Category Archives: e-Newsletters

Why I Like e-Newsletters as a Business Outreach

E-newsletters can be put to work for you.
E-newsletters can be put to work for you.

I take time each month to write an e-newsletter and have found over the years that for me personally it is an excellent way to continue to connect with existing customers and potential new prospects. For my business needs, an e-newsletter has simply not gone out of style.

I have found that many businesses have never tapped into the power of e-newsletters and want to let you know why as a business owner you should.

1. It is less costly to build sales with existing customers than new customers.

2. With a monthly newsletter you put your name with your “face” in front of your existing customers on a regular basis. Reminding them why you matter and letting them know of any new services or programs you offer.

3. An e-newsletter is a great way to showcase a new product, mention specific features and benefits or simply establish yourself as an authority on a topic.

4. It is easy to grow your subscriber list. Make sure you cover what you do with email addresses in your online privacy policy by stating that if you are contacted by a prospect by email you will be automatically adding them to your email list. Assure that if they ask to be removed from the list, you do so right away or use a subscription service with self management features.

5. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times a new customer has said to me, I have been getting your e-newsletter for a while and now that I need X services, I thought to call you first. I find that my e-newsletter makes me approachable. I will have subscribers frequently send me a personal note with a question. All of which I will respond to personally.

E-newsletters really work for my own business, if you are not using one, I feel that you are missing a golden opportunity. Take a look at our online information about e-newsletters to find out more and to learn how easy we can make it for you to get started with one.

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Mobile-Friendly Designs for e-Newsletters

Teens whispering
Get on the advanced notification list.

I have been testing mobile designs for e-newsletters for my clients and am just about ready to roll out a new program. For those that are not using an e-newsletter yet, but are looking for a fairly inexpensive way to touch base with clients and build loyalty it is time to give an e-newsletter serious consideration.

With the advent of increased activity in the mobile space and the higher cost per click on AdWords, keeping your customer base alive and purchasing from you regularly makes a mobile-friendly e-newsletter a cost efficient solution for staying in touch.

Although many subscription management services have e-newsletter templates, not all have templates that are mobile friendly and all do not allow you to archive your own newsletter in html back on your own website for search engines.

It has been said that it is three time less expensive to build up sales with existing customers than it is to get a new customer. This is where e-newsletters are a great fit.

If you would like to be on our advance notice list of our program launch, please just contact us and we’ll make sure you get contacted.

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Should I Do an e-Newsletter? Isn’t it Passé?

Are there Pros and Cons to an e-newsletter?
Are there Pros and Cons to an e-newsletter?

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I love your newsletter, it has value to me, and now that I need X, I thought to call you first.”

If you are not creating great content that is shareable in an e-newsletter format, not only are you missing potential sales, but you may be missing ways to create loyalty with your current client base. When you create loyalty with your current base, you protect your business from “poaching”, build advocates for your own services, enhance referral actions, and protect your business from price shopping.

Doing an e-newsletter is easy, especially if you are blogging at least twice a week. We recommend to our blogging clients that they use the best blog post (or two) as the content for their monthly e-newsletter. I’ve found that typically the person who reads your blog is not the person who subscribes to your e-newsletter. If you feel that using blog posts may be too redundant for your audience, enlarge the blog post or add additional content value to it for the e-newsletter version.

With so many options for prefab e-newsletter templates you don’t need to have a custom one built necessarily, but some of our clients like one that reinforces their own brand.

Once your subscriber list size is about 100 or so you are ready to start working on creating and publishing your e-newsletter.

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e-Newsletter Subscriber How To – Build and Nurture

Once you’ve decided that an e-newsletter is an avenue you want to pursue, you’ll find that to start building your subscriber list you just have to start by asking customers for their emails.

Consider having your pest control techs ask for emails at service appointments so that as you get the new appointment reminder software you are thinking of using they’ll be ready. In the meantime, use these new emails as the seed starters for your budding subscriber list.

Consider having your office staff save all copies of your website contact form for entry into an Excel spreadsheet which you will load once a month of prospects or website contacts into your e-newsletter subscriber management account.

Don’t forget to put a subscriber form on your website and blog.

Building Your Subscriber List is Not Hard
Building Your Subscriber List is Not Hard

It is easy to start to build your list and you’ll find that you can grow one fairly quickly. One note to the wise, it is very important before you start these endeavors that you update your website’s privacy policy to state that if someone contacts you via email that you will aid their name to your e-newsletter list and that they can easily unsubscribe.

How do you nurture your subscriber list once you have one? Cater your content to your audience. Watch your bounce rate, link clicks, and analytics of what seems to be popular with your readers. Ask for future topics and solicit advice from existing clients about what they like or don’t like about your e-newsletter.

Many clients think that they should do a weekly newsletter, but readers will typically prefer only a monthly frequency. Too many e-newsletters will rack up a bill with your subscription service and start the bleed off of subscribers as they start to block you as a spammer. It is better to send less frequently than more frequently. The only exception may be if you are an e-commerce store and are sending out deals and coupon codes. Then weekly or bi-weekly may be best for you.

For more information on how you can use e-newsletters here’s a great article that shares some additional insights for review.

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Are You Missing the Boat By Not Having an E-Newsletter

Are You Missing the Boat? Yes!
Are You Missing the Boat? Yes!

Are you missing the boat? You sure are! I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard, “I love your newsletter, it has value to me, and now that I need X, I thought to call you first.”

If you are not creating great content that is shareable in an e-newsletter format, not only are you missing potential sales, but you may be missing ways to create loyalty with your current client base. When you create loyalty with your current base, you protect your business from “poaching”, build advocates for your own services, enhance referral actions, and protect your business from price shopping.

Doing an e-newsletter is easy, especially if you are blogging at least twice a week. We recommend to our blogging clients that they use the best blog post (or two) as the content for their monthly e-newsletter. I’ve found that typically the person who reads your blog is not the person who subscribes to your e-newsletter. If you feel that using blog posts may be too redundant for your audience, enlarge the blog post or add additional content value to it for the e-newsletter version.

With so many options for prefab e-newsletter templates you don’t need to have a custom one built necessarily, but some of our clients like one that reinforces their own brand.

Once your subscriber list size is about 100 or so you are ready to start working on creating and publishing your e-newsletter. Check back on Thursday for more tips on doing your e-newsletter and how to get subscribers.

 

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What are the Delivery Challenges for e-Newsletters?

Grow prospects into customers with e-newsletters.
Grow prospects into customers with e-newsletters.

Clients are sometimes shocked when they review their first delivery report for their new e-newsletter. Their 1,000 subscriber list ends up showing that only 10% to 30% of their subscribers actually opened their campaign. From what I have seen with a variety of accounts, the open rate may never top 50% for e-newsletter campaigns.

What Can a Business Do to Improve Opens?

1. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable subscriber/e-newsletter service. I like iContact, Topica, and Constant Contact. If you are dealing with a small no-name service you may have delivery issues. The larger services will all police their own clients to be Can Spam compliant and typically work directly with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to try to assure delivery of their own clients’ newsletters. That being said, it is not uncommon for double opted in subscribers to be sent via a specific IP block that has ISP service provider approval and those that are not double opted in to be sent through a different server block that may be filtered out at the ISP level and so never delivered.

2. Try to double opt in your subscribers. This is a hard one, and most lists we work with although typically “clean” will not be double opted in. Double opted in means that the reader has verified their email address and their desire to receive your message. This is a two step process – sign up for your e-newsletter and then respond to an automated email that asks them to click to verify their email address and desire.

3. Craft an e-newsletter title that is transparent and identifies who you are. Putting your name and a reminder of who you are in the title can help to increase open rates. This is especially important if you do not send your newsletter out every month. For those clients that send infrequently to their e-newsletter list, their open rates will typically be lower, as readers in many cases have simply forgotten that they have signed up or who you are.

4. Make your newsletter sharable and memorable. ISP are watching reader behavior. If more subscribers never read, open, or click things in your newsletter, over time the ISP may lower your newsletter rating pushing it into a filtered out status. Here’s a great article that speaks to this topic and shares with you some of the new technology and filters that Internet Service Providers are using to filter out spam.

E-newsletters are showing a resurgent interest and many clients are reporting that their newsletter is a great lead generator. If you haven’t tried doing one, now may be the time to give a monthly e-newsletter a new look.

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