Your blog and your newsletter are meant to be together. They go hand in hand, like PB&J. Using your blog and newsletter hand in hand will also make your life much easier!

If you followed along last week, I shared how easy it can be to get started with blogging. If you missed it check it out here. Now that you’re turning your social media into quick and easy blog posts you’re primed and ready to start sending regular newsletters. But first, why? Why all the trouble? I mean, do people even read email anymore? Yes, yes, they do.

There’s an even bigger reason why your newsletter is small business gold. Your newsletter is key to your success because you own it, it’s yours, no one can take it or change it. Your newsletter is your direct line to your ideal customer. Just think of it, no pesky algorithm to swoop in and undo all of your hard work (ehhem, Facebook and Instagram). Your list is your list and that’s why you should start building it today.

Let’s break out the numbers, on average for e-commerce, 18% of your subscribers will open their emails, and roughly 2% will click through. Those numbers may not seem super high, but take these this into consideration. All of those people on your list are your people, people that like you enough to give you their email address. They are people on the cusp of buying your products.

Let’s take another look at numbers, say you have 10,000 followers on Instagram, and your average post like is 200 likes. That is only .02% of your followers pressing a heart button for your pictures. Now I’m not saying that’s bad, but I am saying that your 18% open rate might be sounding a little better now! So, how do you get started, even if you don’t feel like you’re ready?

Here’s my quick guide for getting started with a newsletter.

  • Jump in, I know you’re scared, but I promise it will be worth it! Take a deep breath, believe in yourself, and dive in.
  • Set up your newsletter account. I always suggest starting out with Mailchimp. It’s easy to use, and free to get started with. You won’t have to start paying for it until you hit 2,000 subscribers, and even then it’s only $25 a month. No excuses, that is doable.
  • Decide on a newsletter schedule. Just like blogging, you don’t have to start out sending these out every week! When I started out I sent newsletters once a month, 6 months later I bumped it up to twice a month, and now I send newsletters for Zenned Out once a week. Decide on a schedule that you can realistically commit to, put it on your editorial calendar.
  • Yes’s and No’s for getting people on your new e-newsletter list: 
    • YES: Add subscribers manually that have given you permission. Take a clipboard to any selling event you go to in order to collect names.
    • YES: Within Mailchimp, or other email marketing program you’re using, create an opt-in form so you can post links on your Etsy site and social media accounts for people to sign up.
    • YES: If you have a website, create opt-in boxes using an app like Hello Bar  or Opt-in . Hello Bar is free and easy to use, Opt-in Monster is not free but more robust.
    • YES: Create an opt-in offer to entice people to join your list. This could range from a discount, free shipping, offers, information, or printables. That being said you DO NOT have to have an opt-in offer, you can simply entice people to join because they love what you’re doing and want to stay in touch.
    • NO: Do not import emails addresses you’ve acquired from purchases on Etsy or your website into your newsletter program. This goes against SPAM laws and is generally a very icky way to build your list.
    • NO: Do not add anyone to your email list that has not given you explicit permission to do so.
  • Use your blog content as a launching pad for your newsletter content, and a tool to get subscribers from your newsletter to your website. Aside from giving your subscribers amazing value and making them feel super excited and special to be on your newsletter, the goal is to get them on your website and convert them into a buyer.
  • Tell people about it! ALL THE TIME! If you have customers following you on social media who love what you’re doing, they will want to join your email newsletter. This is not the time to be shy, sing it on the rooftops that you’re going to be sending out an AMAZING newsletter! Be clear with people tell them when to expect emails and how often you’ll be sending them.

I hope you feel like you have all the tools you need to jump in and get started with your own newsletter for your handmade biz! If something has you lost or you have another question, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out.

xo, Cassie