Email newsletters should be an essential part of your marketing. They are low-cost and give you the opportunity to connect with the people on your mailing list.

To make sure that your newsletter isn't dry as dust, follow these seven simple guidelines from Michael Katz of Blue Penguin Development. I have learned so much from his newsletters and classes: 

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AuthorRobin Sagara

Life on the internet changes, rapidly. Just the other day I got an email from my go-to place for stock images and video ( that they were changing their pricing. I checked the new prices and yikes! Very expensive. They are part of the Getty Images company now. Getty Images are wonderful and unique but don't always fit with our budget and our clients' budgets. We primarily buy images for web use, a lot of them, so they should be in the $1 - $5 range to be affordable. At iStock that used to be possible but now a small image for web use can cost $15-$30 each.

You DO know about buying stock images, video footage, and audio yes?  Still, sometimes, when I ask a client where they got the images or video footage they want me to add to their website, newsletter, or social media they say "I grabbed it off the Internet."  Oops!  Not OK, not legal. Copyright/trademarks and all that. Those images/logos are someone's hard work and belong to them. Do the honorable thing and get your stuff from a stock image/audio/footage company, or, make your own! If something you want to use was created by artist or another company you can always ask them if you can use it and (of course) give them proper credit. Doesn't hurt to ask.

My search for a new stock image company resulted in 123.rf. I've been buying images from them for a while now and they are very reasonable. If you need an occasional image, you can buy credits for $1 or less. Small images for web use are one to two credits ($1-$2). Awesome.  Images big enough for print run about $4-$10. Still awesome. Images used for resale (like on e-books and packaging or anything you are going to sell) required an Extended License.

Extended Licenses at 123.rf are reasonable. $50 print only extended license, $75 electronic only extended license, $100 comprehensive extended license. Still good.

Yes, the image in this article is from It cost me $1 and is 450 pixels x 450 pixels which is big enough to use on the blog or in an email newsletter.

If you need many images per month, you can get your per-credit and image costs way down. Sign up for a monthly subscription and save about 50% or more. They start at $89 for 30 days and you can grab up to five images per day bringing your per credit price down to $.59 for each image.

And oh, by the way, we don't get anything for recommending I'm looking into an affiliate/partner arrangement to see if we can save you and us money. Stay tuned on that one.

Got questions about all this?  Lemme kno....  :-D

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Ongoing learning is critical these days, and I spend a couple of hours each week taking workshops and attending seminars/webinars from people I trust to keep me current and informed.


One of those companies is I buy most of my stock images from them, and rely on their website articles and webinars to stay current on the use of images in marketing and branding.  Their recent webinar on The Yin and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories was simply great. You can watch it also and learn "how to get your brand noticed using strong words and images together to create a consistent and compelling brand story."

It's hosted by the Head of Creative Planning at iStock, Rebecca Swift and the former VP of Brand for Virgin and Founder/CEO of BrandTwist, Julie Cottineau. They know their stuff, and I learned a lot. Whether you just post on Facebook occasionally or you have a long-term strategy for marketing your business, you will greatly benefit from this presentation. Oh, and it's free (and I don't get anything by recommending them, I just think they are stellar).

You will get:

  • Tips and tools to help you create a cohesive brand identity.
  • Info on how to combine your visual and verbal identities into one.
  • Knowledge on how to identify your "brand tone" and why it's important.
  • Skills to achieve word/image balance and make sure they are in sync.
  • Knowledge on how to fix gaps between your promise and the experience.
  • Examples of brands who have mastered it.
  • Skills to search smarter for images, and how to decide which of your own images are best for you to use.
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AuthorRobin Sagara