20 Responses to “Do Email Newsletters Have a Place in Freelancing?”

  1. I would give eSimply.com a try. They offer 1,000 completely free emails, and unlike most email companies, they are not in constant contact with your wallet each month. Most often the monthly subscription fee model does not make sense. Their website is http://www.eSimply.com

  2. I agree with those who advocate the personal touch–I had to cajole a client out of the generic salutation and intro text in favor of something more engaging…sure enough, the response rates to that newsletter started going up the moment they implemented the more personal tone.

  3. Hilary

    One thought related to your comment about clients that aren’t tech savvy and aren’t likely to return to your website (or read your a blog which you didn’t mention.)

    Feedburner has a way to add a sign-up field to your site that allow people to subscribe via e-mail. I don’t think it would be a good idea for a twitter feed but for certain blogs and podcasts it could be useful given certain content and target markets.

  4. I’m a bit biased because I consult in the evil field of email marketing, but, yeah, people should always save their client info in some format that allows them to send targeted mail.

    Make sure to create little personalized fields too – such as “conversational” a text field where you type a single sentence or two that engages the client on a level they’re familiar with, like “Hey Bob, how’s that new ERP system going? Sure was a bear to get running, but I bet it’s paying off dividends!” Save other stuff like nicknames (Ari for Ariel), casual language for locales (Oz for Australia, Hotlanta instead of Atlanta, whatever the situation dictates) and the like. Takes about a second to input, but it pays off in spades in terms of personalization. After you add all this stuff, you can send out marketing emails that look pretty much like a personal email instead of the usual “DEAR %NAME%,”

    What people say they think about this kind of thing is irrelevant to the empirical data I’ve seen over about a decade, which conclusively demonstrates that you’ll get a higher interest level and click through rate when people believe that you’re talking to them – just a helpful hint (I hope).

    As well, avoid stuff like “take my survey” or “check out my eBook” or other language that sounds like you want people to do something boring – try to be creative in your calls to action. People will respond to “take my survey” but they’ll respond in greater numbers to a link that’s named something more clever like, “Tell us what the Hell is wrong with us!”

  5. Nice article! I use most of the techniques listed above to get info to my subscribers for http://www.binfire.com. It is really effective when a user uses the site for something new and shares his /her experience with you. Email newsletter is the best tool to distribute new info to your user base.

  6. I started an email newsletter two years ago with ~60 subscribers. I now have 1,700 subscribers to Heinz Marketing Insights (www.heinzmarketinginsights.com), and it’s been a fantastic tool for me to keep in touch with lots of people at once, deliver content that can help them individually and with their business, and drive referrals back into the business as well.

  7. Marge Phelps

    Great article; useful and timely. I had been wondering whether it was worthwhile to distribute an email newsletter when there’s already a website and your piece successfully addressed that issue.