Getting the hang of email marketing

Recently, I interviewed veteran CFC-attendee, Stephanie Helline, about her most recent email marketing newsletter, which prompted an influx of actual jobs as well as phone calls and emails. (Listen to it here)

This particular email message (read it here) got the best response of all her email newsletters so far.

Stephanie has found a way to make email marketing part of her routine, but for those of you who haven’t yet—I asked Stephanie, “What advice would you give to people who can’t seem to find a way to integrate it into their process?” Here’s the advice Stephanie shared:

  1. Don’t get hung up on making it perfect. An email comes into your inbox. People may scan it. Hopefully they read the whole thing. But, are they going to notice that the graphic I put at the top is not exactly lined up with the side of the copy? Well, I did. And maybe some of my designer friends did. But the reality is, they don’t…
  2. Don’t rule out any topic, investigate it. You probably know more a lot more about your target market and things your audience would like to learn than you think. Just go with it. If an idea comes, just go ahead write it. If it works, people will open it up… if it doesn’t, you have nothing to lose. Just move on to the next topic. The responses you get might prompt your next newsletter. My readers actually sent me some great material that I want to share. My next newsletter is going to go into a little more detail about how to get QR codes, how to use them… They also sent some great ideas about how they use business cards in non-traditional ways…
  3. You have to treat yourself like a client. I look at how much time I invest in this, because it’s not just time vs. money, but also energy. I don’t want to angst over it. I don’t want to spend so much time that maybe I’m getting behind in client work … so I try to be realistic. I say, “Okay, I’m going to try to write this in an hour.” Turn everything off, just concentrate, and try to bang it out in an hour.
  4. I also get some copywriting help. Just like everything else we do, you get better. I find that now I can write a pretty tight newsletter. Before, it was a struggle. Just like when we started learning Photoshop, we didn’t know everything right off the bat.
  5. Share some personality. Your hope is that you’re going to work with these folks. If you share some personality in your newsletter, they’re actually going to get to know you, and it may encourage them to pick up the phone.

Any advice to add?

And if you need help getting your email newsletter off the group, check out my Email Marketing Group. Next one starts next week.

3 thoughts on “Getting the hang of email marketing

  1. Jen McGahan

    Yep, right on the dime, Ilise! If everyone took your advice, they could crank out quick and personal emails; no problem. Your post really shows that email can be as easy as reaching out with a phone call. (Literally! A transcript of a business phone call could make a great email, don’t you think?) My email marketing firm MyTeamConnects started out as a do it yourself service (with me as head cheerleader), but it turns out what’s easy for me is a pain in the neck for a lot of small biz folks. I finally get it; they are already busy enough — marketing takes a back seat to their core business. Now I am going the route of full service, including copywriting. Clients are happier now — not frustrated. : ) Great ideas for me, though…Thanks!

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