eBusiness Blog

Marketing eTip: A Simple Content Marketing Definition

Let’s talk about content marketing. Sometimes this word doesn’t mean much to us entrepreneurs. What is it? It’s kind of new on the scene and so I thought I’d just quickly define exactly what content marketing is.

It starts with creating some sort of content and usually that content is in the form of an article or a video. We start with that one piece and put it into our blog so the search engines can find it and direct traffic back to our website.

That one article should not stop there. Many times entrepreneurs will stop at that, they’ll put their article on their blog, they might think to send it over to Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and leave it at that.

But that’s just a one minor part of the content marketing puzzle that we need to do on a consistent basis in order to build our brand and get known in the World Wide Web.

As an example, we’ll take that one blog article, send it to our social media channels and then we also want to perhaps create a video out of it and put that video on YouTube. Then send that video over to our social media channels.

You can also directly upload that video on your Facebook page. You can put it on Pinterest and other social media accounts as well.

Then you can transcribe the video so if it didn’t start off as an article, you can do a video first, transcribe it, and now you have an article to use as a blog post and embed the video into it.

This is one small part of the content marketing machine we can create.

Creating a content marketing machine is a great way to get yourself visibleClick To Tweet

The next thing we can do is take that video and put it into another blog source like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse.

We can also submit that article in article repository sites so they will pick it up and source back to your website. Send it out as a newsletter as well.

Another example is to create an audio file from the article or video and turn it into a podcast.
Those are just a few ideas of many opportunities you can take advantage of through content marketing.
Get in the mindset of asking what more can you do with this one piece of content and then distribute it. Don’t waste your time always coming up with new content every day. Take that one piece of content and create more out of it.

I hope this provided you with some ideas as to what can you do with your blog article every week. Create a marketing calendar and give it a try!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in comments section below.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Blogging or Newsletters or Both?

Blogging or Newsletters or Both?

Why adding blogging and newsletters to your content marketing mix will increase sales opportunities

Often when I work with new entrepreneurs or even seasoned business owners, a lot of confusion happens around the whole content marketing thing. Should they blog? Should they send out newsletters? Do they have to do both?

The first thing that pops into their mind is it sounds like a lot of work! So often both marketing options are dismissed under that assumption.

The second thing that creates resistance to writing blogs and/or newsletters is not knowing what to write or how to do it.

So this article first explains the benefits of blogging and sending out newsletters and then I offer a simple solution that should easily be able to fit into anyone’s marketing budget.

Why Send Newsletters?

One of the most important assets to your business is the people that are listed in your database. This is important because these people have shown an interest in your product or service and therefore are considered to be a part of your “target market.”

One of the best and easiest ways to get people listed into your database is through an online newsletter offering, often referred to as an eZine or eNewsletter.

I realize this can be a scary proposition – not only with what to write but making the commitment to write something on a regular basis.

However, the benefits of sending a regular newsletter should far outweigh these fears.

Consistently sending out a newsletter will:

  • Continually remind your followers of your existence and thus, reminding them of the product or service you offer.
  • Enhance your business brand recognition when sent through an email template that matches your brand and website’s look and feel.
  • Position you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trust amongst your followers.
  • Enable the ability to be forwarded to friends and associates of your followers, spreading the word about you and providing an opportunity for those to subscribe as well.
  • Make it much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows, likes and trusts you rather than to strangers first visiting your site.

Why Bother With Blogging?

Blogging, considered an extension of social media marketing, also has its benefits. It gives you an opportunity to write about news and information related to you, your business and your industry on a regular basis.

By doing this, you can be discovered by a much bigger audience. This audience is found from a variety of different avenues but primarily via Social Media and Search Engines.

Some advantages to blogging are:

  • Search engines pick up blog postings quickly and easily, giving you great SEO optimization and exposure in search results.

    Not only that but search engines will also see that you are updating your website on a regular basis, rewarding your efforts by getting your site higher up in the search results.

  • Blogs can be built within your existing website, thus driving traffic to your whole site when someone wants to read one of your articles.
  • Subscribers have the ability to subscribe to your blog, reminding them of you and your business each time you post a new article.
  • People have an opportunity to share your article to their various social media channels, giving an opportunity for your article to “go viral.”

    Other bloggers could also pick up your post and re-post it to their blog (with your permission of course) or reference to it from a post, creating a “trackback” that gives positive SEO juice to your site.

  • They are positioning you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trustworthiness amongst your readers.
  • Being much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows and trusts you – visitors will get this from being a faithful reader of your blog postings

So which strategy is more important than the other or should you do both?

If I had to choose one or the other, I’d opt for the blog to be more important; however, I personally feel it is best if you do both methods of marketing to get optimal results.

Here’s why:

  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to have an active database of your target market where blogs don’t.
  • A blog gives you a more economical way of frequently reaching out to your target market – whether it’s a short note or a lengthy article, you don’t have to pay out money since the blog can be fully managed by yourself.
  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to personalize and direct your message to each person on your list where blogs need to speak to a generic audience.
  • Blogs are picked up by search engines easier and can attract a more global audience where newsletters are targeted to a specific audience within your database.
  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to attract subscribers by offering a free digital give-away (such as a report, audio message, short eBook etc) which can then be followed up with an auto-responder series that can lead to sales where blogs need to entice with each posting created to generate a loyal following.

As you can see, each method has its own unique marketing qualities and should both be used to attract more clients.

One trick that I do to avoid redundant work is to include the blog post in my newsletter. Each week when I send out my newsletter, I reference the blog post and ask my followers to read the whole post on my blog.

This way, a newsletter does not require a lot of extra writing, it’s simply being strategic about the content that you write and ensuring it reaches the largest number of people through different marketing methods.

Always Provide Value

There is a cautionary note to both forms of content marketing – in order to create a faithful following, you must always think in terms of what your readers (and more importantly your ideal target market) are wanting and needing from you.

You need to give them valuable information (or entertainment) that will make them feel it is worth their while to either receive your newsletters or read your blog postings.

As soon as it isn’t worth their while, you have lost them by either removing their RSS feed from their blog reader or unsubscribing to your newsletter.

If you want further information on how to get started on either, we help many busy entrepreneurs with the writing, posting and sending blog articles and newsletters for our clients. We can help you too! Contact me for information.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Avoid These 12 Newsletter Mistakes

Avoid These 12 Newsletter Mistakes

What you need to know to boost your open rates, avoid unsubscribes and get the biggest return with newsletter marketing.

When sending out an eNewsletter or eZine, sometimes it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t work.

I see many entrepreneurs and business owners happy to just get something out, or they make it all about them and add in what they think is best.

But in actuality, a newsletter needs to be given a lot of thought. Your goal is to send a newsletter that will appeal to your target market, not you.  So if you’ve been sending out stuff that you would like to receive,  it’s time to re-think your strategy.

When sending out newsletters, always keep your ideal target market in mindClick To Tweet

In conjunction with an article written a few months ago about what your unsubscribes are telling you, here are 12 mistakes to avoid when sending out newsletters:

  1. Not Defining Your Ideal Target Market

    If you don’t know who it is you want to attract to become a customer, then you aren’t going to know what they will find useful information. And if you don’t know this, then you won’t know what to include in your newsletter to keep them wanting to hear from you.

  2. Not Being Consistent

    I work with many entrepreneurs and business owners who have the best of intentions to send out regular newsletters but simply don’t make it a priority.

    They get going with at least one a month, and then it’s every couple of months… every 6 months… and then nothing. Nadda. What happened? They didn’t commit to a schedule and life’s busy-ness got in the way.

    Inconsistency is a killer when it comes to newsletters. Pick a schedule and stick to it. Your subscribers will come to expect to hear from you and the more they do, the less chance they will forget about you.

  3. Too “All Over The Map”

    A confused mind says “no” so if you’re going to offer everything but the kitchen sink in your newsletter, then the odds are good that you are going to lose your readers’ attention.

    Instead, focus on a theme, idea or single message and write for it. If you get off on a different tangent, hold that thought for another newsletter another day.

    Be concise, and keep the flow simple and easy for the reader to follow and you will win more fans that way.  Oh, and it shouldn’t go without saying, but do ensure you proofread your prose so it doesn’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes.

  4. Not Matching Your Brand

    Just because your newsletter provider offers free templates for you to use, doesn’t mean you should! Your newsletter is an extension of your brand and should look the part.

    If you are going to use those templates, be sure to replace the header banner with one that matches your website, and also match your brand colours and fonts.

    Having a consistent brand image goes a long way for recognisability with your readers.

  5. No Call To Action

    What do you want your reader to do once they’ve opened your newsletter? Be sure to include a call to action telling them what to do next.

    For the majority of my newsletters, I want to send the readers back to our website to read the rest of the blog article I provided a preview for. Once they read the article, they are met with another call to action that could suggest they do a number of different things; like leave a comment or click a link to explore a particular service we offer that is in relation to the article.

  6. Doesn’t Display As Intended

    Many people look at their emails now on smart phones so be sure your newsletter appears properly on those smaller devices.

    Moreover, if you don’t hand-code your newsletters and rely on the provided WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors from the newsletter provider, the chances are your newsletter will not display nicely across all the different email platforms.

    So be sure to test how yours looks on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, AOL etc.

    Another tip about display, is to avoid using background images. Not all email programs will see a background image, most notably, Outlook.

  7. Images Are Not Optimized

    Some email programs don’t see certain CSS code that WYSIWYG editors use so the original size of the image is displayed instead of the what was defined in the CSS.

    This causes the image to be HUGE and out of proportion to the rest of the newsletter. Needless to say, the newsletter then looks really bad on the receiving end.

  8. Your Subscribers Don’t Know Who You Are

    If you only send out occasional newsletters or even once a month, the odds are good that many of your subscribers are going to forget who you are.

    So to avoid unsubscribes, include a short bio and photo of you at the bottom of the newsletter. This may remind them of who you are and why they signed up to receive your newsletter to begin with.

  9. Not Providing Contact Information

    Many times I’ll receive a newsletter and see a huge opportunity lost when they don’t take advantage of the opportunity to promote their contact information or, at very least, their website address.

    Give your subscribers the chance to click a link and find out more about you.

  10. Too Much Selling and Not Enough Value

    Ugh, Do you get onto some mailing lists where there’s nothing but sales pitches and nothing offered of any value? What’s the first thing you do? Unsubscribe.

    Don’t make your followers do the same. Always include lots of value in your newsletter to keep your subscribers happy. The best way to do this is by re-purposing your blog post and adding it to your newsletter. Assuming your blog post is of value, then you can now send that valuable content straight to your subscribers.

  11. Not Using a Captivating Subject Line

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your newsletter is, how much value it contains or how entertaining it will be; if you don’t put a lot of thought into your subject line, your followers will not be bothered to open it to read that great prose.

    Spend a considerable amount of time coming up with a compelling and captivating subject line. If you don’t, it will be passed up and never opened.

    It’s also important to note that you need to avoid using spam-activating words in your subject line or it will get marked as such and your newsletter will never be seen.

  12. Not Getting Permission To Add People To Your List

    I’ve saved a biggy for the end. No matter how tempting it is or how many other people you hear of doing this, avoid adding people to your newsletter list if you didn’t get their direct and explicit approval first.

    It’s against the Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL) and even if you are in the United States – if you have a Canadian on your list that complains about you adding them to your bulk mailing list, you can still be held liable.

    Along the same lines, you also want to avoid sending out bulk newsletters using your personal email program like Gmail or Outlook. The anti-spam laws are clear and not only do you risk getting shut down by your ISP (If using your personal email address) you are also not in compliance with the law when you do this.

Sending out regular newsletters to your list is an excellent way to build the know, like and trust factor with your subscribers and get you new leads flowing in.

But you also need to know these kinds of mistakes, to ensure you get the best results from your efforts.

If you would rather focus on your business than worry about such details, my team and I manage newsletters for many of our clients and would be happy to manage yours as well. We can do everything from writing them to sending them out. Contact me to discuss.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Shake it Off: What Your Newsletter Unsubscribes Are Telling You

Shake it Off:  What Your Newsletter Unsubscribes Are Telling You

Your email mailing list is one of your most valuable resources as a business owner. It is a fast, affordable way to stay connected to your audience.

But when you send a newsletter broadcast and see a number of unsubscribes it can be unsettling.  You may find yourself asking, “What’s wrong?  Don’t they love me anymore?”

Try not to take it personally.  Wipe your tears away.  Actually, unsubscribes are a reason to celebrate.

Everyone is not your customer.

Every time you send out an email blast and someone unsubscribes they are saying “this isn’t for me.”  And that’s a good thing.  After all, your goal is to get a tight list of raving fans who love, trust, and want to buy from you.

Plus, isn’t it good to get rid of the tire kickers?

Let’s face it, many people just sign up to get the freebie you offer.  If they are just interested in seeing what they can get for free, they are not your ideal customer.

Sometimes, after people get an email or two from you, they find out they are just not in alignment with you.  They don’t agree with your point of view.  Or maybe your articles aren’t the type of information that they need.

It’s better to have a tight list of loyal subscribers than a fat list of unresponsive ones.

It's better to have a tight list of loyal subscribers than a fat list of unresponsive onesClick To Tweet

Finally, another reason it’s good to trim the fat on your email list is that extra subscribers can cost you money.  Many list providers charge you based on the number of subscribers you have. So if someone isn’t that into you, it’s better they leave your list.

Unsubscribes can also give you valuable information about your marketing tactics.  Here are some red flags to look for if you get a sudden surge of ‘unsubscribes’ all at once.

6 Messages Your Unsubscribers Are Telling You:

  1. You are emailing too often

    Most subscribers are expecting 1-2 emails from you a week.  If you suddenly send 4 emails in one week, people find it offensive.  Some many even mark you as spam.  Others will just say “goodbye” and unsubscribe.

  2. You are emailing too infrequently

    Who are you? How did I get on this list? If you send emails sporadically or very infrequently, people forget who you are.  Finding the right balance of emails to send will help.

  3. They didn’t remember signing up

    It’s important when you are offering a freebie that people know that they will also be added to your weekly newsletter.  You don’t want them wondering “why am I getting this”.  Adding an “opt in” confirmation can ensure that people wanted to be added to your list and will remember doing so.

  4. You spammed them

    Use proper etiquette when emailing your list.  Send a nice balance of free valuable information with promotional materials.  If people feel like all you do is send offers or if your sales style is too hard core – they may unsubscribe.

  5. Your email newsletters are not relevant

    It’s really important to understand the wants and needs of your audience.  Then add wording to your ‘sign up’ that explains what you typically mail them: coupons, articles, interviews, advice etc.

  6. Let’s say you send out a newsletter for work-at-home moms and then you send them an article about potty training. That’s not relevant.  They signed up for your newsletter to get tips on working from home, growing their business or boosting their income, not how to raise their children.

    All too often I have seen a business owner sign up for someone’s affiliate program and then promote it on their list for something that is not relevant.  Don’t send articles or offers that are off topic or you can expect unsubscribes.

  7. Your newsletters don’t display properly

    Today most of your audience is using smart phones and tablets to check their email.  If your email newsletter doesn’t display properly on their phone, they may unsubscribe.

Sending your newsletter in both pain text and HTML can help to combat this.  Also send a test broadcast and check it on your phone to see how it displays.  That way, adjustments can be made before it goes out to your entire list.

So as Taylor Swift says … “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Shake it off, I shake it off.”

So what’s an email marketer to do? Be yourself.  Send valuable information.  Set expectations of what you will email and how often to send it.  Stay on topic.  Love your list and make them feel special.

Speaking of newsletters, have you signed up for ours yet?  You’ll get a free website guide if you do! Click here to subscribe to our weekly sendout that provides valuable tips on how to create a profitable business for entrepreneurs and small businesses: www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca

Happy email marketing!

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Entrepreneurs: Whatever Happened to Your Newsletter?

Entrepreneurs: Whatever Happened to Your Newsletter? Why NOT Sending Regular eZines is Hurting Business and What To Do About It

Why NOT Sending Regular Newsletters is Hurting Business and What To Do About It

When I talk to entrepreneurs about all the benefits of adding a newsletter/eZine sign up form to their website, they are usually quite enthusiastic and commit to sending out a regular newsletter at least once a month.

Sadly, this rarely comes to fruition.  Months, if not years go by and nary a newsletter gets sent out…

Are you guilty of this too? Has your website been gathering names and email addresses of people who literally want to hear from you and you have hardly ever gotten around to sending anything out to these people?

So what happened? Why aren’t you taking advantage of this fundamental marketing strategy that could make a huge difference in your business success?

After reading this article, you’ll not only be reminded of why it’s so important to have a regular eZine/Newsletter in your marketing plan, but I’ll also provide tips on how to get you into the routine of fulfilling that plan.

Firstly, here’s a quick reminder of why you wanted to start a regular newsletter to begin with:

  1. To keep in touch with your followers. The reason why keeping in touch with those in your database is so important is to avoid them from forgetting about you!

    Since it’s rare that a first time visitor to your website will immediately make a purchase decision, a newsletter is a way for you to keep in touch and remind them about your offerings.

    As a result, they will automatically think of you when they need what you provide or will think of you when a friend or associate needs your services.

  2. To showcase your expertise. People like following those that know what they’re talking about, especially if they have a desire to learn more about your industry.

    They very well could be shopping around for someone with your product or skill and need to be confident that you are the best choice for them. A newsletter provides an excellent way of doing this.

  3. To market your business inexpensively. It costs pennies to send out newsletter and your return can be immense.

    And since a newsletter article can also be a blog article, you now have two ways for you to expand your market reach by sharing the blog article to your social media followers.

    And don’t forget about the SEO benefits of adding a new blog post to your website too!

  4. To develop lasting relationships with your readers. The more you write and share about your expertise, the more your subscribers will get to know, like and trust you.

    The more they do this, the more likely they will want to do business with you or refer you to others.

It’s clear why a newsletter is important to have, but I know, there are lots of “reasons” why you may not have one…

  1. Don’t have enough time
  2. Don’t know what to say
  3. Don’t know how to write well enough or like to write at all
  4. Don’t think you have anything of value to share
  5. Don’t want to “bother” people by emailing them all the time

I’m sure you can think of more, but these are some of what I hear most often.

So let’s examine this list of reasons and see what solutions can be found.

  1. Not enough time. I used this one all the time, everything else was far more important than our own newsletters so they didn’t get sent out.

    My solution? Simply make the time! And this is done by making a commitment to this important task.

    Get started by scheduling a couple of hours into your calendar and stick to the appointment you’ve made for yourself. Honour your commitment by staying on task and not letting other things take priority.

    You only need to do this once a month but if possible, every two weeks is much better and some experts will say once a week is most effective. (We started sending out weekly newsletters over a year ago and it’s made a big difference.) I think it really has to do with who you are writing for – what are they wanting and how often would they love to get your valuable information.

  2. Don’t know what to say. This one can actually be as simple as listening to your current clients and remembering the questions they ask you. Or do similar listening on Social Media – what problems are people having that are related to your industry?

    If one person is asking, then the chances are many others are also seeking the same answer. Keep a log of questions you get throughout the day and then write an article about your response.

    It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out answer – short and informative is all that is needed.

  3. Don’t know how to write / don’t like to write. This can be solved a few ways. Believe it or not, there are people out there that actually LOVE to write and would be thrilled to help you out!

    There are virtual assistants, students and even us here at eVision Media who offer copywriting services for clients.

    All you need to do is write out the general outline of what you want to say and let the copywriter put it together for you.

    Another idea is to record your thoughts using a free recording service and have it transcribed by a Virtual Assistant.

    And if writing it not your cup of tea at all, create a video instead! All you need is a blog to post the video onto and then send out a newsletter telling people to click on the link that takes them to your blog post to watch.

  4. Nothing of value to share. Ok, tough love here… STOP THAT! Of course you have something of value to share! You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t!

    Your clients love you for your expertise so never undervalue what you offer. Don’t let your lack of confidence filter through because people don’t want to hear from someone who doesn’t think they are very good. Do you?

  5. Don’t want to bother people. I get where you’re coming on this and it can be used as an easy scapegoat to avoid the whole newsletter thing.

    However, you’re forgetting one critical fact – these people signed up to actually RECEIVE a newsletter from you!

    If they didn’t want to be bothered, they wouldn’t have signed up or will unsubscribe. In fact, by asking people to sign up for your newsletter and then never or rarely send one out sends a negative message– that you can’t be counted on to follow through with what you promised you would do. Think about that for a moment…

On a final note, it’s important to realize a Newsletter is NOT a form of advertising and should never be the main focus of your email (unless it’s a separate sendout and is not part of your regular Newsletter.)

So go ahead and take out your calendar right now and schedule a time THIS WEEK to write your next newsletter. Give yourself at least 2 hours to do some research and write down your thoughts.

If you don’t want to write the entire newsletter, then arrange for someone who will be gladly do it for you. If you are still unsure of whether a Newsletter is of value for you, schedule a consultation with me to help you come up with a game plan.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Entrepreneur eTip: Building Consistent Leads Using Newsletters

Today’s eTip is about incorporating newsletters into your regular marketing schedule.

Listen to today’s 1 minute tip to find out how important sending out consistent newsletters is and the benefits you’ll reap by doing so.

For many years, newsletters fell to the bottom of my priority list. I was lucky if I got a newsletter out every 3 or 4 months. Looking back, I was practically wasting my time.

Back then, I was missing the whole point of newsletters. And if you’re thinking the point of them is to sell something to your list, keep listening because that’s not what they’re here for!

Newsletters offer a way to share advice and build your credibility and expertise about your industry in your followers eyes.

More importantly, it’s a means to touch bases with the people who put their hand up and said, “Yes, I want to hear from you.” By sending consistent newsletters to your list, you are essentially reminding those followers of who you are, what you do and to remind them to keep you in their sights for when they do need your product or services.

Selling should be the last thing on your mind with your regular newsletters. Instead, offer great value that you know your followers will find useful and you will naturally get leads who respond that are interested in your service offerings when the time is right for them.

I’d love to hear what you think – do you have a newsletter that you send out regularly? Or is your list laying dormant, with months in between sendouts? Share your thoughts in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. For more tips on how to make your website get you the results you’re looking for, sign up for my free guide today. CLICK HERE: www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Urban Myth of Newsletter Provider Deliverability Rates

The Urban Myth of Newsletter Provider Deliverability Rates- What metric you SHOULD use to get the best deliverability rates

What metric you SHOULD use to get the best deliverability rates

In recent articles, I’ve talked about the importance of article/blog writing to help boost your business. I’ve listed reasons why you should add blogging to your marketing repertoire and also provided important tips on getting the most out of your blogging efforts.

In each of these articles, I talk about using those articles to send out to your newsletter list in order to keep top of mind with your subscribers.

This article will help you decide which newsletter provider you should choose and actually debunks the urban myth that deliverability rates should factor into your decision-making process.

After reading, you’ll be well equipped to get going with your newsletters. Do you already send out a regular newsletter? If so, share in the comments section below your experience with your newsletter provider and if not, tell us why you haven’t gotten to it yet!

Clients often ask me which email newsletter provider they should choose. So much so we decided to do some research and find out if one service can provide better deliverability rates or if this is just an urban myth.

Many people are under the illusion that choosing the “right provider” for their email newsletters has a direct impact on the deliverability of their newsletters; that choosing one over another may result in their emails being caught up in spam filters, or vice-versa.

Fortunately, that really isn’t the case.

Major Email Service Providers (ESP’s) such as Mailchimp or Aweber, comply with strict anti-spam policies to ensure the best delivery rates possible. They even work with Mail Service Providers to ensure their services aren’t black listed.

This includes tools such as providing customers with spam score analysis, tips on avoiding spam, and warning (or even disabling the accounts of) customers should their messages result in higher than acceptable spam filter ratings.

Nowadays, the difference in delivery rates between major ESP’s is negligible.

Sending out an email blast with the same content, one through a provider such as Infusionsoft, and the other 1ShoppingCart, isn’t going to affect the amount of people that see your email.

In saying that, the one thing we have noticed is that 1ShoppingCart can be a bit slower at sending out emails than its competitors. This can be a detriment to your marketing campaigns if people are not receiving their confirmation email right away.

What Does Affect Email Deliverability?

The important aspect of keeping your emails going to your recipient’s inboxes, and not their junk folder, is remembering to avoid common spam-triggering mistakes that will get your newsletters marked as spam.

Things like using:

  • Subject lines with “Free Offer” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity!” in them,
  • Excessive exclamation or dollar signs in the subject line, or
  • Using poorly coded HTML

So, how do you choose the right ESP for you?

That all depends on what you’re looking for; often it boils down to costs and ease of use. Here are five of our top picks and their benefits:

  1. Mailchimp

    Mailchimp is a very simple to use and most importantly, free email service provider for accounts with up to 2,000 subscribers, with monthly subscriptions available based on list size for larger accounts.
     
    The minimalistic user interface makes setting up newsletters and autoresponders a breeze, and Mailchimp offers a robust feature set, including advanced analytics, third party application support, and even a mobile app.
     
    We often recommend using Mailchimp to new business owners who are just building their list. With the cost being free (unless they want to set up an auto responder series), there’s little reason to not go with them.

  2. Aweber

    A monthly subscription-based service, Aweber offers premium features such as a selection of hundreds of customizable templates, over 6,000 free stock images to use, unlimited autoresponders and subscriber segmenting.
     
    The monthly fee starts at $19 for lists of up to 500 subscribers, and they also offer a free 30 day trial.

  3. Constant Contact

    Constant Contact offers unlimited broadcasts and lists as well as a plethora of application integrations such as Facebook and Salesforce, image and file storage, and real-time stat tracking for a monthly fee.
     
    Constant Contact starts at $15/month for up to 500 subscribers, and they currently offer a 60 day free trial.

  4. 1ShoppingCart

    Combining an shopping-cart and payment processing system for selling products and services online with a fully-featured email service platform is a great way to operate an online business.
     
    With support for up to 10,000 products, digital product delivery, unlimited autoresponders and questionnaires, an affiliate program and more, 1ShoppingCart is designed as an all-in-one service for online businesses.

  5. InfusionSoft

    InfusionSoft is an alternate option to 1ShoppingCart. I often refer to it as a Cadillac that offers a lot of email marketing, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and eCommerce tools all under one roof.
     
    If you have plans to build your list into the thousands and also offer products or services for sale on your website, InfusionSoft is worth exploring. It’s monthly costs are higher and the learning curve is quite steep, but well worth the investment for serious marketers.

If you choose one of the major newsletter service providers to use for your sendouts, you shouldn’t have any problems with THEIR deliverability but it is important to ensure YOU create newsletters that won’t get caught in the spam filters.

We have first-hand experience using all of the above email services; for more information and additional service options we recommend, visit this page.

Do you send out consistent newsletters? Which is your favourite newsletter service provider? And if you don’t send out newsletters… tell us why?

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Stop Hiding in the Closet! 5 Ways an eNewsletter Can Skyrocket your Visibility

Retirees newsletterAre you guilty of being a best kept secret? You know what you offer is incredible; when you sit down and talk with people you can sense their curiosity.

Now imagine if you had the ability to have coffee with hundreds, or even thousands of people at the same time. Do you realize the impact this would have on your business?

Having an eNewsletter gives you the ability to have intimate conversations with your target market and dramatically increase your market reach.

Yet many people pass up this golden opportunity to build relationships and increase sales. Are you one of them?
If you don’t have a newsletter, here are 5 compelling reasons every business should start one now:

  1. Tells customers what you do. No one wants to be sold, but everyone wants to buy. Writing a regular newsletter gives you an opportunity to educate potential customers about your offerings and more importantly, share your expertise so that they can get to “know, like and trust” you.

    Sending quality, information-filled articles allows you to talk about the challenges your customers face and share your expert advice that will help them. When customers truly understand what you do and that you truly understand their struggles, they are much more likely to click and buy your products and services.

  2. Builds relationships and trust. When you first connect with a new prospect it takes time to build a relationship and email is a direct, personal and casual way to connect. Reaching out regularly with an email newsletter gives you the opportunity to build a one-on-one relationship with potential customers. As they develop trust in your brand they are more likely to buy and spread the word about what you do.

    A newsletter will drive more traffic and engagement than any other platform period!

  3. Expands your market coverage. When you mail a newsletter to your customers, not only does it go to your customers’ inbox, but your newsletter can also be leveraged in multiple ways for your business. It’s a genius way to instantly expand your visibility on multiple channels and reach new prospects.

    For instance, you can publish the article on your blog and post links to the article on social media and various article directories. Moreover, posting the article on your website can also drive organic search engine traffic to your website and boost your search engine rankings.

  4. Creates a 24/7 sales force on your behalf. In addition to sending your newsletter live, you can also setup autoresponders with a series of content through your newsletter service provider. Imagine having a free salesman that sends helpful tips and personal notes to prospects! Best of all, you can automate the process using services like aWeber, Constant Contact, MailChimp or even 1ShoppingCart.
  5. Develops a “ready-to-buy” market list. When you take the time to nurture a relationship with your subscribers, your mailing list becomes the perfect means to announce new products and services you are launching. Now when you create a new service, product, or have a special promotion, you’ll have a group of hungry-to-buy prospects that are eager to hear what you have to offer.

So what are you waiting for?

Hands down, an eNewsletter is one of the most effective marketing tools for your business. Even if you are busy, you can hire a marketing assistant, delegate it to a marketing team, or map out the time on your calendar.

I invite you to take the plunge, start a newsletter, and watch your sales and visibility grow!

If you haven’t started up a newsletter yet, please share below your reasons for not doing so (yet) and if you have any questions that I can help answer about the process.

To your continued success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".