The idea of sending out a newsletter has been floating around at the back of my brain for quite a while. Sometimes it surfaces and then gently floats down again. But for some reason, this week it has surfaced, and become a rock that all other thoughts are scattered against.
An overblown metaphor? Maybe, but it has been like that. My compulsion to get moving on a newsletter has overtaken everything else. I am even thinking about it in my sleep! It is only 6:30 in the morning, but here I am, with my cup of tea, telling you about my grand plans.
I have set up a Mail Chimp account, which seems to be the platform that everyone uses. It is NOT an easy process, and I have been surprised by that. It is not Mail Chimp’s fault; they have excellent information, with links to helpful articles. Maybe I am overloaded by all the information. But, their terminology is odd. It took me a while to realise that what they call a ‘campaign’ was where I was to write the newsletter. I am only writing a humble, fortnightly newsletter, not creating a marketing campaign.
I have written the first newsletter (hopefully in the right spot), which was okay, once I worked out how to upload photos, change there size, add in fields for writing etc. Bloggers are used to doing that sort of work.
What I am confused about is the behind the scenes things. I need sign-up forms, and then forms to thank people for signing up, and then opting out forms, and a whole list of others. I think (hope!) that by doing one I have done the others. I am encouraged to make sure that codes are embedded, and I have codes that I can embed in other sites. I can connect with my Facebook page (natch!), which I thought I had done, but can’t see anything on the page. It seems to have vanished into the ether. Hopefully the ‘sign-up’ button on this blog will work.
At some point next week I am just going to press publish and hope that the first newsletter gets to someone who has asked for it! All the other things can be tweaked because one of the big things I have learnt in this internet world is that there is very little that can’t be changed or added further down the track. (Unless you have signed up for a Nigerian Bank offering you a million dollars and a Russian bride!)
On rereading this I notice that I have used ‘hopefully’ quite a few times. That sums up my attitude at the moment ~ hopefully it will all work out!
Why am I writing a newsletter? When we sign up for a newsletter we are making a conscious decision to know more about the product and the person behind it. We are not just saying “Yes, I give you permission to tell me more”, but “I want you to tell me more”. That permission means that I can send an email about my art right to someone’s inbox. I don’t have to fight past all the cat videos, ads and happy snaps to get their attention.
I love telling people about my art work, and of course, love selling my art. Why not talk about it to people who are engaged audience and want to hear more?
So, why not do this with the blog? There will be overlap, and I am going to be linking back to articles I have written. If you read this blog regularly the newsletter will seem very familiar. And I certainly have a very engaged audience here! However, what I love about my blog is that I can chat to you about a whole range of things ~ books, my garden, travels, the Little Free Library, whatever takes my fancy. The newsletter will be targeted to my art work, more of an “In my studio” focus, as well as a focus on selling through my Etsy shop.
It will have a section linking to other people, articles, exhibitions and the like, because I am a great believer in Passing It On. People give me so much support and encouragement; I want to do my bit to help others. Let me know if there is anything you would like me to share/promote.
Let me tell you about Ann Wood. She makes the most amazing creatures, crafted out of vintage fabrics. As well, she has an elegant newsletter that is one of my models.
My main task at the moment is to build the list. So….if you are interested in receiving my fortnightly newsletter click on the button, which hopefully(!) is on the side bar. If that is not working send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and I will sign you up. (Mail Chimp is very particular about making sure people give permission to receive the newsletter, which is good to know.)
I would love to know your thoughts on newsletters. What do you like about them? Or don’t like? I hate those pop up notices that ask you to sign up before you have even had a chance to look at the site. What advice do you have for my fledgling newsletter?