As a Small Business Owner, you have a never-ending list of tasks so you need to be able to leverage everything you do.
This includes being able to engage with your community.
I know everyone is tired of email, tired of the full email inbox, tired of the spam.
Email is absolutely less popular than it once was, but it never died.
And yet, there are emails that we do like to receive and that we read immediately.
Your goal is that your newsletter is one of those for the people in your community.
Your Email List is a Business Asset
Your email list is one of the biggest assets your business owns.
It is an asset that is built on your own property, not on a borrowed lot.
No one can take it away or make it disappear in an instant.
Any platform that you do not own is a borrowed lot.
All social media platforms belong to the company that owns them, not to you.
Beyond the possibility of being blocked or deleted or the likelihood of them going out of business, there is the issue of visibility.
You have no way to know who is seeing, or not seeing, your posts on social media.
Yes, you know the people who like, share and engage with your content are seeing your posts but what about everyone else?
Email is the only guaranteed way you have to communicate with your community. You know that if you send a message, it will go to their inbox.
Whether or not they open it is up to them, but you can be sure it is delivered and available if they want to see it.
In an ideal world, you would send a personal email to each person who is interested in your work. And that is simply not feasible.
Building your email list allows you to leverage your communication so you can connect with many people at one time.
The most important part of having an email list is that you send it out on a consistent basis.
Consistency is the game changer. I know it’s now flashy or cool, and it is what makes it effective. More on this here.
I recommend sending out your newsletter at a minimum of once a month. Twice a month is a great fit for many (that’s what I do). And sending it out weekly is the maximum.
And don’t worry; you don’t have to create loads of new content in order to send out your newsletter consistently.
You actually don’t have to create any content at all. Really.
We are all drowning in information, that is not the issue.
You can curate information, content that you select for your community that you know they will enjoy and value.
Think about things like recommending books, sharing links to articles, or other resources.
Asking questions is also smart because it encourages interaction with your readers.
Your ezines don’t have to be long. In fact, the shorter and more easily consumable they are the better.
And remember that free information will not solve all of your audience’s problems.
It is helpful for you to share your paid offers with them so they know that they exist. Mention at least one offer in every newsletter you send out.
Because your potential clients can’t read your mind and they are not hanging out on your website all day to see what you offer.
Inviting People to Join Your Email List
Back in the early days of email, people actually wanted more email. No, seriously.
It seems unbelievable now, but trust me that was the case.
You could just say, ‘get my ezine’ without even saying what it was about and people would jump at the chance.
Then things changed. People no longer wanted a nameless newsletter or generic updates. So the strategy became to offer your newsletter along with a Valuable Free Giveaway. It was all about ‘get my newsletter and this cool freebie that comes with it.’
After that, things changed again. The newsletter became even less attractive, so it was common to offer the Valuable Free Giveaway as the main offer and to make the fact that it comes along with your newsletter the secondary benefit. The message was: get my free thing that also comes with my newsletter.
And then GDPR entered the picture, which changed things again.
My mother is a lawyer, I am not. You need to get your own legal advice regarding GDPR to understand how it applies to your unique situation.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union that went into effect on May 25th, 2018.
My interpretation of what GDPR means for your Valuable Free Giveaway and newsletter is this. In all of your email sign-up forms, the email list must be the main offer and you need to be very specific about anything people will get in addition to your ezine if they sign up.
Another option is to separate your email sign-up from your valuable free giveaway sign-up.
Please note, the GDPR is about much more than only your email list. I urge you to educate yourself on all aspects that it covers regarding your business and make sure you are in full compliance before the deadline.
And here are some valuable resources to help you get started. This one is via US Based Amy Porterfield that will help you increase your understanding of what it means for you.
My friend, Emmy Coffey McCarthy, suggests Suzanne Drimble’s group which is incredibly useful GDPR For Online Entrepreneurs (UK, US, CA, AU).
And from the formidable Seth Godin (who will be inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame this month), check out this post: GDPR and the marketer’s dilemma.
I hope you’re feeling inspired to use email to consistently provide high-quality information to your community so you can support them and build relationships with them.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: https://www.fireflycoaching.com.
What’s your take on sending ezines? Share your thoughts and questions below in the comments section. I respond to every single one.
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Thanks Stephanie! It’s very true that there are emails that I get that I’m excited to open and others that go directly to the trash (or maybe worse…the ones that stay starred until I finally accept they aren’t going to get read). I watched the GDPR course recommended by Emmy yesterday and would also recommend it as a good, clear introduction to GDPR. I’m looking forward to checking out the podcast on Amy Porter’s website today. Thanks!
Happy to hear there are still emails you enjoy receiving! Glad the GDPR course was helpful, it’s a lot to process.
Great tips Stephanie, like always!
Thank you for your feedback, Dominika! Always appreciated.
Thank you, Stephanie. Very useful information. Also your references to other specialists in this area are very valuable. Thans again!
Glad to hear you found it useful, Annebet! It’s always good to hear from the experts on a topic. Good luck with your GDPR implementation.