E-Newsletter Planning Checklist

December 2, 2014

Getting your newsletter out on time can be hard, and when life gets busy, it seems like everything else comes first. Over the years, we’ve found that most people under-estimate all the steps and how long each step will take to get their e-newsletter sent.

You’re not alone. This is the typical scenario we frequently witness:

You want to send out our company newsletter every month, but then you don’t start working on the e-newsletter until just a few days before it needs to go out. You don’t have the time to think up ideas, build the content, create the blog that you want to click through to, organize and enter new email addresses and test and proofread the e-newsletter. So another month slips by without reaching out to your customers and prospects.

The most important thing to do is work backwards and plan all of your steps.

Our E-Newsletter Planning Checklist (PDF) breaks down your planning step by step to help get your e-newsletter out on time.

And, if you’ve realized that you never manage to your e-newsletter out on time, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help, or give us a call for an estimate on writing and sending your e-newsletter with great content to a targeted audience.

Newsletter Publication Schedule

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4 Hard Truths About Your Enewsletter

October 1, 2014

Sometimes when people decide to start sending an enewsletter, they poorly understand key processes, overlook critical elements, or are unrealistic about the logistics of email marketing.

email hard truths

Here are some hard lessons we’ve found out:

1. It takes real work to prepare and send an e-newsletter

People aren’t as good about sending their enewsletters as they think they will be. Many of our clients set out with a hefty goal to send out a newsletter once a month or even once a week. However as deadlines and life get in the way, the newsletter gets put on the back burner. If you’re running a small business or getting a startup off the ground, there isn’t much time for writing.

Frequently, newsletters start out strong, but then are sent less and less frequently once the writer has run through their initial topics.

This is why it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself and to stick to the deadlines you set for yourself. Some clients find it’s helpful to work with a writer to help contribute to the newsletter or to write it entirely. (That is why we started our Full Service e-newsletter service)

2. People forget about you if you stay out of touch for too long

Once a long time lapses between your newsletters some of your subscribers will forget that they had signed up to hear from you, and your unsubscribe rate will increase.

Make it a goal to get out your newsletter at least once a month. Staying on top of your customers mind is likely a key reason you started sending these emails in the first place.

3. People will unsubscribe

People unsubscribe either because your content doesn’t fit with what they are looking for, or the frequency isn’t jiving with them. It’s OK to lose people, and it should be expected.

Keeping a clean subscriber list can help with this. Then you are sure that the people receiving your emails really want it.

4. Emails will bounce

Don’t freak out. Sometimes bounces happen because of simple things like full email boxes or email addresses that aren’t valid anymore. You can help keep your bounces low by giving your subscribers the option to update their email in a subscriber settings page.

Don’t Let Your E-Newsletter Recipients Unsubscribe

September 2, 2014

Pretty much every e-newsletter includes a link to easily unsubscribe.

The Can-Spam law requires that you make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe (although they don’t actually require one-click unsubscription), and nearly every major email marketing platform builds in one-click unsubscribe buttons so that the sender is quickly and automatically protected against complaints of spam.

But why let your committed readers unsubscribe when what they really want to do is update their email address?

Manage email preferences rather than unsubscribeIf your content is good and you have a group of readers who want to stay in touch, you should make it easy for them to update their email address. If you only include an unsubscribe button, you are forcing readers to unsubscribe and then hunt down your subscribe button and sign up with a new email address. Many people will get stopped in their tracks somewhere during that process and you’ll lose them from your list.

We suggest that you include a link that allows for recipients to update their email address (or other preferences) with just one click. We make this easy for you with Mail on the Mark and can build it right into your e-newsletter blueprint.