After a couple months of musings about life (and single use plastic!), I figured it was time to delve back into the digital marketing world for at least one blog…don’t worry I’ll be back to deep life thoughts soon!
Email newsletters are a great non social media way to reach people (especially those who aren’t on social media and can’t WAIT to tell you about how they aren’t). Newsletters offer more direct ways to communicate, reiterate something and learn about what your followers want.
I use Mailchimp and Mailpoet (as a WordPress plug in for Whale Tales-join our Patreon to get on our newsletter list! 😉 ) Both of these can be used for free and are pretty simple for setting up a list and some templates. Mailchimp has a fantastic help section so if you are still in the tall grass after reading this blog check it out!
Before you get started you should do a quick google about email laws in your country. It can seem overwhelming, but the basic gist is that you can’t email people who haven’t signed up and agreed to be contacted. (it is definitely more complicated than that sometimes so read up on it if your lists are the least bit complicated!). Always check you have an “unsubscribed” option in your footer (pretty sure that is an auto set up in Mailchimp and Mailpoet) and tell people what to expect when they are signing up (you will only receive an email twice a month, that sort of thing). You can also have a “why am I getting this email” link in your footer or a “update preferences” option to help your subscribers get exactly what they want, hopefully without unsubscribing! Mailchimp does let you set up forms for these which will make you look more professional and help you out in the long run!
When looking for subscribers make it easy for them to sign up-add a link on your website, your Facebook (you can make it your button on your page), even a clipboard if you are at events. Put it everywhere you can think of to increase your chances but don’t annoy people. Mailchimp lets you set up a custom sign up page (as in adding your logo and changing the colour, it’s not THAT fancy) that you can link to, so it all looks professional.
When you start sending emails have a plan beforehand about what is going in them and if there is a theme or main topic you want to discuss (that’s good for a subject line too!). Always add lots of links-you can put links in images to increase your chances of clicks- and keep your copy short, friendly and to the point.
Even if you let people know on the sign-up form about your planned schedule, don’t send emails too often. Once a week would be the max I would suggest. Setting up a plan or calendar about what you want to put in your newsletters is a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything without flooding inboxes (and then having everyone unsubscribe).
Once your emails are sent check on your analytics-clicks, opens, unsubscribes are all things you can see and use to improve your future content plans. You want your email list to engage and grow as it’s the best way to directly reach your community-try to give them what they want.