Staying connected has become everyone’s goal. We live here too, and are inspired by the stories we’re sharing about the ways you are supporting one another—even while challenged to be apart.

We connect our community online, so we thought we could help by offering you and your organization some tips and tools to stay in “virtual” contact.

Staying connected now means more writing, publishing, sharing, and making sure those folks you support can find you. We’ll send an email each week with an idea for ways to reach out and connect. Stay safe! –The WhatcomTalk Team

P.S. This is part of an ongoing series; find how-tos on press releases and social media here.

Email Enables a Personal Connection, Just a Tad of Set-Up Needed

Email outreach newsletters seem like they should be yesterday’s news, right? Not so.

Mobile device adoption rates and smart inboxes have only served to strengthen the ties that bind patrons to businesses who use email communications well.

The “well” part can feel overwhelming: You have to follow the rules of who to write to, make sure your content can be viewed properly across the different ways people see it, collect and manage all those addresses, and give interesting information.

Good news—there are products that will do the heavy lifting for you. Here’s what we’ll cover below:
1. Find (probably free) mail software.
2. Build your audience.
3. Use templates and a topic calendar.
4. Check out suggestions from help.

Email Marketing Software

Think of Email Marketing Software like a really awesome personal assistant who keeps track of details, communicates clearly, and makes sure everything is on the level. 

Although there are many choices (you can do your own search) I’m going to use MailChimp as an example because it is SO widely used. 

See on this features page all the things you can do with the free version.

Note: Remember you’re entrusting any mail tool with your customers’ data. Check their data protocols.

Build Your Audience

Best practice is to put all the people you will email into one “audience.” As you learn more you can “segment” that main audience in all sorts of ways to make sure you’re delivering what people want to know. Read about audiences from our Mailchimp example here.

NOTE: Without getting into too much detail, you need to have a “past” with people to send them email. A transactional past means you cand send them transactional and relationship emails. Only permission allows you to send them marketing emails. Your mail software will have a help section to make sure you’re in compliance, such as this. Check it out.

But in short: Do not purchase or import lists of strangers and write to them.

Use Templates and a Topic Calendar

Templates are the best, they make it simple to create email that communicates well just by dropping your words and pictures into pre-set designs. It is not only easier, again, these are tested designs that work well across all the different kinds of receiving email clients, and present well on mobile devices.

One Mail Service’s Suggestions for What You Can Do During COVID-19

Don’t take our word for it. So many support businesses are offering resources for how you can strengthen your outreach capabilities right now. Here’s two links from our example:

1. Mailchimp’s Idea Page for staying connected during COVID-19.

2. Mailchimp’s Marketing Ideas Page for navigating this period of disruption.

We Can Help You Stay Connected, Too!

Send press releases to submit@whatcomtalk.comwe will happily consider publishing.

Post for free on our Business Info Hub & Calendar tool to share your COVID-related updates on essential services.

Subscribe to our Trending Stories emails to read inspiring stories about your community.

Reach out to our Business Development & Storytelling Pro, you may not have budget to advertise, but we want to hear how you’re doing and are happy to chat about your short- and long-term strategies.

Follow our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds.

Want to advertise with us?
Reach out here, or email amy.g@whatcomtalk.com.

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