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There are some crazy rumors flying around the yogi-verse.

Social media is in — and email is out.

You may have heard that email is going the way of the dinosaur — that texting, twittering, instagraming, or pinteresting is replacing the email newsletter.

Successful yogi-preneurs know that these new, shiny social media tools are lots of fun — but research and testing has proven over and over again that email is a core component of your community communications strategy.

So to get started, here are some things a email-savvy yogi needs to know before starting an email communication strategy.

1. Email marketing is now regulated more strictly by the CAN-SPAM act.

***there are similar laws in place in Canada and other countries

We’ve all received spam emails — so now the FTC has put strict regulations into place to save us from the clutter (and deceptive emails) in our inbox.

Why is this important to you? Because now your business can be held liable for spamming consumers. To the sum of a hefty fine.

How do you make sure you’re in compliance?

It’s pretty simple — you have to keep accurate records of each person on your email list, including when they signed up, and make sure that any reader can easily unsubscribe from your email list. For full CAN SPAM info, click here.

Actually, that might not seem so simple if you’ve been just adding people from your Outlook or Gmail contacts into a BCC email blast from your personal account.

For this reason, it’s incredibly important for you to invest a little extra into finding an email marketing service that suits your needs best.

What should this service provide?

1. They should have a confirmation process (also called a double opt-in).

This means that once someone signs up for your email newsletter, the email service automatically sends them an email asking them to confirm their subscription to your email list.

This protects the community — because people can’t just use their email address to sign them up for lists all over the place — and it protects you from spam bots who just want to send YOU spam.

2. There should be an easy way to add an email sign-up form to your website or blog.

Many providers have plug-ins that integrate directly into your WordPress hosted website. This allows you to add a little form in the top of the sidebar of your website. OR you have the option of cutting and pasting a little line of code into your website (which is my preference, because there are more areas than just your sidebar for this form).

3. They should provide a way to manage your email list.

Do you just want to have one big main list, or do you want to segment it (for example, a separate list just for people who attended a workshop). This can be extremely helpful when you want to send out an email specifically to a segment of your community.

4. Is there an ability to send auto-responders?

Auto-responders are messages that are sent out automatically once someone signs up for your email list. This allows you to set up emails in advance to go straight to new subscribers.

I like to send them a special welcome email and a link to access some great free training and information.

Ready to get started?

Let’s set up your email service! I highly recommend MailChimp, Aweber, or Simplero {I personally use Simplero as my all-in-one online marketing tool and LOVE it}.

Step #1 – Set up your account. All three have easy to follow instructions to set up your account and your primary email list.

Step #2 – Edit your confirmation and welcome messages. A couple little tweaks in these messages will go a long way in making your new subscriber feel excited about you and your business. This is a great time to give them a little preview of what you share with your community and send them directly to some free content.

Step #3 – Add the sign-up form to your website. At a minimum, it should be at the top of your sidebar!

There are more secret sweet spots that we’ll cover in the next post in this series, How to Effortlessly Ask for Email Sign-ups.

 

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