The ins-and-outs of email marketing for professional services business owners. Learn if, why, when and how to send an email newsletter.
Should I send out an email newsletter?
Yes! As a professional services business owner, email marketing is going to be an important part of your online marketing strategy.
How often should I send an email newsletter?
First and foremost, make sure you have something to say! There is no reason to waste your valuable time (and you definitely don't want to waste your customers' time) publishing a newsletter without worthwhile content.
When deciding how often to send your newsletter, you have to consider how much time you have to write as well as how much value you can bring to your audience. To start, shoot for a monthly newsletter. Over time, as you get feedback from you audience you can always decide to change the frequency.
How long should my newsletter be and what should it include?
Whether you're an interior designer, lawyer, photographer or graphic designer, your clients are looking to you for your expertise. So in the newsletter, talk about what you know best.
Think about the service you offer your clients and how your newsletter can bring them value. For example, if you're a personal trainer, recommend a new at home workout for your readers. If you're an accountant, share simple steps people can take to make tax season stress free!
Try giving each month's newsletter a theme. If you're an interior designer, you can dedicate one issue to colors. The next issue could discuss art, and so on.
While writing long, informative articles is fine (and for some professional services it may be necessary) a good practice is to include only excerpts in the newsletter and then a link to the full piece on your website or blog.
Your newsletter should be designed with different sections, header sizes and lots of images. This will make certain items stand out and will increase engagement. Most email marketing platforms (see below) have templates to choose from that make this process much easier.
How important is an email newsletter?
You're the expert in your field and there is no better place to express this than in a regular newsletter. By sending your clients informative and helpful articles that directly relate to them, you'll build trust and a develop long lasting relationships.
Your business will stay relevant to the client even if you are not currently doing work working together.
How do I actually send a newsletter?
There are plenty of online platforms that not only make email marketing simple but also offer free plans. For example:
a. MailChimp (www.mailchimp.com). The free plan lets you send 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers.
b. Aweber (www.aweber.com). First month costs only $1 and they had a 30 day money back guarantee.
c. Mad Mimi (www.madmimi.com). The free plan lets you send up to 12,500 emails to 2,500 subscribers.
d. Vertical Response (www.verticalresponse.com).
e. Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com).
Who do I send my newsletter to?
Keep your newsletter aimed at your current client base and others who are familiar with your work.
This gets us to a very touchy subject called spam! Not only is spam mail very annoying, and in certain instances is illegal, it can also be very damaging. Each time someone clicks "report as spam" on your email, this damages the reputation of your website and email address in the eyes of the email giants (Gmail, Yahoo, Aol, etc.) and the next time you send any email it may end up in your recipients' spam folder. Therefore, make sure you're only sending your newsletter to people who have actually signed up. Here is a more detailed compliance guide for the CAN-SPAM act:
It's important to make sure that those who do subscribe, know what they're signing up for. Be straightforward and honest about what type of content you'll be sending out and how often.
I'm not sending out an email newsletter yet but want to. What's the best place to start?
Begin by building up your email list! If you have a website, Facebook page or blog, start collecting your visitors' email addresses. The easier it is to subscribe, the more emails you'll collect! You might also want to consider offering an incentive in exchange for an email address. Such as a free consultation or a discount.
I am already sending out an email newsletter? Can you share a tip or two on ways I can improve it?
You should start looking at the effectiveness of your email. Most email marketing platforms (such as the ones we list above) will share with you a wealth of statistics about your email newsletter. For example, you can see how many opened the email, how many read it and how many clicked on the links. Begin reviewing this information looking for patterns and trying to improve. Don't be afraid to test new things - catchier titles and pictures, etc, to see if it affects your number.
The day and time when you send your newsletter is also very important. Studies show that newsletters sent on Monday or Friday are less successful than ones sent on Sunday or Thursday. As for the time, you either want to send the newsletter early in the morning (before 10 AM) or later on in the evening but a newsletter sent at 1 PM in the middle of a hectic work day may just be deleted. All of this can change based on your user base so experiment a bit and see which day and time yields the most opens and clicks.
Have questions or comments about this post? We'd love to hear them! Send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.