Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, Twitter and webinars are the shiny new toys that are getting a lot of attention from small business marketers; but it would be a big mistake to overlook the tried and true: email newsletters.
If you’re not marketing your small business with newsletters then you need to seriously consider it! The fact of the matter is that newsletters give you as a business owner, another chance to connect with your audience. Furthermore, newsletter marketing is something that your competition may not be doing so it will give you a competitive advantage amongst your local customer base.
You need to have your marketing message in front of your customers as much as possible – newsletters are an additional method of engagement that should be taken advantage of. And on top of that publishing a newsletter is an awesome way to help with your branding. Think about it – only the best, most authoritative businesses out there have their very own newsletter, right?
Wouldn’t it be great if you were thought of as the “best” and most “authoritative?” Sure it would!
Here are a few things to consider that will help you get your newsletter marketing off the ground…
Let’s Talk Statistics
When you are putting your newsletter together there are a few different options that you have. First off, you can make your newsletter in “hard copy” format and distribute it to your customers as they are in your store or through direct mail – this is the hard way. The other, more efficient, way to craft your newsletter is digitally. If you are able to collect email addresses of past or potential customers then you can easily make a newsletter each month and email it out to them.
The statistics behind email newsletters for small businesses are staggering. For example, consider the fact that people who actually become customers through email spend 138% more than people that have not been marketed to via email. Additionally, data suggests that 44% of people who received an email with some type of promotion in it last year actually made a purchase.
Considering that, the only course of action to take is connecting with your potential customers through email newsletter marketing.
Who Do I Email Exactly?
One question that small business owners often ask is in regard to who exactly they should be emailing. After all, it is not easy to build a targeted email list, right? Well, though it isn’t easy, it is most definitely possible if you know what you are doing.
The best way to quickly build up your list of email subscribers is by having what is called an “opt in” form on your website. This is simply a place where your website visitors can enter their name and email address in order to be added to your email list that you send the newsletter to.
A good service to start out with when starting to build your list is Aweber. Aweber helps you create and deliver email newsletters with just a few clicks, and you can test drive it for nothing to see how it works for you. One of the best parts of Aweber is that its functionality allows you to design, and send, a great looking newsletter from right within your account, making the whole process quick and easy.
An additional way to build your email list is to use your Facebook page. You can actually integrate your Aweber opt in form into your Facebook page so that as people visit and like your Facebook content they can also add themselves to your email list.
Once again, this will allow you to grow that list quickly and subsequently market to your email subscribers through your newsletter.
Add Useful Content
The other question a lot of small business owners ask is in regard to exactly what type of content they should include in their newsletter. For the most part, it is a good idea to include information that focuses on filling needs of your customers or answering questions that they might have. On top of that, it is also imperative that you have information in your newsletter about any sales, specials or promotions that your business has coming up – after all, the newsletter is designed to drive your bottom line up.
An example, of content that focuses on filling a need or solving a problem may be something like “How to Care for Hair Extensions” if you are the owner of a small beauty salon. A good topic for a car repair station may be “DIY Wiper Blade Replacement.” As you can see, articles like this will not only be valuable to the readers, but they will also help to position you as the authority in the industry.
What Not To Do
There are 2 major things that you need to be aware of when you are marketing with newsletters. The first one has to do with the newsletter itself – you cannot make it just a promotional newsletter or nobody will read it.
The newsletter must be more about helping the potential client and less about you. Of course, you are going to include information about your services but this must be secondary to the useful content that you put out.
Customers will find you no matter what if you position yourself correctly and make your newsletter useful.
The other thing that you cannot do when building your email list is sending out newsletters too often. You cannot send an email to your subscribers every day or they will become desensitized to it and stop opening the email. The best practice is to only send your newsletter once a week at the most – anything more and you may be considered a person that sends SPAM instead of a person that provides something valuable that the reader looks forward to getting.
At the end of the day, creating an email list and sending newsletters is something that you need to be doing in order to grow your business. The steps are very simple to follow and the outcome will be very profitable for you if everything is setup in the manner described above.
And the best part is that newsletter marketing is cumulative – this means that over time as your number of email subscribers grows so will your profits!