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…
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 -…
Change is a wonderful thing - it keeps life interesting. It allows our businesses to evolve and do better. When we can plan and drive change successfully, it can be very rewarding.
Then there's the change that's forced on us. You know, like when your website hosting company goes belly up. Or your PC dies at an inconvenient time, precipitating an unplanned but long-thought-about change to Mac. Or when the bulk email application you've been using for 10 years keeps dumping functionality that you and your clients need. (OK that last one is me.) Forced change is rarely pleasant and it's hard to get excited about how things will be better when we're buried in the work of making the change. And, of course, it never happens at a convenient time!
Managing risks can be complicated. I wish I had acted sooner. I'd like to think I'll learn from this experience and act sooner next time. Procrastination is sometimes convenient, and sometimes worthwhile, but certainly not…
It's always useful to check in on your blog stats so you can see what people are interested in reading. This year I'm a little surprised with some of the posts that have been read the most on Work Better, Not Harder. Here they are:
#1. 7 Out Of 12 Small Business Bloggers Agree On This When I teach marketing courses, the group eventually tires of seeing this list of key reasons for publishing a blog or newsletter come up on the screen in every class. Focus on only 2-3 main goals.
#2. Social Media Day Halifax 2018 Marketing Conference For the first time, Halifax celebrated Social Media Day in grand style this year. I'm proud to be one of the organizers of the first Social Media Day Halifax conference which took place on June 22nd.
When I see the words "try this" along with the words "your email subscribers" in a headline, I get a little antsy. The email I received today included "sneaky-favorite email sequences" in the body text.
Here's the thing, if you're delivering value to your readers on a regular basis, you don't need to do anything sneaky. If your readership is dropping off, start delivering more value. Keep giving the thing your readers signed up for... or give even more of it.
Being sneaky may result in short term gains (i.e. your stats look better for a month) but it will tarnish your reputation and long term results. Being sneaky means you've run out of value to give and you're getting desperate.
You're not there yet. You only have to keep discovering the value that your readers want. Do a little research... get inspired.
This isn't really a social media tutorial, but I do get asked frequently how to pay my online invoices from FreshBooks if one doesn't have a PayPal account, or if one prefers to not go through PayPal. It’s really pretty simple and I used a recent invoice to make this quick video tutorial for you.
So, now you don’t have to put invoices through your PayPal account if you don't want to. And you don't have to ask if the person will accept another method of payment, or wait until the event occurs to pay. It’s simple and quick to pay online through PayPal, even if you don't want to log in to your account (or if you don’t have one). This also means, there’s really no reason why small business owners should be afraid to have PayPal buttons on their website... because anyone can pay with a credit card, without having an account. And now you have a video to send them to!
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.
Every small business owner knows what it feels like to have a "million" things to do and nowhere near enough time. We are constantly prioritizing, sometimes deliberately and sometimes less consciously. During the past month, I've done a heck of a lot of prioritizing. Some of you may remember the old screensavers where raindrops would run down your screen. That feels like my calendar lately, all the tasks slipping later in the day.
Last week I needed to start some strategic planning and knew I needed to get focused fast. On-the-fly prioritizing wouldn't cut it. My marketing hero, Bernadette Jiwa read my mind and came to the rescue. I encourage you to read her article Always, Sometimes, Never for a simple approach to business planning. I hope it helps you as much as it's helped me at a time when a quick way to get focused was critical to making progress. Click to Tweet this Article originally published in the Work Better, Not Harder newsletter May 30, 2019