If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written or watched any of my video tutorials, you’ve probably heard me rave on (talk about) creating marketing Newsletter ideas to add to your website.
Next to HAVING a website, this is one of the most important things a business owner can do as soon as their business is online.
But there are 3 common mistakes which I see website owners making, which can be avoided, and I’d love to share them with you so your Newsletter does the best job it can for you.
Mistake #1 – Marketing Newsletter Ideas: Sign-up Box (or Link) Is Non-Existent
Creating a newsletter for your business and website is an exciting step to take to be able to connect with your website visitors to share your message. The reason a business or website owner sets this up is so that they can capture the email name of people who visit their site, but who aren’t ready yet to buy their product or service.
This gives the business owner time to go back to the visitor with helpful information in the coming weeks and months.
In the excitement of setting up the marketing newsletter, it can be easy to forget some crucial steps, and the most important one is forgetting to put a “sign-up” box on every page of your website.
Yes, it does happen, and unfortunately it means that no-one will be able to sign up because they won’t know you actually have a Newsletter.
What to do instead:
If you realise this has happened, don’t panic because all is not lost! If you have access to your site and can add the sign-up box details, fantastic! Do that straight away so you don’t miss out on gathering the email names of people who visit your site who might want to hear more from you in future.
If you don’t know HOW to add the sign-up box, check first with the company who is providing you Newsletter services (for example I use Aweber, one of the most robust and well-respected newsletter and autoresponder companies online). Generally the company will give you an easy way to add a “sign-up” box in just a few simple clicks.
If you still aren’t able to do this yourself, ask your website person or a friend to help – they might know a little bit more about how to add the sign-up box.
However you do it, just make sure it happens a.s.a.p. so you don’t miss out on any opportunities to connect with potential customers and clients.
Mistake #2 – Website Links Aren’t Clickable
When the Newsletter is published, it generally gets sent via email, and it’s important that every instance of each of your website’s links are “clickable” (or “hyperlinked”) to make it very easy for people to visit your site. If there’s a button to “read more” or to click “for more information”, that’s great – but that’s only ONE place where they can click.
What to do instead:
Make it so easy for your Newsletter readers to pop over to your website by ensuring that your website link is “clickable” or “hyperlinked” every time it is mentioned in every Newsletter.
This is common practice, and should be done for every single Newsletter you publish.
- BONUS TIP 1:
- BONUS TIP 2:
Do not make ALL links go back to the Home page only – the best marketing practice is to send the links to other PAGES in your site where they can read more information relevant to that particular edition of the email Newsletter.
Mistake #3 – Be warned! It Might Be Illegal To Add Email Names Without Consent!
Many countries have rules and regulations regarding gathering email names to add to your email list (like the SPAM ACT here in Australia), so before you start adding people, you need to have their consent. Did you add people to your list without their knowledge or consent? Have you ever been added to a list without your knowledge or consent?
It’s not a nice feeling when that happens, so it’s important to find out the rules and regulations for your country before you ever add any names to your marketing newsletter ideas mailing list.
If you’re taking the advice of the Mailing List company you’ve chosen, are they in or from your country? Can they quote the relevant SPAM Act for your Country or State?
What to do instead:
To make sure you’re doing everything above board, find out the rules governing your Country and or State.
In a search engine, all you need to do is type:
- mailing list consent laws
- and then add the name of your country, for example:
- mailing list consent laws canada
- mailing list consent laws usa
- mailing list consent laws new zealand
- mailing list consent laws australia
In Australia where I live, there are definite laws on gaining “consent” legally, for example on The Australian Communications and Media Authority website, this Question and Answer is quite explicit regarding the Spam Act for Australia:
- there is also a PDF available to download >> http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib310037/fs161-spam_act-understanding_consent.pdf
How can I ensure I can prove I have sufficient consent to send messages?
Using a double opt-in process, where the subscriber confirms a subscription request by reply email or SMS before they are subscribed, is a good way to ensure that consent has been recorded.
Can I send an electronic message to customers to obtain their consent to send messages in the future?
No. Unsolicited commercial electronic messages cannot be used to gain consent.
What this means in Australia is DON’T gather business cards, add them to your list, then send out a newsletter — you must talk to the person who owns the business card that say you’d LIKE to add them to your mailing list, and is it OK to do so? If you forgot to ask them, call them. You have to do this for every business card – not everyone wants to be on a “list” just because they exchanged business cards with you.
I get very annoyed if I suddenly receive an email newsletter and I had no idea I was going to be added to someone’s list. If I’ve met the person, I wonder why they didn’t ask for my permission – and yet I feel uncomfortable about clicking their Unsubscribe link.
I much prefer to have total control over which lists I join, and I absolutely prefer the “double opt-in” approach to newsletters, so I get to “approve” my subscription by being required to click a confirmation link.
Double-check what you need to do in your State, Territory and Country before sending out any email Newsletters – better to be safe than sorry.
Final word …
Whichever country you are in, it’s very important to follow the rules and regulations to make sure you’re within the law. If it’s not legal to simply add people to your list without their consent (like Australia), make sure to ASK the person BEFORE you send your Newsletter to them. All it takes is a complaint against you and your company and your business name and it might end in tears.
And think about the person you’re planning to add to your list – did you let them know you were going to do this? Will they be upset or annoyed? It’s not just about “you” and gathering names for your mailing list, so play by the rules.
Be smart, gather all your facts and legal requirements regarding your activities on the internet and make sure you’re following the guidelines for your country. Do that and you’ll be all set to start sending out your cool marketing newsletter ideas, tips and information to connect with your potential customers and clients. I wish you much good luck and good fortune!
My name is Teena Hughes and I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you’ve been able to avoid these mistakes when setting up your marketing newsletter ideas and campaigns. Feel free to contact me or post on my Facebook page if you have any questions or need any help with your website or marketing or any kind – I love to help – thanks in advance!