It seems fair to say that newsletters are like the marmite of the marketing world – people either seem to love them, or hate them. They are everywhere and for good reason. Newsletters are an effective form of marketing, but they can be time consuming to put together. Not just the newsletter itself, but the:
- sourcing and setting up of mailing software
- finding subscribers and managing the list
- creating and curating content
- sending the newsletter
- analysing the reader statistics
The return on investment can easily outweigh the time lost and associated costs, but why not make the most of both worlds and outsource the task to a virtual assistant?
So how can a virtual assistant manage your newsletter marketing?
First consideration – email or printed newsletter? An email newsletter is cheaper, quicker, and you can check statistics easily on who has opened, read and clicked through your newsletter. However, when many email inboxes are overflowing – a newsletter arriving in the post can be just as effective in grabbing attention.
A virtual assistant can take care of the administrative tasks necessary for a printed newsletter; sourcing a reliable printer, creating the newsletter (or finding a copywriter that can), checking the proof before printing, taking care of the mailshot, and handling customer enquiries arising from the newsletter.
So what’s involved when creating an email newsletter?
An email newsletter is an entirely different ball game, with many more aspects to consider than with the traditional printed alternative. A VA can take care of any, or all, of the stages involved.
You can’t send an email newsletter without a mailing list to email it to. It’s important that everyone on that list has agreed to be there – mailing out to business card contacts is not only bad form, but can get you blacklisted as a spammer.
There are numerous ways to grow a subscriber list – offering a freebie or discount is often a good way of finding interested people. It also helps towards the conversion process when they’ve already seen the benefits of what you do and know.
Once you have a mailing list you need to manage it effectively. Using software like Mailchimp makes the process fairly straightforward, and also allows you to analyse the performance of the newsletter, and the recipients. Creating subscription lists and ensuring details are up-to-date is an on-going but essential task.
Mailchimp enables you to design the newsletter from scratch or use an existing template, but you’ll still need to compile the content
The meat on the bones of your newsletter is the content. It’s worth planning each newsletter well in advance – an editorial calendar can help you achieve this. Consider what you readers will find useful, what will help establish your authority and credibility in your field, and what you want your subscribers to remember as part of your on-going marketing strategy.
Curating content can also be useful. This is where you share links to content written by other people that you think your readers could benefit from. Not only can this help build rapport with your existing and prospective clients, it can also help build links with other businesses that could bring a lot of work your way.
Once the content is good to go, a virtual assistant can enter it into your newsletter software, check it looks as good as it should, and send it your mailing list. You might think that this means job done, but this is where your VA is really getting started in terms of getting the most out of newsletter marketing.
Mailchimp will track how your subscriber list reacts to your newsletter – enabling you to assess your return on investment
From how many of your subscribers open the email, to how long they spend reading it – statistics can help you understand your target audience better. A low open rate can indicate that the subject line or content doesn’t resonate with your readers like you had imagined it would, for example. Analysing statistics can be a time consuming process, but a VA can make light work of it and give you a report on what you need to know.
Creating, sending, and evaluating an email newsletter can be an extremely time consuming task. There’s no reason for you to take hours away from growing your business when you can outsource to an experienced professional who specialises in newsletter marketing.
If you want to find out more, contact us at Banks’ Business Solutions today.