In my last post, Consulting Newsletters, I shared with you the story of how using email newsletters has landed me some big clients.
Today I’m going to share how to set up and use these newsletters effectively.
Select an Email Newsletter Service
The first step is to select your email newsletter service.
There are 3 services I recommend:
- Mailchimp – very user friendly, they have a free account, and lots of options.
- iContact – the fee is monthly, not per send, and has low entry costs.
- Aweber – great for email autoresponders, fair pricing and lots of options.
You can’t really go wrong with any of these three – I’ve used all, so I’m talking from experience.
Collect email addresses
Next you want to add and collect email addresses. There’s two main parts to this:
- You can manually add all of your contacts to these services so they get included in your database. Or you can upload a CSV file. With this second option simply enter the first name and email address of each contact into separate columns and then upload.
- The second part is collecting email addresses on your website. This is by far one of the best ways to build your list. Once you’ve signed up with one of the above services, you’ll get some simple code to place on your website that will display the sign up form. When someone enters their name and email address they automatically get added to your list.
Give something of value away
As an incentive to get people to sign up to your list, give them something of value. Here at Consulting Success we give our Consultants Toolkit away free to people that join our list (UPDATE: Toolkit has been retired and is no longer available. Please signup for the Consulting Blueprint instead). We’ve gone beyond what most people do by giving you several quality reports packed with value. But you can put together a simple report, something your readers and potential customers will find of value or even just send out a monthly newsletter with valuable content.
Make everyone feel welcome
All three companies above allow you to use autoresponders. These are emails that get sent automatically when someone signs up to your list. So you can set an autoresponder message to automatically go out to people that sign up welcoming them and letting them know what they can expect form being on your list.
You can also use this autoresponder to deliver access to a special report, video or something else.
Send those newsletters
With all of the above in place you can now start sending out newsletters. These can be anything, really. You can use these services to send a holiday card, a thank you, a special promotion, share valuable tips or notify that you’ve moved…the list goes on.
Simply type the Subject of your email. Enter your text and any images and then select the recipients you want it to go to.
Make it personal
With these services you can also personalize each newsletter that goes out. You do this by using what are called Merge Tags. For example, if I write:
Happy New Years!! I hope this last year has been a successful one.
And [fname], keep in touch, okay!
I’ve inserted Merge Tags twice. Both places where I put [fname] the first name of each recipient will get inserted. This way it feels much more personal than just saying “Hi Friends” or “Dear clients and friends”. Know what I mean?
Keep it up
If you keep in touch with your list on a regular basis it’s hard not to increase your business.
Of course, you must respect your list. Their time is precious. Sending them too many emails, or sending them promotional offers all the time is a fast way to lose them. They’ll unsubscribe from your list and never come back.
Treat your list with decency and respect and give them value, in return they’ll respect you, open your emails and read them. And that’s what you want.
If you have any questions about how all this works just let us know in the comments below.