“. Be an expert.
My “Business” BTW is inspiration.
CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
If that sucker goes out with a mistake, it will become the only thing you think about. Get SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOU to proof it before you pull the trigger.
Always cross your fingers
NO ONE LIKES JUNK MAIL
Pace yourself and don’t be too pushy. No one likes a bully.
People will subscribe. People will unsubscribe. That’s the cycle. Be patient. These things take time. Take it at a slow pace and don’t expect the world to change with one newsletter. Manage your expectations.
Try to be the hypnotist not the used car salesman.
NO SHAME IN THIS GAME
If self-promotion is your angle, then it’s time to swallow your pride and sell your best qualities. References are business currency these days. Spend it wisely. Link to things that you may have been too modest to talk about (or busy to talk about as the case usually is). Make the time. You’re only as good as your latest accomplishment.
A newsletter still allows you to distance yourself from the ego and talk about yourself without sounding to full of yourself.
Over time, I’ll be adding elements to this post. By all means, if you think that I’ve missed something, please speak up.
Of course, these are just some general tips. But I hope that you got something out of it.
Expand your opinions or just indulge in some great vector art here:
NEED HELP WITH YOUR OWN NEWSLETTER?
I’m always happy to talk to you about it. Reach out and say hello.
Yes, I know, visually this post is a little busy with images. I’ve been told that they look a little more like banner ads. There’s a reason for that – they sort of are. As you may already suspect, this post is doing double duty as a promo-piece. Passing it on, a comment or two or a click are all appreciated. Thanks for reading. – Adam
Yeah, but does it work?
You’re reading this aren’t you?