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Showing posts from January, 2012

Get more Mileage from Your Newsletter

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OK, so you're all set up with your branded design, great content and a bunch of subscribers that want your emails. What about paper newsletters? So 30 seconds ago? Rethink that.

Depending on what you do, you may be able to get more mileage from your electronic newsletter in paper form. Here are 3 ways:

Prospecting and Sales
Print paper copies of your newsletter to take on sales calls and to networking events. Include an issue in kit folders. If you do speaking or training, take copies to hand out to participants. Your newsletter shows off your expertise - put it in people's hands. You can also use it to encourage new subscribers.

Point of Sale
If you have a cash register, put paper copies of your newsletter beside it. Use it as an example of what subscribers can expect. Even better, make it easy for your customers by offering to sign them up right on the spot. If you have office space, place paper newsletters in the reception area.

Communication
This may come as a surprise, but …

Prevent Scope Creep

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All big projects have the potential for scope creep - uncontrolled changes in project scope. It results in missed deadlines, budget overruns and altered deliverables.

We entrepreneurs can be guilty of this when it comes to operating our businesses. It’s easy to get distracted by new opportunities and ideas. It’s sort of what small business is all about: being flexible enough to jump on opportunities.

I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. It can be fun and challenging but sometimes not very productive. I’ve created 30 or so workshops that I have no desire to sell. My branding and website have undergone many renditions. Was I being productive during those hundreds of hours? It felt like it. I was busy but, oops, I wasn’t making any money.

In January 2010 I set my theme for that year to be ‘FOCUS’. It stayed my theme for 2011 and I’m finally seeing the results of my intentions. (In fact, I’m satisfied enough to pick a new theme for 2012.) I did it by creating simple rules for myself.

He…

The Importance of Your Subject Line

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Most people have email boxes that are overflowing and not enough time to read it all. If you are like me, a day out of the office can bring dread when I finally get back to my desk... and my inbox! Your subject line needs to prompt your subscriber to open your message.

To avoid spam filters, a quick Google search will unearth lists of words not to use in an email subject line. Getting past the spam filter is just the first step - you still need to encourage your recipient to open your email.

Help your subscribers save time with your email subject line. Make your subject line instantly recognizable in their inbox and include the main topic contained within.

If they are really busy, they can file it for later reading or delete it without having to take the time to open it. Although they may not read every issue, they will appreciate your effort. Better still, if the topic is of interest to them, they are more likely to open and read it later. Your subject line will be a repeated reminde…

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

OK, so you might need 34 letters to say "I feel good!" in some circumstances. But I can't ever imagine needing 340 words to say "expect glitches".

A client of mine received this email below from an online service provider. No, you won't want to read it anymore than she did. Want to know the short version? Scroll down.

Salesforce.com is committed to providing a highly available service to our customers. We are committed to continued investments to increase the overall uptime of our service, to deliver optimal value to our customers. With that, we are excited to announce a major advancement in this area for our major releases, effective with our Spring '12 release.What is the change?We are happy to inform you that we are improving our major release upgrade process. This improvement means that your organization will be generally available during our major release upgrade windows.Note: The term "Generally Available" means that we are conducting mai…

Your Goals Shape Your Content

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You may have several goals you want to achieve by way of your newsletter (substitute website, blog and/or social media as it applies to you). Probably you want to increase sales. Here are some other possible related goals: 'Touching' your customers, prospects and colleagues on a regular basisBuilding strong business relationshipsDeveloping your reputation and sphere of influenceSharing your valuable information, products, and servicesBeing seen as an expertGrowing your fans, followers and blog readershipKeeping up with your competition
These all may well be good reasons to have a newsletter. The ones that are most important for you will depend on what type of business you have, how long you’ve been in business, what your competitive situation is, and more.

You should be able to pick 2-3 goals to specifically focus on - then match your content to those goals. (It's simple logic, but sometimes we forget.) For example, if building your reputation is a goal, then include conten…