Monday, November 03, 2008

Marketing Monday - Email Newsletters

Today's Marketing Monday is about email newsletters. I am switching my newsletter service from Vertical Response to Constant Contact. Vertical Response is a free service(for now but that is changing) while Constant Contact is $15 a month.

Why pay? Both offer email templates, reports, etc...but I find VR very slow, and really hard to use. It's not very user friendly and I don't like it trying to figure out WHAT is WHAT. I deleted my entire mailing list and had to re-type them in one by one...ugh. On the other hand, Constant Contact is lot more WYSIWYG, it looks better/cleaner/more modern and the website is faster. For me its worth paying $15 to not stress out about doing a newsletter, and if I am paying for a service I'm more likely to use it.

If you want to try Constant Contact, they have a 2 month free trial and you can send up to 100 emails during that time. I recommend trying it out if you are thinking about it.

Also, I have a hard time GETTING people to sign up for the newsletter. At the last show I did, I only got 3 was one of my better shows in terms of sales but was really bad in terms of getting emails. One reason was that my space was way too crowded and no one knew I had a signup book because it was on the table of the person I shared the booth with. Also, it was REALLY busy, and I wasn't able to talk to everyone, and the few people I did tell about the email signup told me they were trying to lessen emails and deleting all newsletters. Which is disheartening to all sellers!

So for the next show I must remember to A: ask EVERYONE to sign the book and B: put the book in a spot people can see it. I would really like to make a really cool/artistic email book, but not sure I will have time to do that before the next show. I may get a fishbowl and do a drop your info in/win the prize thing..not sure yet.

I googled 'how to get more email signups' and these are some hints/tricks I got.
  • Have a signup button on every page of your website
  • Offer a contest to win a gift certificate or voucher for your product/services
  • Include a "sign up for our newsletter" in your email signature
  • Send a welcome email note immediately! People are most interested in your newsletter right when they sign up for them.
  • Send regularly-letting too much time lapse is detrimental, you will possibly lose the interest of your customers
  • Offer a newsletter subscriber only discount or deal
  • Start a blog
  • put a "please forward this to a friend" on your email newsletters
  • tell everyone

I've installed the new Constant Contact signup button at the top left so please sign up!

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