How many of your clients are you seeing regularly at the moment?
How do you stay in touch with the ones you haven’t seen for a while?
If you send out a regular email, we are impressed! Pat yourself on the back. We know how busy you are. We know that a regular email takes some time and commitment. Seriously, well done, and you probably don’t need to read any further.
Unless, of course, you’d like some tips and inspiration.
If you don’t send out email newsletters yet, we’d like to persuade you to give it a try. You are your business and your business is you.
- It reminds your clients of your presence. If they have been meaning to come and see you for a while, it acts as a prompt.
- It gives your clients a virtual business card so they can easily refer you to others.
- It gives you an opportunity to build your relationship with your client base, so they feel they know you better.
Have we persuaded you?
How to start
1. Build your database
Do you collect email addresses routinely from your clients? If not, you might need to do that first. You also need to ask for permission to email them (it is best to have this in writing in order to be GDPR compliant) but you should also have a newsletter sign up (and pop up) on your website. You can outsource this if you like.
2. Choose how to do it
Some people use regular email (this is not great for a number of reasons) or to use an email provider (pretty, data-compliant and more professional).
You can also track who’s opening them and what they’re clicking on which, will help you create more valuable emails in future). You could try Mailchimp (that’s what we use here at YRB and both of our other businesses) or another option is Constant Contact. They both have free options for small distribution lists or inexpensive subscriptions for when your list is considerably longer.
3. What to write about
Tracy has been writing and refining her newsletters over several years. She regularly receives responses from her clients who tell her what they enjoyed in her newsletter. (You can join it here if you are curious to see it for yourself.)
She tries to keep them short, attractive, friendly and useful, including a few of the following:
- A friendly greeting and an invitation to respond
- A photo of something seasonal or something local
- Some general chat about the seasons or the weather
- Some links to whatever Tracy has been inspired by
- News about workshops
- Product news and offers, if applicable (Tracy is a consultant for Neal’s Yard)
- Seasonal reminders – e.g. Winter Hayfever Treatment
- A monthly giveaway
- These ideas are just a starting point, and it is worth trying different ideas. You will learn which of the features are popular because your clients will tell you!
Decide how often you are going to send them out and stick to it. Make a note in your diary.
Keep a list or a folder of ideas. Take some photos and have a play around to make them look pretty, or add some text.
2. Be Your Own Editor
Don’t rush it. Write it, reread it, spell and grammar check it, send it to yourself, and wait a while before rereading and then edit it again.
Length is important. Less is always more. Edit, edit, edit. Look closely at your punctuation.
Does it sound like you?
3. Formatting is Important
Choose a sensible and easy to read font. Arial or Helvetica are both good choices. Times New Roman looks too formal. Comic Sans looks too naive.
Keep your font size regular. Use Bold sparingly.
Embed links. (This tip is technical but really worth mastering if you want all your emails to look really professional). When you include a link, it looks neater to embed them in the text. For example, if you are including a link to a webpage, give the name of the page e.g. Mercola, highlight it Mercola then go to your ‘edit’ menu, select ‘insert link’ (if you are using an email provider such as Mailchimp, the link will be an icon that looks like an image of a chain). You then insert the full URL into the ‘insert link’ box, click ‘insert’ and you find that you have a link embedded into text. Neat, huh? (Don’t worry if this seems tricky, just give it a try and if you are still struggling, search your help menu or ask someone who is good at technical stuff.)
4. Keep a Clean List
Make it easy to unsubscribe. If you are using an email provider there will be an email unsubscribe link automatically included in the footer. If you are sending a regular email, include a P.S. that reminds people to let you know if they would like to unsubscribe.
Final note – to be GDPR compliant you must ask people whether they would like to join your email list, rather than simply adding them to your database. If you are sending the email out for the first time, you could set one up to just go out to you, and then forward it manually to each of your clients, one-by-one with a personal note asking them if they would like to subscribe.
That’s all for now. We love sending emails and we hope you are inspired to start sending them too if you don’t already.
Tracy and Lulu
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