Should Your Small Business Have a Newsletter?

Should Your Small Business Have a Newsletter?

As your marketing plan unfolds, you’re posting to social media, sharing blog articles and one by one, (hopefully) collecting email addresses. People are liking pictures and visiting your website, but how do you keep them coming back for more? Those who have engaged with your brand know who you are and have even shown interest in what you sell. You need to keep the conversation going and capitalize on these “hot” leads. But how? With newsletters!

One classic form of marketing still stands: newsletters. With a new, fancy platform emerging every month it seems, should you consider this old or seemingly outdated form of communication? While it doesn’t sound as exciting, its results still stand. The simplicity of newsletters is the power behind it. And no, it’s not dead.

It might take some attention at first, but try to view your newsletter as a channel for building relationships, especially with existing customers. Social media may be super fun but it is not as direct and your customers may miss out on important news or info. Email is still highly used and it’s not going anywhere. Let’s review the best benefits of adding a newsletter to your marketing repertoire.

“A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.”- Ramsay Leimenstoll

Keeping the Conversation Going

Newsletters are a great way to continue a conversation and maintain contact with people after they show interest in your brand. A simple newsletter helps keep you top-of-mind and reminds them to engage with you again. Maybe they thought about purchasing, but decided to hold off. With a friendly email reminder, now they have an easy outlet to get back to your website and complete the transaction. Newsletters aren’t just for communicating. If done correctly, they can act as a steady stream for lead generation. Check out this cute way to make a simple newsletter.

By sharing a consistent message and providing valuable information, you also build credibility. This builds further trust and eventually real customer loyalty. But first things first: you need to make sure your messages are consistent and engaging. Your newsletters should be a place of knowledge and teach the reader something new. Like your social media, you don’t want all your headlines to be about promoting you. It should be about providing information, advice, tips or entertainment.

Customer Relationships

Newsletters are all about maintaining your relationships. The effort of onboarding customers is as important as keeping up with your existing ones. Newsletters can do both. Email newsletters are to a direct audience, not advertising to the masses. Those who have subscribed want your updates and more exclusive information. They’re “insiders” and part of the club – treat them like it!

Don’t be afraid to be extra personal in newsletters. This is the time to express more information about your business – and you! You are working to establish trust to build a relationship, so let them inside. Share your personal story or customer testimonials. Talk about the local community or events you’re participating in. If you’re brave enough, share some “secrets” that could entice people to learn more. You’re the expert, so share your thoughts on the industry, trend or product with confidence. People will respect you.

The more targeted, relevant and personal your messages are, the more likely your fans are to read them. Stay away from that sales-y approach and treat them like VIPs!

Pro tip: What’s in your inbox? What are some of your favorite brands doing to keep you interested via email? There’s no need to recreate the wheel. Try to mold their ideas into your creative genius.

Learn About Your Audience

Newsletters have great metrics making it easy to tap into the minds of your readers. See what messaging gets the most views, what articles get the most clicks, and what text people engage with. Did anyone forward the message or reply to you directly?

A great feature in most newsletter platforms is that you can segment your audience into specific lists. This allows you to curate your emails around a specific point. Craft your word choice and design to focus on what engaged the subscriber in the first place. How did you get their email? Were the interested in a product, interact on Facebook, or subscribe on your website? The more you can segment your lists, the more detailed your messages can be. More targeting means more conversion because you’re delivering what the reader wants!

Pro tip: Try A/B testing with the topics of newsletters. Maybe one message about “summertime food” went unnoticed, but when you shared a guacamole recipe, people clicked on the article. Now that you know people like that topic, try sharing a coupon for a free guacamole appetizer next visit. Newsletters allow you to see what people respond to best giving you more insight to improve your messaging and product.

Healthy Promotion

While there is a rule on how much promotion is ok on social media, newsletters give you more freedom. With newsletters, readers want to hear from you and already have interest. However, they may also want to receive exclusive offers. Treat them like the VIP they are and show your appreciation with an exclusive discount or a freebie once in awhile. Say you’re hosting a summer sale. It’s a great idea to cross promote this sale on all your platforms – email, Facebook, blog, etc. But give a little something extra to your loyal fans. Offer to extend the sale for just them, give an extra 5% off or give a little gift with purchase. What costs you little means a lot to your followers.

Newsletters also present a great opportunity to highlight a specific service or product. Your subscribers signed up for more information, so while you don’t want to be all about sales, it’s ok to share those detailed bits. Make sure to have a clear call to action, such as a “Learn More”, “Explore Our Products” button. Show exclusive information and opportunities for your customers to reward them for their continued connection with you.

Signing up is a powerful signal of intent to buy. Send them email until they do.Jordie van Rijn

Shout Your Brand’s Voice

Nowadays we almost have too many ways to communicate. Our phones are filled with notifications and apps that are intended to simplify our lives and conversations (yeah right!). It’s an oldie but a goodie, but don’t underestimate the power of a newsletter. You can maintain contact, build relationships, promote, and more while learning more about your buyers. Shout your voice, share your mission and spread the message about your business within a community of people who support you. Now what’s better than that?

 

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