Keeping in touch with your customers and readers through email is a powerful decision for your business. Even if you have a large social media following, those platforms can change at any time (hello Facebook!) You do not want your connection to your audience dependent on anyone but you.
When a customer willingly gives you her email address, she is inviting you into her life. She has asked for communication from you, so give her your best! Here are 5 simple steps to get your newsletter up and running.
Know Your Audience
Before deciding what your newsletter will be about, you have to know your reader. What are her hopes and dreams? How about her fears or deepest desires? The better you know her, the more authentic and genuine your newsletters will be. Take some time to really think about who your ideal reader is and what she wants. Better yet, actually talk to some potential clients to pick their brains. Decide how you want your reader to feel after reading your email. Will she be motivated, inspired, amused?
Write Your Editorial Calendar
Once you have a good idea of what your client wants to read, start brainstorming as many topics as you can. Try to come up with at least 50 ideas. Even if you will not actually write each one, this gets your brain thinking in a new way. Once you have a good list, cross out anything that you are not excited about. If you are just trudging through this newsletter, your readers will feel it. Choose topics that light you up. Then determine how often you will send your newsletter and schedule it. You could start with once per week, every other week or monthly. It's best to have a regular calendar so your reader knows when to expect your newsletter
Develop a Free Gift
Because we all receive so many emails every day, you have to be able to provide real value in order for someone to be motivated to sign up for your newsletter. A free opt-in gift is a great way to do this. Now that you’ve thought about what your client needs, you can develop a free download that she will receive as a thank you for signing up. This could be a quiz, mini eBook, worksheets, webinar, audio recording, etc. Get creative and have fun!
Choose Your Service
Now that you know all the basics of your newsletter plan, it's time to dive in and start writing. When choosing a service, first determine your budget. Many services let you start with a basic package for free. MailChimp is a great place to start. If you are looking for all the bells and whistles, consider going with a paid service like Constant Contact. Just make sure you do your research so there are no surprises later on. Each of these companies have customer service agents who are on hand to answer any questions before you sign up.
Now comes the tricky part... actually sticking to your newsletter calendar! Once you start growing your audience with your newsletter, they will be counting on reading your content every week or month. Make sure to block time in your week to always get your newsletter done. Many customers will be on your email list for months or years before they actually buy from you, so give them your best stuff!