A Small Idea to Turn To When Things Are Tough

So the economy's still just kind of hovering there, not really improving, but still diluted enough so that things are tough. So I went and did some research.

Want to know what I found?

Email marketing is back. Not emails blizzarded out to 5,000 strangers you don't even know, no. But email newsletters, sent out to a targeted list of clients or customers who you've worked with, or who have expressed (even if it was years ago) an interest in working with you. Another word for email newsletters? Follow-up. Something most business owners are really negligent about.

So how do you do an email newsletter?

It's not hard. You need to sign up for a service or a program that lets you send mass email without marking you as a spammer. A few examples are Constant Contact and Aweber (Google will get you to them). Aweber has exceptional functionality as well as the ability to make macro and micro changes without having to call customer service or get someone to make the changes for you. If that flusters you, no worries. Aweber has a large collection of FAQs and tutorials guaranteed to make the process go smoothly.

What do you write about in an email newsletter?

You become a resource. What are your clients or customers (aka readers) wanting to know? What is the core issue they think about and that would interest them? That's what you want to write about. Say you're a HVAC company (I know, always an example of mine; my sister and brother-in-law own one and I brainstorm with them a lot) and your customers want to know about the latest geothermal advances (how to heat or cool a home using natural ventilation). There's your topic. And then you can have one line at the bottom of your newsletter stating that if the reader wants to know more about the geothermal products and services that you offer, they can give you a call.

It's that simple. And in the spirit of simple, keep the newsletter short, less than 500 words so that it can be scanned or read in less than five minutes. Any more and you'll lose their interest.

Next up in the series, how a life coach can help a hurting small business owner.

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