What is the Purpose of an Email Newsletter?

An email newsletter has long been a great way to promote your business. It’s quick to create and is a free marketing strategy. If you haven’t created a newsletter for your business, it’s time to consider starting one. 

A series of email newsletters can be a strategic long term marketing move. You want to connect with your subscribers at least 12 times. Eighty percent of paying subscribers will make their purchase between the 5th and 12th contact. Although you are not likely to win a lot of clients through emails alone, these messages can keep your client engaged and eventually become paying customers.

The Purpose of a Good Email Newsletter

When deciding on a newsletter topic, there are a few important things to consider:  your target audience, your intended purpose, the content, designing with mobile devices in mind and an attention grabbing subject line.

We’re going to give you a step-by-step breakdown of exactly how to create your own email newsletter.

So, what can a newsletter do for you and your business?

  • Connect you with potential clients
  • Establish you as a leader or expert in your field
  • Build trust in you and your business
  • Build brand awareness
  • Determine consumer needs and interests
  • Increase traffic to a designated site
  • Generate more sales

Now, how can you accomplish those outcomes with your email newsletter?

  • Provide relevant news, tips, and information
  • Publicize events
  • Announcements
  • Promote products and services
  • Make special offers
  • Cross-promote partners and business contacts

How to Create Your Email Newsletter

Now that you know the success that can be gained through newsletters, here is a step-by-step guide of how you can make your own for your business.

Step #1: Establish Your Newsletter Goal

First you need to determine the main goal of the newsletter. Ask yourself how it fits into your current marketing strategy.

You may want to announce your company’s launch or promote a new line of products. Whatever your goal may be, keep it in mind as you create your newsletter.

Once you decide on your goal, the next move is to plan your content.

Step #2: Define the Content

Emails should be one of two things: Educational or Entertaining. Or a combination of both!

A couple years ago I was working with the owner of a printing business. He had mastered creating outstanding content while making it very interesting. He was able to achieve a 60% open rate for his email newsletters, which is impressive!

Make sure your content is useful and relevant for your intended audience. Don’t always focus on selling something. By offering helpful & engaging material you will build trust with your clients. You don’t have to create brand new copy each time. Re-purpose existing content from your blogs, articles, and marketing brochures.

Think about how often you want to send out your newsletter and its ideal length. Next, you’ll want to create an outline to follow for each release after it.

Step #3: Layout a Template For Your Email Newsletter

You can use an email service provider’s template but we recommend you create it to reflect your brand’s look-and-feel. This helps establish your brand and your potential customers will quickly recognize that it comes from your company. 

Next is the format.

Pick from this optional list of formatting elements and characteristics:

  • Text (fonts, colors, sizes)
  • Layout (length, margins, justification)
  • Highlighting (bold, italics)
  • Imagery (logo, photos, cartoons)
  • Columns
  • Tables
  • Lists (bullets, numbers)
  • Repeatable section titles
  • Links (to landing pages, videos, web sites)

Again, remember to let your brand’s look and feel drive the design of your newsletter.

Very important > your email template must be mobile-friendly.

Once you have the format down, start gathering your content.

Step #4: Add Your Body Content

Using your template as your outline, start filling in your text and images. Size images or artwork so that it doesn’t overtake the size of the text.

Ask for feedback of your newsletter draft to few trusted people. Ask them to give honest feedback, including pointing out typos, poor grammar, and factual errors. You could follow up with a short of list of questions such as:

  • Did you enjoy or appreciate the content?
  • Was it professional?
  • Did you learn something?
  • Was it too long or too short?
  • Would you like to continue receiving it?
  • What part of it did you find most valuable or interesting?

Step #5: Create a Powerful Subject Line For Your Email Newsletter

One of the most challenging parts about an email newsletter is deciding the subject line. It should be compelling, relevant & click-worthy. Subject lines need to express the idea without telling everything while compelling the reader to want to see what’s inside.

A few questions to ask for the all-important subject line in an email newsletter:

Is it attention-grabbing?

Does it relate to the email recipient’s needs or interests?

Will it help them solve a challenge?

Will it spark their curiosity?

Does it match the email content?

Is it a mobile-friendly length of under 40 words?

Can we personalize it by including their name?

Is the spelling, grammar, and punctuation correct?

Did I avoid using CAPS or special characters (!!!)?

Try eye-catching words and phrases such as:  sneak peak, secret, hidden, solution, little-known, exciting, must know, avoid these mistakes; free, clearance, and discount always get my attention. Avoid click-bate language. Whatever you do, don’t let your subject be unspecific or boring.

Test out your subject lines to make sure they don’t land in the recipients’ SPAM folder. “Free” can sometimes trigger a spam filter.

Practice Makes Perfect With Creating Newsletters

Over time, you’ll learn what is and is not working with your email list.

NOTE:  Don’t forget to keep it legal. By law you are required to include an “unsubscribe” option in each email, along with your contact information.

Once you have created your educational and entertaining email newsletter and gathered your intended recipients, you just need to send it. However, your work doesn’t stop there. Make sure to analyze the results. By tracking open rates, click rates, etc., you’ll learn how you can improve next time.

What email newsletters worked for your business? Do you have advice you would like to share with other business owners? Reply in the comments below.

 

Social Proof and Getting Reviews For Your Business

One of the latest developments in today’s ever changing business world is a term called “reputation marketing.” Getting reviews from Google are an example of this type of marketing. Google, Yelp, Facebook and other sites provide customer ratings and comments about merchants and service providers.

Reputation Marketing, Social Proof and Getting Reviews

More and more consumers are using these sites to make buying decisions. These directories typically have a one to five-star rating, and they are quickly multiplying. These sites are the perfect place for disgruntled customers to complain and “get even” with employees of companies that have offended them.

Getting Reviews and Other Social Proof For Your Business

Social proof, which is having customers endorse your service or product, is becoming more and more relevant. A few years ago Google acquired Zagat, a restaurant rating organization and has integrated Zagat into Google Maps. They are now rating local businesses. Linkedin is also an important social media sites for business owners in which to be listed and endorsed.

The result of social proof becoming so popular is that business owners are under more and more customer scrutiny. The way small businesses are rated has the potential to become more important than having a website or any other marketing method in the future. Customers will quickly learn how we rate with an internet search.

Reputation Marketing For Your Business

Reputation marketing is basically getting reviews(great reviews) and other positive news for your business. The good news is this is generally easy to do if we are proactive with our clients. Below are some steps to looking great online:

  • Deliver great service.

The obvious! But the fact of the matter is this is a must to create great relationships with our clients. Always under-promise and over-deliver.

  • Begin getting reviews and testimonials from your customers.

The process is very simple:

    1. Grab a pen and notepad.
    2. Call up or visit your past and present clients.
    3. Catch up with how their life is going.
    4. Ask them for an appraisal of your service.
    5. Ask them to describe your service, write down what they said. 
    6. Read back their statement to them, using their exact words.
    7. If their testimonial is favorable, ask them if your service is worthy of five stars.
    8. Thank them for their kind words.
    9. Tell them that you will send them an email with their testimonial to confirm that this looks acceptable to them.

How to Utilize Your Testimonials

Once your customer has approved the testimonial, ask them if they would be willing to copy and paste the testimonial into Google or the website/directory of their choosing.

      1. Ask to use their photo along with their testimonial. Photos will dramatically increase the credibility of their review.
      2. If you want endorsements on Linkedin, go to your profile link and click on “recommendations.” Send the request to your customer, asking them to copy and paste their testimonial into the provided field.
      3. If you want a testimonial placed on another review site, send a link to your customer of the URL in which your business is listed, requesting them to copy and paste the testimonial along with giving you a five-star rating.
      4. Use these testimonials on your website, in your marketing materials, in company newsletters and in the stories you tell about your service.
      5. Gather many testimonials. These stories from your clients will sell you faster and give you more credibility than advertising could ever buy for you.

What to Do With a Customer Complaint

  1.  If you become aware of an unhappy client, contact them immediately. Face to face is best, and the telephone is the next best, next best would be email. Avoid online communications! Listen calmly and with empathy to your client and do what it takes to win them over. Repeat back their complaints to make sure your client knows you have listened to them and understand them and ask their forgiveness.
  2. If you get a negative rating, don’t ignore it. Contact your client to rectify the situation. I recommend that you do whatever it takes to make them happy, including offering a refund or free services. Respond online to the rating to show what you have done to rectify the situation. Finally, bury the negative rating with lots of positive ratings by doing the steps above.

Springboard into client referrals.

The next important thing to do with your customer is to ask them “Who do you know that could benefit from my service?” This way, you have trained your customer about how to sell you by developing the testimonial. Now they can use it by calling their contacts and referring you.

Conclusion

Your reputation is vital to the success of your business. Be proactive about getting reviews. A proverb tells us; “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” It’s a great quote to keep in mind as you focus on success in your business and life.

Creating a Landing Page For Your Business

The key purpose of a landing page is to convert visitors into leads. Statistics show that a landing page can significantly increase your sales. Whatever your products or services are, having a well-designed page is vital to driving traffic where you want them to go. Designing a landing page requires a different approach than designing a website or newsletter. We’re providing some guidelines which should ensure that you have a high-converting landing page.

Determine the Goal of Your Landing Page

It may seem obvious, but taking the time to determine what you’re trying to accomplish with the landing page will jumpstart the design process.

What do you truly want to accomplish with the landing page? Don’t think only about the service or product they’ll get, but focus on defining the point of the whole process. Is it to:

  • Create brand awareness?
  • Build credibility and trust?
  • Gather email addresses?
  • Get more visitors to your website?
  • Make more sales?

If you’re clear on the end goal, then a clear design will follow.

Still, every page should have only one clear path which takes each visitor to the right destination.

Provide a Lead Magnet

An exciting offer is what drives the visitor to give up their email address – it could be a free eBook, newsletter, class or template. It’s essential that you create a lead magnet that is relevant and valuable to your target audience.

Best Elements of a Landing Page

To create a page that is successful, make sure that:

  • Your Copy is Concise and Clear

Copy on a landing page should be kept to a few sentences at most. Save the longer copy for emails and blogs. Be short and make sure it’s compelling. Get straight to the point.

All the copy should drive the user to act right away.

  • Don’t Ask For Extras

The form on your page should only ask for essential data such as name and email address. Asking for more info will greatly decrease the chances to get users to enter their info and click that button.  Better yet, ask for only a first name, and only if you plan to use that data right away (such as in an email campaign.)

If you are selling a product or service in your landing page, make sure it’s simple and to the point. Only ask for information that is necessary. Once their order is placed, you can ask for additional information you may need.

  • Write a Call-to-Action That Works

In any landing page, the verbiage in your call-to-action button is very important. Avoid common phrases such as “Click Here” and use strong words and compelling phrases like:

“Get a free WORK SMART, NOT HARD e-Book”

“Subscribe to the Savvy Blogger Newsletter”

“Grab my free marketing class”

Employ a clear and direct call-to-action that makes the user want to act immediately.

Designing a Landing Page

Designing a landing page is very different than creating a regular web page.  While one aspect is the short, simple copy, the other part is its design.

A good design should support the call-to-action. Just as your copy is concise, your design should be simple. Keep these major aspects in mind:

  • Simplicity. Your page should be free of distractions. Keep the user laser focused on clicking that call-to-action button. Do this by not including any other clickable elements like logos, icons, or hyperlinks.
  • Branding. You want the user to recognize your branding elements (fonts, colors, layout, logos, etc.). Keep the look consistent across all of your marketing platforms. Carrying your brand forward avoids confusing the visitor and gives them confidence in your products and/or services.
  • Copy Length. While some use a landing page to further explain their business, the most successful ones will contain only the essential elements:
    • An explanatory or motivational heading
    • Two to three short paragraphs
    • Field for email address
    • A call-to-action button to get the offering promised
  • Imitate What Already Works. A good practice is to find and capture a landing page to use as a model. If you thought that their page was simple yet effective, then your visitors will like yours, too.
  • Imagery. You can add an imagery on your page, but don’t make it too busy. The user just wants to get what’s being offered in the quickest way possible.
  • The Fold. If the user has to scroll down to see the call-to-action (falls below the “fold”), then you will lose out on potential sales.

Summary: A Landing Page Can Be Very Lucrative

For such a simple and temporary page, there’s much to consider when convincing visitors to give up their email. We know that clicking not only means we get some freebie, but it also means we’ve signed up for  future emails. Making it easy and painless to use, worthwhile, and professional will give them the trust to give out the personal information.

What are your thoughts about creating your own landing page? Do you think this could help you grow your business? Let us know your thoughts below.