eBusiness Blog

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.

10 Things to Prevent Marketing Disaster Free Report

About the Author

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and eMarketing firm of over 10 years that specializes in building professional brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.evisionmedia.ca and grab your FREE report that will show you how to prevent your website from being a disaster.

Why Subject Lines Are the Most Critical Component to Newsletter Success

Newsletter SuccessOver the years, I have helped dozens of clients send out their weekly/monthly/periodic eNewsletters to their list.

Rarely do these clients give any thought to the most important element: The subject line.

Often I will write one for them. Or sometimes, I’ll pretend not to see their generic “Your (insert month here) newsletter” and write something else for them (shhhh, don’t tell them I do that!) However, sometimes they notice and ask me to put it back to what they had…

This is when I pull my hair out in frustration.

True confessions: I have to admit, it’s hard working with clients who feel they know better and override my expertise. Putting my ego aside, because I truly want to see them succeed, in my heart of hearts I know they are making a mistake and am left rendered helpless to do anything further about it.

It’s a tough spot to be in. (Insert violin music playing here.)

The thing is, a subject line is indeed the most critical component of your newsletter. Period.

You can have the most incredible article written that will literally change people’s lives. But if they never open the email, they will never read or experience your life-altering writing.

That’s how important a subject line is.

Just like a website headline, if the subject line does not compel your reader to read further, then your incredible prose has fallen on deaf ears.

Off to the deleted folder it goes.

Think about how many emails you’ve never opened due to the subject line simply not grabbing your interest?

So the next time you write your eNewsletter, give twice as much thought to the subject line as you did writing the article itself and see if you get better open rates as a result. I pretty much guarantee you will.

There are many different ways a subject line can be written that will get you the open rates you seek (I’ve got several books that are just on this subject alone!) At the very least, ask a question or make it a statement that elicits a need to open and read more.

What you want to do is put yourself in your reader’s shoes – what would get them to want to read more? Are you leading them to an answer that they will find in your article? Are you triggering their curiosity enough to make them feel they are missing out if they don’t read further?

Do some testing on what style is more effective. Always check your stats after each newsletter – what is the open rate percentage? Are those stats improving or declining with each send out?

If your eNewsletter provider allows it, try doing split-testing to see which style is more effective with your list.

Leave a comment below to share which subject line styles often compel you to open the email to read further and which ones do you almost always delete. What differences do you notice between the two?

To your incredible success,

Susan

10 Things to Prevent Marketing Disaster Free Report

About the Author

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and eMarketing firm of over 10 years that specializes in building professional brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.evisionmedia.ca and grab your FREE report that will show you how to prevent your website from being a disaster.

5 ways to put more spring into your marketing

Spring tulipsAh spring! The bounty of colours that erupt from the grey doldrums of winter that brings everything back to life again!

Spring is a time for rejuvenation and your business marketing efforts are perfect for revitalization. It’s time now to put more spring into your marketing and get more clients!

Here are five things you can start on today to get you started:

1)      Pick up the phone. Just as spring is a time of new beginnings for you, the same principle applies for your potential clients. People are in a hopeful, happy mood and are more amiable to making decisions, developing plans and moving forward. Pick up the phone and call your leads, past clients and those you met through your networking activities and introduce yourself, or remind them that you’re still around, and are here to help them.

2)      Conduct a promotion. Create a contest or some sort of promotion that’s tied in with Spring. If you’re in the cleaning or organizing industry, this is tailor made for you! However,  avoid discounting your services – instead, add in more of what you’ll give or do to the regular price. Discounting devalues your product or service but adding more value to an existing package is a win-win scenario for both of you!

3)      Spruce up your website.  If you haven’t updated your website in the past month or so, it’s time to give it a freshen-up. Just like you wouldn’t be reading the Friday newspaper to find out what happened on Monday, your prospects also don’t want to see old news on your website. Spruce it up to bring back some life to it! Here are some suggestions:

  1. Freshen up the  copy (text and images), especially on the home page, in a way that your prospects will find enticing.  Copy is King in the on-line world so don’t neglect this critical component of your website. If your copy isn’t well written, it’s not going to elicit much  trust from your potential clients nor compel them into action so be sure it’s written in a way that achieves your website goals.
  2. Give it an updated look. If your site was created more than 3 years ago, it’s time to bring it up to date. An old and tired looking website is not going to attract your ideal client.  The more enticing your site looks to your prospects, the more effective it will be at drawing them in and hiring you.
  3. Add a blog (or don’t forget about your blog!) A blog is a perfect way to keep your website copy fresh and new. Post an article once a week and not only will your prospects see that you are actively participating in your business (and seeing how much you know) but the search engines will reward you by bringing you up higher in the search engine rankings.
  4. Add an eNewsletter (or don’t forget about your eNewsletter!) A perfect way to keep in touch with your tribe (your eNewsletter subscribers) is to write to them at least once a month. This is a critical component to your marketing efforts and you will get results from it. It doesn’t have to be elabourate like mine, but it’s essential for you to showcase your knowledge and skill by writing short articles that will inspire, inform and educate your followers.

    Hint: Integrate this with your blog to cut down on writing so many articles!) By the way, if you’re having trouble getting people to sign up for your existing eNewsletter, you might want to consider hiring Dan to do some SEO for you – he’s brilliant at driving targeted traffic to your website!

  5. Add Social Media features to your site. If you’re participating in any of the social media channels, then it’s important you have those buttons and links on your website so you can send people to your accounts to follow you. Additionally, you can add social media sharing features to your site, especially your blog, so people can share your articles to their followers.

4)      Get active in Social Media.  There’s no avoiding it, social media is becoming more and more prominent, and expected, in today’s marketing efforts.  Incredibly,  I am hearing from some clients that they are not being considered for hire due to having a lack of followers on Facebook! Whether right or wrong, potential clients could judge you on your lack of participation in this arena so it’s worth taking a look at.  I know for some, it seems like a waste of time and honestly, I felt that way for a long time too. In the past year I’ve been doing more studying and working at social media and have found there are some key strategies that need to be in play in order for your efforts to not go to waste.

For those who are brand new to Facebook or did get started and didn’t do anything with it, check out my beginner’s guide to Facebook here. For those who are already active but are not seeing any kind of results yet, I suggest participating in the upcoming online Social Media Summit where you will learn tons from many top social media experts.

5)      Get out and network.  No amount of online efforts will ever replace the benefits of in-person networking. The key is to find the right networking events to participate in and there, you will gain a huge boost in building relationships and credibility. One of my mentoring clients, Janice Porter (Janice@janiceporter.com)  is a Networking master and I highly recommend you hire her as your personal mentor for networking – she will help prevent you from wasting your time and will teach you how to network effectively in order to build your client base .

If the above list seems overwhelming to you or you don’t know where, or how, to begin. One of my mentoring packages might be a good fit for you where I can walk you through each of these marketing channels and guide you to having a successful business this spring!

10 Things to Prevent Marketing Disaster Free Report

About the Author

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and eMarketing firm of over 10 years that specializes in building professional brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.evisionmedia.ca and grab your FREE report that will show you how to prevent your website from being a disaster.

 

The Anatomy of an Effective eNewsletter

Congratulations! You decided to write a regular newsletter and are psyched to get started (or start again as the case may be).

Before you dive into writing, it’s important to plan your newsletter so you get optimal results. Also, it’s very important to remember your newsletter is not meant to be a promotional piece but rather a content rich resource where your subscribers will want to ensure they don’t miss an edition because they know it will be worth their while.

Here is a brief summary of the components that should make up your newsletter:

  1. A Personal Note: In order to build a “know like and trust” factor with your readers, you want to give them some insight to who you are personally. I’m not saying you have to share what you ate for breakfast that morning (unless nutrition is your business!) but do share something casual or interesting that your readers would love to know more about. If you feel uncomfortable with sharing personal information, then share what seminars you’ve taken, what books you’ve read, what hobby you’re into – anything so people make a connection that you are a human being just like them! Include a photo pertaining to what you’re talking about if you can as this enhances the relationship building you want to achieve.
  2. Client Showcase/Raving Fans. This can be in the form of showcasing new clients or a way to post client testimonials who are your raving fans. Make this section more than just a couple of sentences – you want this to be more a short case study that details the benefits of what you did for a client and why they are so happy with your product/service. Have a photo of the client and link to their website so it becomes a win-win scenario and they get good exposure for writing you such a rave review.
  3. Feature Article: this is the main point of your newsletter. There are a couple of ways to do this and I suggest you give them both a try and monitor your results:
    1. Place the full article in the body of the newsletter
    2. Have just the first paragraph of the article in the newsletter and then link to the full article that is also posted in your blog. This serves a couple of purposes: 1) sends people back to your website and 2) the article posted in the blog is great for search engines and can also be posted to your social media sites at the same time.

    Be sure to add a note at the bottom of your article inviting readers to repurpose it in their own newsletters or website. Give them a short paragraph that must accompany the repurposed article that provides a call to action for the reader to go to your site and get your free giveaway or sign up for your newsletter.

  4. Where You Are: If you do presentations, talks, demonstrations or anything where the public could come and see you, add this section in that details the dates of these events and what you’ll be doing. If you are wanting to showcase yourself as an expert in your industry, include other events such as attending seminars, high-end coaching sessions or travel destinations.  
  5. Your Assignment. Often an article can be accompanied with a “to do” action item. Something you can tell your readers to do to get them into action with what they just read. Like what I’ll have below this article…
  6. Recommendations: This section can be used for you to recommend something you would find of value to your readers. This can be a book, a recipe, a service or product… whatever you wish! If possible, you can use this opportunity to become an affiliate of the item you are promoting and gain commissions on any sales that might come of it.
  7. Your bio/profile. Have a spot at the bottom of the newlsetter reminding your readers of who you are. Craft a concise “20 second elevator pitch” that speaks to the problems people have that you can solve for them. Finish with a call to action by contacting you for a free ‘get acquainted’ session or whatever your free offer is.

Your Action Assignment:
Think about a question a client asked you this week OR think about an interesting idea you came across you want to share with your readers. Start writing down what you want to say – don’t worry about the grammar, just get your thoughts onto paper. Once that hard part is done, then flush out the rest of your newsletter by following the formula above. For the intro, what personal thing can you share? Do you like to garden? Cook? Do you have an interesting hobby? What about your kids that you can boast about? Let your readers get some insight into your life so they can start to get to know the real, authentic you. Lastly return back to your main article and either refine it yourself or send it to your VA, assistant or newsletter guru to get it polished for you.

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About the Author: Susan is president/founder of eVision Media, a web development and eMarketing firm specializing in building effective brands for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations for over 10 years. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she is able to provide an authentic and personalized service for those wanting a trustworthy member of their team for their brand & marketing design, website development and SEO/eMarketing needs. Contact Susan today for a free 30 minute “get to know you session” on helping you build your website presence to be the effective marketing tool is can be. susan@evisionmedia.ca or visit www.evisionmedia.ca.