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Showing posts from June, 2015

How a Newsletter can make You a Trusted Resource

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Curate to Become a Trusted Resource

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Whatever your specific goals are, your content needs to get read to have any impact and be valuable. It must be useful and interesting to get read. It must get read many times (consistency) to be trusted. You want to be that trusted resource.

I have a trusted resource for social media updates which is a great example of valuable curated content. Do any of us have time to keep up with all of the changes to the social media platforms? Yet we use them every day. I like to know about new functionality and new apps, but I don't have time to keep up. Getting a point form summary of all the changes in my inbox once a month is extremely valuable. It saves me time, I can dig deeper if I want, and I can use the information to make decisions about my social media strategy.

Curating content is a great strategy for providing timely updates about things that change fast. (Tweet This)

Want to see this great example? Click here to view Twirp Communications’ newsletter archive and open the most re…

Take Time to Take Vacation

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Does the thought of taking a vacation feel like work? Now that I'm my own boss, you'd think it'd be easy to take holidays. What I've come to realize is just the opposite.

Lately I've been thinking, “I need a real vacation.” By ‘real’ I mean a vacation where I’m not thinking about work or checking email or wondering if a newsletter got out on time or planning my next blog post. I've discovered there are two things that stop me from taking more vacations.

Money is an obvious reason. When I take vacation, I have to pay someone to work for me. For ‘billable’ work, this can mean that much of the revenue goes to expenses, and there is very little or no income for the vacation period. On top of that, I have to pay someone to do the things I do for ‘free’, such as responding to emails and phone calls. That quickly chews up any remaining revenue. And then there’s the cost of the vacation itself.

Really getting away from work is the other challenge. I received an email …

3 Wimpy Phrases to Avoid in a Newsletter

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These three phrases come up repeatedly in newsletter content - I've edited them out many times. I bet you're familiar with them, too.

“I want to tell you about...”
This is similar to the verbal, “All I'm saying is...” which my husband has adopted lately, or “Here’s the thing...” In an email or newsletter, just go ahead and tell us. If you really want to set the stage for something important, try “I have exciting news...” (But don’t add “... and here it is!”)

“Feel free to contact me...”
Does this mean people aren't usually free to contact you? It sounds like you're giving permission. As a call to action, it’s very wimpy. Lacking something more creative, “Please call me to...” will be more effective.

“If you have questions...”
Often used with the line above, this one adds to the wimpy-ness. It’s more effective to assume people will have questions. Try “Call me with your questions.” or "I'm happy to answer your questions." Or pick a different reason for t…

Alert: How to Increase your Open Rate by 38.1%

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I admit to having a bit of fun with that subject line but I'm not BSing you. Here is the statistic given by Adestra:

Using the word 'alert' in a subject line increases open rates by 38.1% (variance vs. average).
source: adestra.com/resources/infographics/4-steps-writing-killer-subject-line/

You have just participated in an experiment if you opened this post in your email - thanks!

If you can legitimately use 'alert' in your subject line, that's great. But beware - if your subject line is not relevant to the content within, you might get more opens but will lose credibility (and subscribers).

Another way to lose credibility is to quote incorrect information as fact. I originally stumbled across that statistic in an article by Hubspot: 19 Subject Line Stats Impacting Our Open Rates. This jumped off the page:

61.8% increase in opens when using the word 'alert' in subject lines. (Source:Adestra)

It seemed a little too good to be true and I immediately started…

Why a lot of eMail Marketing Advice is Wrong

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You might be thinking I'm off my rocker using that subject line, since I regularly dish out email marketing advice. The thing to remember is that almost all the advice you'll read is situational.

One expert will say that subject lines like "Wow" or "Hey" work best, while another will tell us to avoid them at all costs.

Because I have experience with informational marketing for small businesses in particular, I evaluate all of the advice I read in that context. Sometimes I get great ideas that I can use with one or more clients, but rarely do I read anything new that would apply to all of them. That's because a really successful email campaign needs to be specific in its strategy.

Here are some of the things that will affect your strategy:
if you sell to consumers or to businesses, or bothyour very specific target marketif you have a small or large listif you know your subscribers or don'thow new subscribers get on your listhow much and what informat…