All posts by Renee

So you have an email database … now what?!

So to follow on from the last post, now that you have a database setup, how do you build your database? What do you do with that list of potential and existing customers?

How to build your email database?

  1. Tell people about your email newsletter or database. Add a link to the bottom of your email signature, add a signup box to your website home page and sidebar, add a ‘signup’ tab to your business Facebook page …
  2. Encourage people to signup by giving them something for FREE. By this I mean giving away high quality content or information through an online download or ebook. Give your potential customers content that’s worth signing up for.

How to use your email database?

  1. Email high quality content and information. Think of all the emails you get each day and how much of it is people trying to sell you something. I’m sure you hit DELETE instantly! People want relevant and exciting content so make sure you think of your audience and tailor your content to what they would want to read.
  2. Be regular and consistent with your contact. I have been VERY slack with this in the past but consistency is key. Be mindful to not over-commit yourself. What’s achievable with your workload? Weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly …
  3. Engage your database. You could ask a question about the theme of your email or add a survey using Customer Thermometer. Remember that people ‘don’t have time’ for lengthy replies so make it quick and easy for people to respond.
    My biggest suggestion when communicating with your database is to remember WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? – and don’t SELL. Think like your customer. They want to benefit from being on your list!

Here’s a few links you mind find useful:

How To Easily Boost You Email Opt-Ins
25 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List
How to Become a List Building Superhero

If you need help with building your list or coming up with content ideas, feel free to contact me.

Why I prefer MailChimp for customer newsletters & email lists


When I recently sent out an email update to my database, I had a HUGE number of people respond asking about MailChimp and getting an account set up for their business. So I thought you might benefit from what I’ve been telling them.

Email newsletters are definitely becoming a popular and easy way for businesses to stay in touch with their database and as a result, I’ve been setting up a lot of MailChimp accounts for customers lately. Also, I’ve used MailChimp for about 7 years now and it’s what I recommend my customers use to start their email database.

Here’s why:

  • It’s FREE! That’s if you have less than 2,000 subscribers and will send less that 12,000 emails per month.
  • Sign up and start! There’s no trial period so once you sign up you’re good to go.
  • Easy to use! Some of my customers admit they aren’t very tech savvy but once they get the hang of it, they find MailChimp really easy to use.
  • The reports are GREAT! You can see how many people opened your emails, what they clicked on … you can even get a list of the people who didn’t open your email and send a targeted email to that list. Awesome for testing subject lines!
  • The design is customisable! So you can create consistency with your brand.
  • You can integrate MailChimp with your WordPress site and Facebook page. Great if you have a blog and want to send post updates to your database with one click.

If you sign up to a paid account, there are a lot more features available such as auto-responder emails and inbox inspection. Here’s a great article about using MailChimp to grow your brand which discusses the features for paid and unpaid accounts. But if you’re just starting your list, then the free account option is perfect!

Here’s a couple of examples of MailChimp accounts I’ve set up and how they work:

Supply Chain Solutions

We setup the MailChimp account when we redesigned the website as we wanted to capture people from it.


We then integrated MailChimp with the new WordPress site so that when blog posts were created, through the site, everyone on the newsletter list received an email notifying them of the new content and information.


This is great for getting people back to your website!

Professional Yoga

We setup the MailChimp account when we created the website.


Edit uses her MailChimp account to promote new products and any upcoming workshops and classes she’s running.


ODE were using Outlook and Word for their supplier updates/newsletters. A very long winded way of doing things but with plans to develop the business in the future, the owners wanted an easier and more cohesive approach. With my help, they now have a database/email list that’s easy to find and a newsletter template that reflects the brand.


One great feature we used on the first MailChimp newsletter was Customer Thermometer where we asked the readers to rate the new newsletter format.


So, if you don’t currently have an email newsletter/database and have been thinking of creating one, check out MailChimp. If you’re already using MailChimp, awesome! Hopefully you found some the tips and information helpful. And if you use another email newsletter solution/provider, consider checking out MailChimp as it might offer tools that could benefit your business goals.

Dovetail Logo Design

I really enjoy creating logo designs and this one is no exception …

Adrian of Dovetail was introduced to me by another RGDESIGN client – LOVE referrals – and from our first meeting we were on the same page with what Adrian wanted in regards to a logo for his new business venture. Something professional, clean, modern without dating anytime soon, a reflection of the type of work Dovetail will do in the community etc.

I gave him 3 ideas initially and after seeing one in a few different colour variations, he was sold on the first concept.


Initial Concept Designs:




Colour Variations:




Final Logo Design:


Here’s what Adrian from Dovetail had to say:
” I worked with Renee in the design and printing of logos and business cards for my new startup. Renee took time to understand the nature of my business, and the design approaches that resonated with me. She came up with great options, and a final design that I am delighted with. More importantly, clients have remarked on how engaging my logo and business cards are. I would happily recommend Renee on the basis of my work with her. ”

Check out Dovetail.

Next Offramp Poster Design


It’s been awhile since I’ve done a poster design …

One of my lovely clients is a member of Next Offramp and suggested I design the poster for their upcoming performance.

I was given the photo of the group and the details of the event. The rest was up to me!


Next Offramp poster design

How to add a hyperlink to your text

Typing out a domain, like, in a blog post or website page looks unprofessional. And we want to make it as easy as possible for our viewers to click through to find the information they are looking for.

So make the text link directly. Which means instead of putting “” you would put “how to add a hyperlink to your text“.

Note: underlined text is generally a hyperlink.

How to insert a link in WordPress:

  1. Go to the page you want to link to.
  2. Copy the URL. It should start with “http://”. Where do I find the URL?
  3. In WordPress, write the text you want to be a hyperlink. It is good to be descriptive and avoid the phrase ‘click here’. Then select the text.type-your-text
  4. Click the Insert Link button in the WordPress toolbar.wordpress-toolbar-make-link
  5. Paste the URL from step one into the Link URL box.
    Add the title of the page you’re linking to in the Title box.
    Tick the box for ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ if you’re linking to another website. So viewers can easily come back to your website.wordpress-link-window
  6. Then click Add Link.
  7. Click Publish once you’ve finished. And don’t forget to test the link too!

To link to a page or blog post on your website:

  1. In WordPress, write the text you want to be a hyperlink. It is good to be descriptive and avoid the phrase ‘click here’. Then select the text.type-your-text
  2. Click the Insert Link button in the WordPress toolbar.wordpress-toolbar-make-link
  3. Click on the arrow next to ‘Or link to existing content’. This will bring up a list of all your website pages, posts, products, events etc. Click on the relevant title.add-link-from-website
  4. Then click Add Link.
  5. Click Publish once you’ve finished. And don’t forget to test the link too!