I have consistently encouraged all of my clients to have a newsletter sign up, but recently, with the advent of social media/marketing, I have had a lot of people ask me about whether a newsletter or ‘e-blasts’ are still necessary.
A newsletter sign up, even if you don’t use it, gives you a solid database of people who are interested enough in your projects and what you’re doing to ASK for information. It’s classic push/pull marketing at it’s best. If you randomly send emails or information to people who haven’t requested it, you’re pushing your information to people who don’t care. On the other hand, if you’ve had people reach out to you, you’re pulling them in and sending them information that THEY have requested. Don’t undervalue that!
Here are a few tips for keeping your newsletters relevant:
Don’t become spam! People have a tendency to abuse these lists and send out far too many email blasts. They fill their readers’ inboxes way too often and begin to be tuned out as spam. This is a sure way to lose readers. Make sure that as you send out your newsletters or email blasts that your information is important to their day. Don’t fatigue your readers by sending out emails just to do so. You’ll lose them!
Conversely, a well thought out relevant email blast can build your readership quickly. If you include valuable resources and information that can better their day or their current situation, they will pass the newsletters along and your database will grow. Keep this in mind as you’re pulling together what to include!
Schedule wisely. Make sure that you send out your emails at targeted times. If you have a program set up that will send out emails ‘anytime’ and you let it send them out in the wee hours of the morning, then they’ll be waiting in someone’s inbox buried in mounds of spam! Even if people are interested in what you have to say, they’re more likely to hit that ‘delete’ button when they’re clearing their inbox than they would be if the mail arrived during their day. This works for Friday (clearing the inbox before leaving for the day – or sometimes taking the day off for a long weekend) and Monday morning clear outs from several days out of the office. The best times to send out email newsletters and blasts are Tuesday – Thursday.
Content is vital! When you put together your newsletter, make sure it’s not too copy heavy. People see lots of lines of text and tend to skim quickly and sometimes, skip completely! Don’t overwhelm them with columns and columns of text. Break up the copy with tastefully chosen graphics or pictures.
Your newsletter IS you. Every time you send out a newsletter, it’s a new chance for people to get to know you and your business better. Share current events or information that they may not find on your company’s website. Give people a reason to sign up for your newsletter. Send out tips, hints, or strategies that your readers can use. They’ll begin to rely on you more and more as a resource and that will create a solid following for all of your future projects.
If your business IS you (such as an actor or author) share more about yourself than they would learn from another venue (such as a magazine or amazon.com) and open yourself up so that people can invest more in following you. (Aka, I really like this person!) As you do this, it’s a razor’s edge. Be cautious with your security and how much you share. Keep the information ‘out there’ to your professional appearances and don’t ever share more than what makes you feel comfortable. It’s a razor’s edge to keep your personal life personal while putting yourself out there publicly.
Successful newsletters and email blasts are invaluable additions to your overall marketing plan. Use them wisely.