Little by little, one networking event at a time, you've finally built yourself a nice cushy email list. Now what?

As part of your direct mail campaign, an emailed newsletter is a valuable tool that pushes your message directly to your customers. Assuming you are using an opt-in email list (which you should be!), your customers actively asked for and expect information from you. You have to send your loyal subscribers something of value and do it often. However, between your blog, twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, it is not easy to come up with fresh content on a regular basis. So how do you generate content?  

We've said it before and we'll say it again - focus on one social channel you feel most comfortable with and then make it work overtime for you. For example, if you mainly use Facebook to connect with your customers, set it up to automatically forward posts to your blog, twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Most social platforms allow for such "cross-pollination".

This same concept holds true for your email newsletter. If you already blog on a regular (or at least somewhat regular) basis, you can turn your blog posts into a email newsletter automatically whenever you update your blog. Did we mention that the process is automatic?! It is called RSS-to-Email.

There are a few free and paid services out there that will take content from your blog or any RSS feed and automatically (there is that word again!) send it as an email newsletter to your subscribers. Different services offer various scheduling options - you can send out your email newsletter every time you update your blog, once a day, once a week, etc. Give it a try, check out MailChimp & AWeber (paid), or FeedBurner (free).

What's even more interesting is that RSS-to-Email applies to more than just your blog:

  • E-commerce carts publish inventory RSS feeds that you can turn into, say, email alerts for products that are back in stock.
  • Event calendar services publish RSS feeds that can be turned into event alerts.
  • Facebook and other social sites have RSS feeds you can turn into emails.
  • Airfare alerts are often set up as RSS feeds.

In short, you can turn a big chunk of your marketing and social activities into automated and trackable email campaigns. Just listen to the sweet sound of "automated and trackable" - it's music to our marketing ears!