If there is one thing that should get your consideration in promoting your business it should be the inclusion of a newsletter as part of your marketing arsenal. With many free, easy to use platforms available this inexpensive way of keeping in touch with current and potential customers is something that should not be overlooked. Remember, your efforts on social media should be used to good effect. Use these channels to encourage fans and followers from your social media space onto your own email list. You are a tenant on social media platforms and ultimately these platforms own the data not you.
You might be thinking but I have a website, I blog, I keep my Facebook pages updated why should I add another activity?
Email marketing is still a popular activity. A regular and well written newsletter is a great way of keeping in contact with your customers, current and potential. Newsletters allow you to be more personal and for your readers to have better interactions with your company. There is more to marketing a business than just through social media. Marketing should be a healthy mix of activities. The more your social media platforms grow, the wider the gap between you and your fans, customers and potential customers. Email marketing will help bridge that gap. Besides, not everyone is on Facebook. Your website is an ideal place for visitors to connect with you should they choose to offer permission that allows you to build a relationship with them.
I subscribe to many newsletters, some of which I really look forward to receiving, because they are easy on the eye, good layout and good content. Links take me back to their site where I can see much more info about a particular subject that the writer has whetted my appetite on. Then I receive many that have just been sent out via Outlook with just words. Bland, boring and most definitely heading for the delete folder. For starters, they are not offering a read an unsubscribe option, which is extremely important and can be perceived as spam
People do still like to receive and read well constructed useful newsletters. So make sure that they are well thought out. If you are working with a business plan that includes a marketing or content strategy you will be better placed to producing a newsletter that gets opened!
Reasons for email marketing:
- It's affordable
- Helps you stay in contact with your audience
- Builds customer loyalty
- Drives traffic to your website
- Generates leads and sales
- You are not restricted to a character count, you can say what you need to say
- Segment your lists so different audiences receive different content
- Email has been around way before social media and provides more stability for relationship building
What to include:
So what do you tell your readers? It depends on what kind of business you have. Some firm favourites will be a roundup of products and services with links back to your website. Do you have a product or service that you would like to introduce to your readers first? Give them an exclusive offer that won't be shared anywhere else. Want some feedback? Do you work with other businesses or services? Are these beneficial to your customers/readers? Share links and information. Educate your readers - share your expertise. What blog updates got good attention? What events will you be at? Are you having a sale? Give your readers first refusal to get their hands on sale products.
Which platforms to use:
Be respectful of your viewer. Hitting the send button too frequently is likely to be a sure sign to the road of unsubscribe. So, on your part you need to be creative and appeal to your reader.
More top tips:
- Keep it regular - one a month or bi monthly, the same day, the same time. Readers will appreciate the consistency.
- Be personal. A newsletter allows you to talk to the reader as if you were sharing a coffee. Give a bit more of you than you would expect on social media platforms.
- Share, share, share. Most newsletter templates include forward to a friend, but remember to share across your social media platforms.
- If you have included the services of other businesses, share with them, ask them to forward to their customers - it's a win win for both.
- Be respectful of other people's email addresses. Do not under any circumstance just add any address to your list. With the introduction of GDPR [RGDP in France], make sure you understand permissions. Here's a quick link to help understand permissions
- Include sign up so that those who are interested in receiving a newsletter from you can do so via your website, Facebook page or blog. With GDPR/RGDP remember double opt in sign ins and privacy policies.
- Don't include everything. A reader does not need or wish to scroll and scroll. Make each topic short and sweet and include a link back to a blog or website. Attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter.
- Pictures say a thousand words so make sure you include good quality images. Ideally your own or those purchased from reliable stock photo sites. While we see lifting of images shared and placed on social media sites, does not mean you have the right to them.
This article was written in 2017, GDPR came into effect May 25th 2018 and therefore is something that you need to be aware of and comply with. There is plenty of information on the net relating to this topic but for those in France visit https://www.cnil.fr/