On Saturday I asked in my Facebook group …
What do you want from this group? – How can I help?
And this is what Sharon Hanton commented…
I appreciate all your content Sarah. You’re so generous with the information you share for free. I’ve been working through your email course and it’s been very helpful so far.
I already had a Mailerlite account and had sent a couple of newsletters to my clients but I didn’t realise I could create a template and link the logo and use my brand colours, etc. I’ve now created a much more eye-catching and professional looking newsletter – I’m excited to send out the next one.
I just wish I could think of things to write about! Content creation is probably my biggest headache. I don’t find it easy to write blogs and article, etc.
And so this blog and my latest Website Wednesday live are the result of answering this comment – if you prefer to watch the video rather than read, come on over to my Facebook group and click on the Guides section at the top, and you will find the video there.
Your Online Audience Followers
Your online audience Followers are anyone who follows you wherever you show up on the internet. So this could be on your social media accounts, or your website visitors or your email subscribers.
You need to treat these followers like you would real-life relationships, you wouldn’t make friends with someone and then ignore them and this is the same with your online audience followers. You would chat to them, ask them questions, regularly communicate with them and nuture that relationship.
The same goes for when someone says they are happy to receive emails from you.
Where someone has expressed an interest in receiving information from you. They want to receive news, updates, events, special offers, tips, useful products.
So please don’t ignore them or they are very likely to go somewhere else.
How can they sign up with you
- Email signup forms on your website
- Seeing clients 1-2-1? – Make sure to ask them during your consultation if they want to be on your email list
- Do you have an online shop? Maybe they have bought a product or service from your online shop and opted in
- During a talk about your specialised subject – ask them to sign up to your email list, collect their names and emails so you keep them up-to-date
- If you go to fayres or events – take a clipboard and create a form for them to sign up on – or take your laptop so they can signup straight on your website
- From your Facebook page, link your CTA button at the top to your website email signup form
What is an email newsletter?
Please don’t let the term “newsletter” put you off. Just like you would create a blog to share helpful content and information on your website for your visitors, an email newsletter is where you are sharing information with your email audience via an email that will arrive in their inbox.
Newsletters can be made up of text, images, videos, audios, buttons or GIF’s
It can be made up of a simple 1 line tip or it can be more structured and contain several sections
It’s completely upto you how you structure your email newsletter but please do write in your own “voice”. If you are a sole trader or a small business like most of my followers are, then you are the person behind the business so talk to them on the email as if they were standing in front of you and you are giving them advice.
Start with a great headline
Average open rates for emails are around 27.9% for all industries and the average click through rate is around 12.79% (according to Mailerlite so starting with a great headline will help your email to be noticed.
Think back to the last time you read a book or a newspaper article, I’m sure the headline was a good reason why you started to read in the first place.
Headlines need to be interesting, captivating and pique the interest of your readers so that they click to open the email and once they’ve opened it, the content is so interesting they want to click through and take some kind of action.
Most inboxes will truncate the headline so I recommend no more than 60 characters and putting the “best bit” at the beginning will give you the best chance of it being opened. And don’t forget to add the subscriber’s name in the headline, this will personalise the email and again help with open rates.
Your Email Content
Make your content simple to read, in a conversational tone. And like I mentioned above, type in the same way you speak. Don’t think that you have to adjust your tone just because you are sending an email to multiple people on your list. For example, I sign all of my emails Hugs Sarah x because I am a huggy person and so I sign off my emails that way in my “mass” emails too.
Try using bullet points to convey information in an easy to digest format so that people can “skim” read your email but still get the golden nuggets you are sharing without wading through pages of text.
Here are 12 types of email content you can include in your newsletters
Welcome series of emails
- – when someone signs up to your email newsletter, add an automated email or series of emails sharing your lead magnet, then a couple of days later, check back in with them to see if they found it helpful, then another couple of days send another sharing some more information about business. You can set these automated workflows up within your Email Service Provider software – I personally love Mailerlite and use them for my own emails
Talk about a particular service you offer – what are the benefits they could achieve , what are the results they could get from using this service, what to expect before, during or after the service you offer
Talk about a particular product you use or offer – share with your readers how they can use the product, maybe in an interesting way that they hadn’t thought of before
A behind the scene look at your business/your business premises. Share what your setup looks like, what you actually do before you speak to your clients, and what you do afterwards. People are curious or like me nosey and so love seeing what’s happening behind the scenes, share the bits they don’t normally get a chance to see
Share and educate your readers on the latest trends in your industry. If you are a member of an association in connection with what you offer, share whats happening out there in the big bad world
Share your opinion about a latest news article about a topic in your industry. Keep an eye on blog posts from businesses within your industry and comment on the news articles
Daily, weekly and monthly and awareness days. At the time of writing today is World Stationery Day – “Forget text messages and emails for a day, and return to the days of hand-written thoughtful letters by breaking out your old stationery and writing to your loved ones.” May is National Walking Month, Make May Purple/Action on Stroke month and Share a Story month. Check out awareness.com for awareness days that compliment what you offer and write about those
Employee or customer spotlight. If you are a sole trader, share some information about you that your followers wouldn’t necessarily know. If you have a team, ask them 4 or 5 questions and do a Q&A session in your newsletter. Or ask one of your customers who is getting good results if you can do a quick interview with them and share their before and after results
Guides – send them useful information on how to use the products or services you sell – this could be a video or a quick checklist or use a series of images to remind them how they can be utilising what they have bought from you (or are yet to buy from you but maybe now will be tempted!)
Occasionally send promotional emails selling your special offers and packages with “exclusive offers” for subscribers. People like to feel that they are part of an exclusive group, so why not offer your subscribers offers that aren’t available to joe public
FAQ’s – Ask your followers in your social media posts to ask you questions – then feature the Q&A in an advice column in your newsletter. If 1 person wants to know the answer to something, you can bet that others do too
Ask for their feedback and embed a survey – most of the email provider solutions will have a survey module you can include in your newsletter. Maybe you can use it just for a brief “just for fun” 1 question survey to make your reader smile and engage with you or by asking questions in a longer survey you can get answers that will allow you to take action in your business (What don’t you like about xxx, what else would like help with etc)
Summary – What to share in your email newsletters
- Yes you do need to start an email list, start today!
- Start by opening an account with an email service provider – I like Mailerlite – if you’re not sure how check out my “How to create your email list mini-course”
- Decide how often you are going to email your subscribers and then put the dates in your diary – consistency is much better than bombarding them for a couple of weeks then ignoring them for months
- Create your first headline – think what would make you open that email – make it interesting
- Choose one of the 12 content suggestions above and get typing
- Very important Click SEND or Click Schedule
- Don’t overthink it, your ideal clients will love you for sharing
- Let me know when you’ve done it, I love to hear when you’ve taken action email@example.com
I hope this has been helpful. Until next time