My 30 Day Blogging Challenge continues.
The tag [TIME SAVED] shows you where a Virtual Assistant (such as Virtual Hand) can save you time by doing these elements. This allows you to do what you love in your business as well as what you are good at.
Are you communicating with your list?
When people come onto our list – oh you haven’t got one? Well, that’s the first step; getting people onto our list.
These people can come from signing up for your freebie (your giveaway), meeting at networking, online networking or anywhere where you have met someone and received permission to add them. We’ll come to your freebie in the next blog.
People are always at different stages in the buying cycle; some buy straight away and some people contact you 3 years later (as someone did for me yesterday) or even longer. Keeping top of mind and reminding them of your existence and what you can do to help them; what benefits they will achieve by working with you will ensure that when they are ready to buy they will contact you.
The other benefit of keeping in touch is that they may recommend you, forwarding your mailings to their contacts. In effect being a fan and supporting/promoting you and your business.
One way to regularly keep in contact (other than ‘in the moment’ social media) is by Newsletters [TIME SAVED]. There are many different platforms available to use and a number of simple ones that are free initially (until you add certain functionality). I use Mailchimp because it’s simple and I like simple; but there are others such as ConstantContact, Aweber and Infusionsoft.
I would recommend setting up a template [TIME SAVED] so that your audience recognise your style, logo and content each time – reinforcing your branding and message. These are so simple to do these days with a drag and drop creation facility and the duplication feature to open and edit existing mailings.
Developing a personalised header [TIME SAVED] (or just your logo) is that instant recognition and something you can create yourself in such packages as Canva or Picmonkey but equally get help from a graphic designer – perhaps they can create a header [TIME SAVED] which you can use over the different areas of your marketing (Twitter, Facebook, Leaflets etc) further. A footer can also be created and used in the same manner at the end of your Newsletter/Mailing.
How often? Is once a month enough? A Newsletter is generally accepted to be once a month but if that is all you are sending out it may not be enough to keep top of mind with your audience. A Newsletter can be created as a roundup – of News from the month, links to blogs, special offers, some education piece etc. And if once a month is all you can do then that is better than nothing at all or inconsistent mailings.
You may however, have a special promotion on and want to remind your list throughout the month of the offer, the deadline and the benefits of said offer so you may do a ‘campaign’ for that offer and mail weekly and the day before it ends; for example [TIME SAVED].
What you don’t want is sales, sales, sales with every mailing! The purpose of the letter is to communicate – this can come in the form of education, sharing knowledge and entertainment too. As above once a month is probably a minimum. Your content can be broken down over the month – perhaps sending one out about your blogs for the month (sharing knowledge), one with a particular service or product (education) and then one with the offer on (sales) and the end one a roundup.
A headline that intrigues or suggests something of interest are obviously best – people will be more inclined to open. It’s found that words like Free and Bonus are not so well received; perhaps too much hype having been disappointed before! Although Newsletter in the headline is received well – saying what it is on the tin and delivering said content.
I prefer short ones – if I open one up and it’s long I tend to think ‘too long, will save for later and guess what happens? Yes, I end up deleting and not reading – sometimes. If you are sending more than one a month it is easier to do shorter ones; engage with your audience but it may infact annoy your audience to receive so many in a month and you get an unsubscribe. Not a problem I hasten to add; if they are not receptive to your information, they are not your ideal client (or client at all) and it is far better to have a small list with potential clients than loads that just aren’t.
You may have a lot of content but using links rather than full posts keeps it shorter and enables the reader to choose – it also enables you to see what content is being looked at by the reports from the software.
Plain Text or HTML
Plain Text (writing) is seen straightaway in all email software however HTML can sometimes be reduced to white blocks that you have to right click and display images – or to view the content in your browser (internet). This may put people off and if all they see are white blocks they may just delete. I’m not a fan of these HTML ones (partly due to not being able to do them myself) and because of the aforementioned. They are however usually packed with information and great graphics. These can be created by a graphics company also to help with your branding and message so good to explore.
When considering a Newsletter or Mailing consider your audience – what will they want to know, see, hear about and how can you make contact and showcase your knowledge being top of mind for when they are ready to buy.
I’ve recently upped the number of newsletters for some offers (as I’ve a new website coming, etc) and yes I’ve had some unsubscribes – but I’m cool about it! What’s worked well in your Newsletter content and frequency?
Here cometh the end of Number 13 – Newsletters
Here’s a link to the Start in case you missed it.
One of the hardest parts of working for yourself is building up a strong presence and keeping your business profile in the hearts and minds of your audience. Why not download your FREE GUIDE on how to raise your profile as a freelancer here.
Connect with Michelle on other platforms too: Learn how you can work with Virtual Hand; how your business can grow and how you can communicate better with your audience.