Aside from emails sent by friends and family, my favorites things in my inbox are newsletters - and I get quite a few of them. There's one from NYremezla with updates on Latino artist events around town, Duct Tape Marketing usually has interesting ways to promote your business, and The Spacialist doles out a weekly tip on getting rid of clutter. Oh and I forgot, there's dating advice from my friend Melissa's Love Notes (I need all the help I can get!).
Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your community and your clients, to give them a little something for free and let them know you're thinking about them. This week Maisha Walker of Message Medium spoke at length about newsletters in her internet marketing class, which is being held at NYANA, a business center that provides training and micro loans to entrepreneurs (that's Maisha, left, with Maria Paulino of NYANA on the right). I know many of the Mogulettes are interested in newsletters, so I'm including some of the highlights of what she said.
One of the most widely used newsletter providers is Constant Contact, who starts out charging $15.00 a month for 500 emails and then goes up from there. The big downside with them is they place their own ads at the bottom of the newsletters, which isn't great. Feedblitz offers a free version but again, you'll have to allow them to place 3rd party ads on your emails. Luckily there's many other ad-free options at comparable prices, and I researched them all for you!
iContact - starts at $9.95/mo. for 500 emails with a $12 discount if you sign up for a year (first 15 days are free)
AWeber - $19.95/mo. for up to 70,000 emails
Campaigner - $25/mo. for up to 2500 emails
Vertical Response - $15/mo. for up to 2500 emails (first 25 emails are free)
MyEmma - $30/mo. for up to 1000 emails plus $250.00 for a template
SwiftPage - $14.95/mo. for up to 250 emails; $30/mo. for up to 1000; 15% discount if you sign up for a year
StreamSend - $5.95/mo. for up to 500 emails; $9.95/mo. for up to 2000 (first 30 days are free)
PatronMail - call for quotes
Benchmark Email - $9.95/mo. for up to 600; 10% discount if paid annually and the 13th month is free (plus first 30 days are free)
- Avoid 3rd party advertising (unless you're getting paid for it!).
- What people look at first before opening an email is who it's coming from, so don't use a generic address. Instead, segment your list and use a different address for each group you send the newsletter to.
- Define your purpose - is it for reading or for selling products?
- Keep the layout consistent - if you have four pictures on the first one do the same for all the rest.
- Decide on timing - how often will you send it? (Maisha suggests to start slow - quarterly)
- Link your images and text to relevant pages on your site, or create landing pages.
- Create compelling subject lines to get your emails opened - focus on what the benefits are to your readers.