A strong marketing plan utilizes a variety of channels to bring content to a target audience: a keyword rich website and blog, social media platforms, printed materials, power partners, great publicity, and last but not least, email marketing. Email Marketing is an essential component of a successful marketing program, and one that absolutely should not be overlooked. But there is more to putting together a great newsletter than just having great content! Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your own e-newsletter.
Include a permissions reminder and tell people how they can opt out
While you may be incredibly excited about your newsletter and sharing information with your contacts, some people may not share your enthusiasm. And that is okay. Make it easy for people to opt out of your newsletter. This will make your open rates higher in the long run, and it will decrease the likelihood of spam reports in the future.
Your newsletter is an extension of your brand. You want people to immediately recognize and know what they are looking at when they open your newsletter. Use colors that complement your website and logo, and make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. I recommend using the same template for each type of email you send: use one for your monthly information newsletter, and use a separate one for special announcements or promotions.
Link to website and social media
Since you are using a variety of channels in your strong marketing plan, you are using social media, right? So make it easy for people to discover the wealth of great content that you are sharing on your website and social channels. Make active links to all of your online pages, and make sure to ask people to like your pages!
Use lists if you have different customer segments
As you grow as a business, chances are that you will have different types of customers, such as individual people versus businesses. You most definitely want to get to a point where you are sending these different segments of your clientele different information (because that means you are growing your business!), and while that may not be needed from the start, it will make things easier if you sort people into different lists from the beginning. Utilize the different interest categories on your online sign up forms to allow people to choose their own interests, as well.
The longer a newsletter is, the less likely it is to be read. You want your content to be seen, so make it short and concise. If you have information that needs to be shared in longer form such as a blog, entice your reader with a great introductory paragraph, and then link back to your website to finish reading.
Use all text
You want your newsletter to be visually appealing, and you want to break up chunks of text, so make sure to include some amazing pictures. You’ve got great products, so make sure to show them off!
Make grammar mistakes
Nothing will make you lose credibility like bad grammar. Make sure to proof read your work and use the spell-checker. When you think you are done and ready to go, it is not a bad idea to have someone else proof-read your work before you hit send. There is nothing like the awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that you made some glaring error AFTER you have sent your newsletter out to your entire list!
Buy email lists
Though it might seem like a great way to build your lists and reach more people, one of the quickest ways to get your account suspended or shut down is to use purchased email lists. Any e-newsletter product will ask if you have permission to email your contacts as you are adding them to your contact database. If you are using a purchased list, you do not have direct permission from the person to email them. These are the people who are most likely to mark your email as spam, and thus get your account in trouble. Resist the temptation, and grow your contact lists through your own channels.
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