A newsletter is a cost effective, easy to use tool that anyone can start using now to help build their business.
But it can be hard to get started for a number of reasons.
Here’s 4 excuses you might have (and yes, we’ve had them too), and the next action you can take to move right on past them.
I don’t know what to write
- Your newsletter is not about your witty writing skills, or essay focussed stamina. It’s about keeping in touch with people. It’s about reminding them that you exist, and that you have great services and products to offer them. And honestly, your customers don’t want a long, newsy newsletter from you.
- You just need to put together something they can quickly scan, so they can see if there’s anything of interest to them, and then click through (preferably to your site) for more information if there is.
- Jot down 5 questions you’ve been asked by customers, friends or strangers about your business, services or products.
- Such as: Do you have any specials on at the moment? Are you stocking any new brands or products? Is it possible to do X with your product?
- Just like that you’ve now got 5 newsletter topics to get you started.
I don’t want to bother people
- Firstly, you’re not bothering them. They asked you to email them.
- If you make your newsletter useful and worthwhile it won’t bother them at all, it will help make their life better by reminding them how your business can help them achieve their goals and improve their lifestyle.
- Also, there’s always an out if they don’t want to be “bothered” any more. They don’t have to read each and every newsletter you send, and they always have the option to unsubscribe. It’s completely up to them, you’re just keeping up your end of the deal.
- Print out a simple newletter sign-up form. Put it on your counter, take it to your next market, or next client visit.
- As people sign up take it as a sign that they want to be “bothered”!
I don’t know how to get started
- It’s not as hard as it seems. There’s free/cheap software available, and some simple guides to walk you through the process.
- Or you could engage someone to do the technical side for you, and you just provide the content to your timetable.
- We like starting out with Mailchimp. It simple to use, free for up to 2000 subscribers (and a total of 12,000 emails/month), offers the key features you’ll want, and you can import an existing list of contacts you’re already keeping.
- Here’s a good video on how to set up your account and get started.
- Also see Mailchimp’s own getting started videos.
I don’t have enough time
- We’re not suggesting you have to send a newsletter every week. You pick the frequency that suits best.
- Monthly to showcase a new product in your store. Quarterly in line with seasonal sales. Fortnightly to provide people with discount offers, etc. Whatever works best for you and your customers.
- Yes, you’ll have to spend some time on initial set-up, but once that’s done it will be quicker next time, and just think about how much time it’s costing you each month to do a standard mail out!
- Building your business does take time, and effort, but you already know that.
- Ask yourself: Could my business use free advertising? Do I have enough time for my business to be successful?
- Based on your business and customers, think of a frequency that would work for you.
- Then write down some ways you could find an hour a week to help you meet that (ie: cut out an hour of TV a week; get up 10 minutes earlier each day; or simply make it a priority, etc)
- Then use that time to get started!
Out of Excuses?
Hopefully by now you have run out of them, and are clear on the next steps you need to take to start building your email list and sending our your newsletter. Why not start today:
- Are you going to be somewhere soon where you’ll be in contact with potential new customers? For the sake of your business take a sign-up form and get them on your list.
- Are you working towards launching a new product or service in the near future? Don’t wait till you launch, start collecting people’s email addresses now, so you’ve got an audience to announce to when you do launch.
- Do you have a shop that people visit everyday? Put a list on your counter and start keeping in touch with people between visits.