An email newsletter is a well proven way to provide value to your customers and contacts. But the competition for space in people’s inboxes is fierce. If you’re going to invest time and money in email marketing, you’ll need to step out strong. Your first message will set the stage for what your readers can expect in the future. Feel the pressure to get it right.
The trouble is, you don’t know what you don’t know. While there are many things you’ll learn from trial and error, there are a few critical things you need to do well from the start.
Here’s a checklist to help you gauge your readiness:
1. Have you clearly defined your goals? If not, write them down now. Here’s a list to help.
2. Do you know what your potential readers want? What’s of value to them? If not, get this straight before you go further. Here are some ways to think about that.
3. Are you ready to commit to a schedule? Once you start sending a newsletter, an erratic schedule will also make you appear erratic. You want to be consistent and repetitive.
4. Do you know what bulk email software you’re going to use? Ask others for advice – make sure you’re hearing from people who have actually used the application. Pay money for a good, unbranded app because free is free for a reason.
5. Have you assembled your mailing list? And do you understand how the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) affects your list building efforts and sending procedures? Here are several articles about the various aspects of CASL and the possible impacts on your small business.
These items are hefty and each requires considerable thought and research. It’s worth it to make the effort to get it right!
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