You’ve decided to start an e-letter campaign. Great! E-letters are wonderful things. You can create a template that’s browser and mobile friendly. You can track opens, clicks on links, and subscribes and unsubscribes.
You’re very excited. You’re sure everyone will love it. You have a problem, though. Your contact list is sketchy at best. You have addresses in various email accounts. Some of those addresses you don’t recognize. Some of them you do, but you aren’t sure if those are the correct addresses anymore. You decide to lump them together into one, giant list and continue on your merry way.
Wait a minute. You’re going to do what? Before you get in too deep with your e-letter campaign, let’s review some guidelines when it comes to e-letters:
- Create a legitimate list. Don’t add addresses just to add them. Make sure they’re addresses of people you know and that those people are going to welcome extra emails from you. Do not pull your list from some sort of database or handwritten list. E-letters are opt-in. If you “opt-in” people, they’re going to opt out – quickly – and they’re going to mark your e-letter as spam. They won’t be nice and unsubscribe.
- Make it easy for people to subscribe. You should have subscription forms on your website and any social networks that allow you to do so. Let people know that you have a monthly or weekly e-letter and provide instructions so that people can subscribe.
- Make it easy for people to share your e-letter. Most e-letters come with sharing options. Utilize them. Your subscribers may forward your email to their friends and those friends will forward it to their friends…
- Make it easy for people to find you. Make sure that your e-letter has links to your website and social media profiles. Include your phone number and other, applicable contact information.
- Don’t be spammy. Yes, you’re trying to sell a product or service via an e-letter, but you can do that without being sleazy. Provide an article that’s of interest to your readership. Incorporate some images. Add a fun quote that has something to do with your industry or events happening that month.
- Add value for your reader. Set up an auto-responder that welcomes new subscribers to your e-letter community. State what information your e-letter will provide and give a time frame for when they can expect to receive your next e-letter. If you’re selling a product, perhaps include a coupon that your reader can use the next time he or she visits your store.
- Be consistent. Your readers need to know when to expect an e-letter from you. Decide on a day of the month or of the week, depending on how frequently you plan to send your e-letter, and send it on that day at a specific time.