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May 19, 2018

The Wrong Way to Introduce Your First Newsletter


You wouldn't hug a complete stranger. So, if the red-head in the photo approached you on the street, you'd likely back away and think WTF. Even if he wants a date, that's a pretty lame approach.

We don't have much room for needy strangers in our small business lives. It's enough work to keep up with friends and colleagues. So why the heck would any business person send a newsletter to a stranger that starts like this... ?
We spent many hours and resources on researching, writing, proofing and designing this newsletter. As a valued customer, we are offering this newsletter to you for FREE!
newsletter example
newsletter example
It's too bad they spent all those hours and resources. And too bad they didn't know FREE newsletters haven't been unique for a very long time. Next, they'll wonder why email marketing isn't working for them.

Especially for your very first issue, there are a few basic things to include. The most important is to give value or point out the value to your reader immediately.

Concentrate on building relationships and gaining fans before you start asking for hugs.

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May 15, 2018

Finding a New Angle for Your Best Information



Stuck, uninspired, unmotivated, feeling stale - anyone who blogs regularly is going to experience those things from time to time. Especially when we're busy, it's hard to take time to get inspired.

Sometimes I don't need inspiration so much as a new angle - a different perspective or approach to information, advice and ideas I've already covered. And that's where answerthepublic.com comes in.

Its insights are based on the data of web searches and it shows you results graphically. In no time you'll pin down an approach, and be writing and done. The image above (cropped) is from my search of the term "enewsletters" and here are the report results.

The next time you just need the spark of an idea to get going, try answerthepublic.com.

May 10, 2018

I Haven't Been Walking My Marketing Talk


If you've been in a classroom with me or even chatted over coffee, you'll have heard me say something like, "You just have to start somewhere and then it'll be easier to keep going and trying new things." Of course, I'd be talking about some aspect of online marketing - likely newsletters, blogging or social media.

It was a rude awakening to realize I haven't been doing that myself lately. I've gotten into a rut with my own marketing. And that's sooo not good. Complacency snuck up on me.

When I give advice to others, I have to be an example too, so I'm super conscious of maintaining a somewhat regular blogging schedule and showing up in inboxes and on social media consistently. Occasionally I pat myself on the back for doing a good job.

The problem is, I haven't changed the platforms I'm using in a long time. Platforms are tools in the marketing world to help us achieve our goals. They can get stale or the tactics for using them can change.

I'm involved with organizing Social Media Day Halifax 2018 and only just realized I'd better learn how to do social media on my phone because I can't drag my laptop around all day. (At home, I have a huge monitor - what could be better than that for keeping up with, well, everything?)

Not only that, there are LOTS of platforms I had never thought to explore - livestreaming and podcasting, Instagram and chatbots, and...... It's definitely time to break my routine, like I tell everyone else to do, and start somewhere new.

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May 4, 2018

Role-based Email Addresses and Why You Aren't Reaching Them


Bulk email service providers, like iContact, maintain a list of email address prefixes which they prevent sending to. This is because the role-based email addresses on the list are often meant to be used by groups of people, rather than single recipients. That makes it more likely your emails to these addresses will be flagged as spam (which sucks!).

Here are a few examples: admin@, contact@, mail@, and support@. Click here to see iContact's partial list of Role Email Addresses. Oh, and if you ever notice you have subscribers with email addresses starting with spamtrap@, you'll know they took your free giveaway but never want to hear from you (it's on the list).

Any email address with a prefix on that list will never receive a bulk email you send. If you don't use iContact, find out what the prohibited list is for your provider.

What does this mean when collecting addresses to add to your list? You'll want to ask for an alternate email address if given one of those listed.

It also means, if you use any of these email address prefixes for your own business, you do not want to use them to sign up for bulk email you really want to receive.

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