What you want is fans. Let's dispel a newsletter myth. The myth is that you want to keep as many subscribers as you can. That's simply not true. You pay for subscribers. If someone is not reading or forwarding your newsletter, why do you want to send it to them? And you don't really want to annoy people.
Have a simple escape route:
Make it easy to unsubscribe.
Tell people it's easy to unsubscribe.
Tell them how to do it.
It's not personal! Just because someone unsubscribes from your newsletter, it doesn't mean they have unsubscribed from you. And, if people know it's easy to unsubscribe, maybe they'll stick around a little longer... ?
You want to start strong and the way to do that is to make a personal connection with your readers. While there are many ways to make that connection in each issue, your first issue is where you set up expectations about the value you'll provide. It's often the point at which subscribers choose to stay or go.
Here are some things you might want to include: Write your introduction to your ideal client.Acknowledge that this is your first issue and that you appreciate your readers' attention.Tell readers what they'll be getting and how often. Outline the benefits of staying subscribed.If you have added your customers and business contacts to your subscriber list without their express permission, acknowledge that you have done so and why you have. (For example, you might say that they have bought something from your store, or you met at a networking event.)Tell readers that it's easy to unsubscribe via the footer in this and every email.Ask for feedback and suggestions…
During one of our January workshops in Regina, we had a discussion about our ‘ideal clients’ vs. our ‘favourite clients’. I look on them as being the same thing but I discovered that this isn’t true for everyone.
It became evident during our chat that there was one very specific defining characteristic that made some clients ‘ideal’ but not ‘favourite’. Can you guess what that was? Money.
Once we got past financial gain and started talking about our favourite clients, another word kept coming up over and over again. That word was TRUST. Almost everyone mentioned it… wanting their clients to trust them and being able to trust their clients.
Do you have an important client that’s a real pain to work with but brings in half of your income? I’m not suggesting you should dump them. Not by a long shot. Some of those ideal client characteristics pull more weight than others and that will be different for each of us.
Last summer I sat down and listed 10 characteristics of our ideal clien…
Search engine optimization (SEO) has been low on my own priority list throughout the 15 years I've been marketing my own services. Yes, I freely admit I've been mostly ignoring it while doing just the basics.
This may seem like a blatant disregard for something that's portrayed more and more frequently as essential. It's actually been a strategic decision for my business... not an oversight. Why?
SEO is complicated, time-consuming and expensive. It's a skill I've never desired to acquire. It's technical and behind-the-scenes, whereas I like doing work that can be seen (and yes, sometimes admired). Hiring help for SEO would be a big expense.
The goal of SEO is generally to attract strangers. Over the years, I've wasted time with a few 'tire kickers'. Those are people who have stumbled across my website, know nothing about my experience or the quality of my work, and have focused on price comparisons. I have never competed on price - my pricing is …
Getting other people to share our information is hard work, whether it is a blog post or a workshop announcement. We can be more successful when someone sends an email to a friend or retweets a message about our next event. Whatever our important information is, getting it out to a broader audience is a key marketing goal.
I share a lot of information relevant to my small business market via several different methods. When I want to share someone's sale announcement or event details, I'm sometimes frustrated by how hard it is and, unless it's a friend or client, I'm likely to give up before too long.
Here are three suggestions for making your information (event, sale campaign, product launch, and so on) more easily shared. Put the information somewhere on a page of its own. Ideally this would be your website but might also be a blog post, Facebook event, EventBrite listing or any number of other ways to get your information online. A unique url is the goal so intereste…
A wrap-up article is a logical and unique grouping of pieces of content where the grouping provides value to the reader beyond the individual pieces on their own. You might think of it like a themed gift basket.
There are several reasons we need to be creating these wrap-up articles. They... serve as a great resource - valuable information grouped togetheruse commonly searched keywords and phrases (good SEO)encourage deeper readingare often faster to createprovide a process to repurpose past contentremind us of what we've written and provide inspiration to write more
Wrap-up articles serve us better than just about any other content we might create. Of course, we have to be creating content on a regular basis to be able to wrap it up.
There are lots of different ways to group pieces of content: by topic - e.g. content idea generation, writing tipsby use - e.g. how-to, conceptual, tipsby thing - e.g. infographics, videosby user - e.g. for beginners, for expertsto conclude a series -…
There is so much I want to write about but, oddly enough, first I'm going to write about one of the sessions I didn't get to attend - Mike Tanner's Beyond The Mic: The Real Work of Podcasting. Here's the thing - Mike recorded his session and posted it to his podcast (the same day!)
Mike talks about starting a podcast in the same way I talk about starting a newsletter...
What's the best way?What do you want to do?What can you do? Taking on too much can be a quick path to failure. If you can figure out how to fit it into your regular activities, you'll have more success. It's an important message for all of our small business activities. I encourage you to listen to Mike's podcast.
Have you ever fallen into the trap of making a change because of one single piece of feedback? It's happened to me and I've seen it happen to others. Don't change your brand's font (or anything else) because one person doesn't like it.
One person's preferences will never represent a significant sample of your target market.
We want feedback, we ask for feedback, and when we get it, we feel we have to act on it. Not so. Instead, we need to think about it, give it careful consideration, and get more feedback from our target market - because it's their opinion that matters when it comes to our marketing.
Having prepared and sent over a thousand different newsletters, this is what I know to be true: mistakes happen. There are so many opportunities for error that I still cringe inwardly when I click 'publish'.