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  • #965366
    BruceR
    Member
    • Total posts: 195

    Hi there,

    There is plenty of info on FS about newsletters and their content but I’d like to ask about how people manage the mechanics.

    I am about to send my first newsletter to a database of about 120/130. I’ve looked at a few outsourced solutions (eg ConstantContact, emailer) which have free templates and manage your database (subscribe/unsubscribe option with stats). Is there another solution people recommend? I’d prefer an Australian option if possible.

    Alternatively I could do my own html template (or use a VA) and email using Outlook – and manage the database manually. Ideally I’d want to be able to offer an easy (one-click) unsubscribe option – as much to keep a quality database of happy potential leads as to adhere to the Spam Act.

    What do other people do, or do any of you have some advice?

    Thanks, Bruce

    #1011506
    Hugh Thyer
    Member
    • Total posts: 159

    Hi Bruce

    Take me advice, don’t email your newsletters. It seems like you deal with Australian businesses, so if you’ve got 130 newsletters going out each month it’ll probably cost $1.50 (tops) to send them each. That’s about $200 a month or $2400 a year.

    Now, $2400 doesnt buy you much advertising anywhere, but if you can get your newsletter into people’s hands then they’re going to read it. Email it and most will (regrettably) be deleted. Your newsletters are such an important part of nurturing the relationship between you and your clients that you do not want to use email to get them out.

    If you do your newsletters correctly then they become a great opportunity to get more work from clients, significantly reduce the number of people who leave your business and increase referrals.

    Just think about it. Do you want people to quickly skim through your electronic newsletter in 30 seconds or do you want them to sit down with a cup of coffee and spend 20 minutes enjoying what you’ve written.

    I’ve just posted an article I wrote on the subject of newsletters here:
    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/sales-marketing/2451-newsletters.html

    Hugh

    #1011507
    Warren Cottis
    Member
    • Total posts: 807

    Hi Bruce

    … and first my apologies to Hugh because I don’t think printed newsletters work as effectively as short, sharp, valuable content rich emails for a number of reasons.

    People are struggling to find the time to read the Sunday papers let alone a printed newsletter.

    Printed & posted newsletters cost a lot of money compared to digital communications.

    Printed newsletters give you no business intelligence compared to emails / emailed newsletters.

    You have no idea if the printed newsletter is going straight to the recycling bin whereas with digital communications you know at least the number of delivereds, the number of opens, the frequency of opens and the number of click throughs on any offers you make or references to more information on your website.

    And compared to the newsletters going to the recycle bin, you know who is not opening your emails so you can work on a different strategy for those people

    You said you’d like to deal with an Australian company… well, here we are so please take a look at our email marketing & design platform … we don’t talk about free templates and off you go and good luck… we hold your hand

    #1011508
    BruceR
    Member
    • Total posts: 195

    Thanks guys,

    No disrespect Hugh but I don’t think print newsletters work. If anyone spent 30 seconds over a newsletter (print or email) I think that’s about as good as it gets – if I had 20 minutes I’d read the paper or something (or scan the FS forum!). Ok, it’s a different proposition for a good copywriter such as yourself – I’m not big on words so would keep it short and sweet!

    Warren, I look forward to hearing more from you…..

    What about other soloists out there who send email newsletters – do you do it yourself or outsource it (if either, then how or who?)?.

    Thanks
    Bruce

    #1011509
    ResultsVA
    Member
    • Total posts: 19

    Hi Bruce,

    If you’re after an Australian e-newsletter company, in my previous job I used to use Vision 6. I think they’re a Brisbane based company. It was a simple program – easy to use and really cheap (about $30 a month from memory).

    I’ve found email newsletters do work as long as they are to opt in subscribers. I paid particular attention to the stats when my previous company mass mailed to random mailing lists and it was not worth the time – very few were opened. When people had opted in, the click through rate was so much higher.

    Print newsletters can also work – why not have an option to receive via print or online? The only problem is that the cost of design & printing newsletters can definitely add up.

    #1011510
    LukeH
    Member
    • Total posts: 29

    Hi Bruce,

    There are obviously some vested interests in this thread regarding direct mail vs email newsletters. I don’t really want to weigh in to the “email vs paper” debate. Each business needs to work out what the best marketing methods are for them. So my purpose isn’t to convince you that email is better, it’s simply to highlight what you can achieve with email, seeing you have already decided to use it.

    I agree with Warren’s points of the digital statistics as well as the time and cost efficiency that email can provide. Buy using an email management service you can also:

    • Add a Subscription Box to your website to catpure visitor information
    • Automate subscriptions and unsubscribe requests – you just focus on the email content
    • Segment subscribers into different lists for more targeted marketing

    And you’ll discover a lot more than email marketing can do for you once you jump into it.

    Cheers,

    Luke

    #1011511
    Hugh Thyer
    Member
    • Total posts: 159

    Its not an all or nothing approach to relationship building.

    Content rich emails are very good. Even I produce a weekly content rich article on my blog so no disagreement there.

    But physical newsletters have a hugely important place in your marketing mix. And with everyone plugged into their computers today, its nice to receive something in the mail.

    After all, do you want a Christmas card from your Mum or an email?

    The only thing that keeps nagging me is the results I keep hearing from people who have implemented physical newsletters. Some very successful businesses and some very well renowned business coaches tell me the results they’ve seen. In fact I get one newsletter each month that I take the time to sit down and read cover to cover. If I got all that content in an email I would probably value it less and not read it all.

    Remember folks, you’re all in the RELATIONSHIP business.

    PS I have no interest in writing newsletters for people. Nor do you need to be a copywriter to write them. I have no vested interest here except helping people get on the right track and not leave any money on the table.

    #1011512
    BruceR
    Member
    • Total posts: 195

    Hi all,

    When I say I don’t think print mail works – I meant not for me. I’m promoting myself as a virtual financial controller as well so want to use technology and the internet as much as possible. Print definitely has it’s place but not for me, at least not at this stage in my business.

    Thanks Carol, I’ll have a look at Vision6.

    The statistics side of email management is also really important to me – being an accountant my view is if you can accurately measure something you have more control..

    Bruce

    #1011513
    MJS_Virtual
    Member
    • Total posts: 82

    Bruce,

    I’m not sure about Australian options, but I’ve found http://www.campaignmonitor.com to be a great service for email marketing.

    Sending your newsletters from an external service is definitely the way to go. They have the capacity to manage your database, provide an unsubscribe option and many other enhancements that you probably couldn’t do on your own.

    I wouldn’t recommend sending them from your own email address, for a number of reasons the main one being that if someone does take offence and reports you, you run the risk of having your email address “blacklisted” when is never a good thing!

    ____________________________________________________________
    Regards
    Melissa Williscroft
    MJS Virtual Business Support
    http://www.mjsvirtual.com.au

    #1011514
    BruceR
    Member
    • Total posts: 195
    MJS_Virtual, post: 11922 wrote:
    Bruce,

    I’m not sure about Australian options, but I’ve found http://www.campaignmonitor.com to be a great service for email marketing.

    Sending your newsletters from an external service is definitely the way to go. They have the capacity to manage your database, provide an unsubscribe option and many other enhancements that you probably couldn’t do on your own.

    I wouldn’t recommend sending them from your own email address, for a number of reasons the main one being that if someone does take offence and reports you, you run the risk of having your email address “blacklisted” when is never a good thing!

    ____________________________________________________________
    Regards
    Melissa Williscroft
    MJS Virtual Business Support
    http://www.mjsvirtual.com.au

    Wow, $5 per email plus 1c per recipient is my kind of budget – even if it is USD! And a recommendation certainly makes it worth looking at.

    Melissa, thanks for the tip about the email address too – I’ll set up a new address for this.

    Cheers

    #1011515
    Warren Cottis
    Member
    • Total posts: 807
    Hugh Thyer, post: 11913 wrote:
    Its not an all or nothing approach to relationship building.

    Content rich emails are very good. Even I produce a weekly content rich article on my blog so no disagreement there.

    But physical newsletters have a hugely important place in your marketing mix. And with everyone plugged into their computers today, its nice to receive something in the mail.

    … Remember folks, you’re all in the RELATIONSHIP business.

    .

    Hi Hugh

    You might be surprised to find that I absolutely agree with you.

    It’s all about using the right marketing tool to talk to the right target market at the right time and unquestionably printed newsletters have a role to play.

    #1011516
    BrightBiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 69

    Hi Bruce,

    I use http://www.aweber.com which unfortunately is US based but I’ve been with them for a couple of years for different things and find them great.

    They have very extensive reporting to track your campaigns, ready made templates etc etc.

    One vital factor to consider is email deliverability. You don’t want your email ending up in the spam folder or not delivered at all. Aweber has a very good reputation for high deliverability rates.

    Their prices start at $19 (US) per month for up to 500 subscribers and goes up from there, but I am sure you can send as many newsletters to those subscribers as you wish for the $19 not that you’d want to send too many of course.

    Good luck with your choice, in all honesty I signed up with aweber because of reading great stuff about it and it’s tracking systems and deliverability etc, but I didn’t really consider Australian options which I should probably look into.

    #1011517
    LeelaCosgrove
    Member
    • Total posts: 634

    Actually, guys, Hugh is right …

    The latest marketing info from the US is showing that printed newsletters outperform e-newsletters by huge numbers. I was just talking about this the other day with one of Australia’s top marketers and he was saying the same thing – all of the cutting edge information coming out of the States right now from the top internet marketers (Dan Kennedy, Fred Gillen, et al) is saying hard copy is the way to go …

    #1011518
    BruceR
    Member
    • Total posts: 195

    That may be the case, but my initial question was about email newsletters – not print.

    Thanks BrightBiz, looks like Aweber is another one to look at!

    #1011519
    Warren Cottis
    Member
    • Total posts: 807
    LeelaCosgrove, post: 11935 wrote:
    Actually, guys, Hugh is right …

    The latest marketing info from the US is showing that printed newsletters outperform e-newsletters by huge numbers. I was just talking about this the other day with one of Australia’s top marketers and he was saying the same thing – all of the cutting edge information coming out of the States right now from the top internet marketers (Dan Kennedy, Fred Gillen, et al) is saying hard copy is the way to go …

    And I agree with you also, Leela… but the truth is that those guys don’t waste money sending printed material to unqualified lists.

    They are posting printed newsletters to hot qualified prospects that have been pre-qualified by their responses to various email marketing campaigns.

    So if you don’t know the yings and yangs of your database, email marketing is a very economic option for gaining that knowledge.

    Armed with that knowledge you can then segment your database to use the right marketing tool to talk to the right segment of your database (target market) at the right time.

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