Last week I attended my first Camp Tech workshop out of the Hive in Vancouver. I specify that it was my first, because I already know I want to attend MORE! The course I took was Email Marketing With MailChimp which I highly recommend to anyone who runs their own business, or anyone who is responsible for sending out their company’s newsletters.
I have been sending out North Shore Mama newsletters for about 2 years now. Oh, what’s that? You haven’t received a newsletter from me in F.O.R.E.V.E.R??! I KNOW!!! That’s exactly the reason I signed up for this workshop! I am terrible terrible terrible at sending out newsletters, mostly because I find it so daunting. Creating a newsletter seems to take me way too long and it always ends up at the bottom of my to-do list, when it should be at the VERY TOP.
Our Camp Tech instructor, Sean, explained to us that email marketing is arguably still the most effective way of reaching a targeted audience. There may very well be no better way. With that knowledge in hand, and all the tips and tricks I learned in the 3 hour Camp Tech workshop, I am more determined than ever to start sending out more regular newsletters.
So easy, a monkey could do it? Clearly, I just needed someone to walk me through it properly, as I had been trying to self-teach up until the workshop and it wasn’t working out so well for me.
While I am not yet a professional MailChimp’er, after the 3 hour Camp Tech workshop, I now have such a better handle on how to effectively reach out to the readers that subscribe to my site. There were some key tips that Sean provided us with that were little Ah-Ha moments for me as to how I could make the task of sending out newsletters less time-consuming.
I cannot share all the Camp Tech learning with you, because a) I don’t have 3 hours b) I encourage you to take the workshop yourself to learn from a pro… BUT I will tell you my top 3 take-aways from the workshop.
Create a template
Spend the time to create a beautiful template for your newsletter. Save it and use it to quickly switch out the main content every time you are ready to send out a newsletter. I had been starting from scratch each time (so silly of me, right?!) and that was likely the main reason it was taking me so long to get a simple email sent out. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Customize your sign up form
Before the workshop, I had that ugly grey pop-up box to subscribe to my email list. I used to stare at my screen in awe whenever someone’s subscription box popped up all pretty looking. “How DO they DO that?”. Sean showed us how and I made some minor changes right there in the workshop. I still want to customize it some more, but what I have now is so much more fun than what I had before!
As I sat there in the workshop, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of “why haven’t I done something like this yet?”. Spending the money and the TIME on learning effective business-building skills is invaluable. It felt so good to sit and dedicate myself exclusively to one aspect of my business I have been meaning to focus on. Learning from others who have experience and who are masters in a given domain is a gift worth giving yourself. It’s hard to juggle everything that comes with running a business, but being all scatter-brained about it and half-a$$ing it causes more work (and headache) than necessary! Sitting in an intimate group setting, putting our learning of certain tasks into action right then and there and asking questions as they arise is energy and money WELL SPENT, if you ask me!
The reason I say that that won’t be my last Camp Tech workshop is that their ‘lineup’ of courses is exciting! They have workshops on everything from Email Marketing to Intro to Google Analytics to Photoshop for Beginners (and more!). If you’re interested in taking the Email Marketing for MailChimp course that I took, the next one is coming up in November!
SPECIAL OFFER ALERT: Use promo code NShoreMama and receive $10 off any Camp Tech workshop!
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Disclosure: I had the pleasure of attending this Camp Tech workshop in exchange for a review post on North Shore Mama. I was not paid to write about Camp Tech and the opinions in this post are entirely my own!