07 Apr

Want To Learn? We Like To Teach!

Over the next couple of months I’ll be writing a series of posts about getting the most out of your business website. We’re going to start with some answers to a few ‘why?’ questions.

Why Should I Have A Newsletter Or Mailing List?

Think about the last time you went searching for some information about your taxes on the Internet. You probably checked the first few search engine results and ultimately found the answer to your question. You probably also didn’t bookmark the site and you didn’t really catch the name when you were on there anyway.

Now let’s say that as soon as you got to that website, right there in your face was an invitation to subscribe to their newsletter. Not only that, but it said that if you subscribed to the newsletter you would receive their free report titled ‘How To Squeeze Every Last Cent Out Of The Tax Man’. Your first thought may be that perhaps these people just want to spam you with emails about their services. But the opportunity to squeeze every last cent out of the tax man is very compelling – so you sign up. A couple of minutes later you receive an email asking you to confirm your address and you will be given a link to the report. You click the confirm link and sure enough, a minute or two later you are downloading the report.

As you begin to read through the report you immediately start to say ‘wow – I didn’t know that’. The information they have sent you contains some tips that are going to get you a bigger tax return next year. Wouldn’t that make you think that perhaps those people are tax experts who really know their stuff? And if they offered you a more detailed guide for $15 or so, wouldn’t you be inclined to purchase that guide?

This, my friends, is what mailing lists are really about. They’re about showing potential customers that you really are an expert in your field. You could just hope that people who visit your website will bookmark it and return – or you could invite them to join your mailing list or newsletter so that you can keep in touch with them and invite them to view the latest content or products on your site.

How Do I Set Up A Mailing List?

This is the next logical question. Most hosting providers don’t want you sending out to your mailing list from their servers and they will fairly severely limit the number of messages you can send each day or each week. To make matters worse, there is a reasonably high probability that your emails will end up being classified as spam, particularly if you have a high percentage of subscribers who are using Yahoo, Hotmail or GMail addresses.

The answer to this dilemma is to use a professional mailing list service.

What? More cost?

Not necessarily. Mailing services such as MailChimp provide a free account that allows you to have a list of up to 1000 subscribers before you have to pay a monthly fee. They also allow you to send up to 6,000 messages per month which is ideal for a weekly or monthly newsletter. The other important feature of mailing list services is that they generally have a relationship with many of the major ISPs and mail providers such as Google and Yahoo.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to MailChimp and create your free account and start working on those newsletters!