Email newsletters are not a new concept. When is the right time to use them for your small business marketing? How can you use them effectively? And, how can you keep up an email newsletter schedule without becoming a slave to the process?
Email Newsletters are not always newsletters:
You may want to email your customers (or potential customers) for a variety of reasons… announce an upcoming event or sale, to say ‘thanks’, to give them information that might be useful to them (and stay in touch), or to ask them for feedback on your service. So while they may be called ‘newsletters’ they are really a tool that can be used for a variety of reasons to help you engage your customers and continue a dialog with them which is where ’email marketing’ comes into it.
And so it is important to consider that: when you share your news with your friends via an email, your email looks like a regular email. It contains no glossy images, no “buy now” offers. It’s just an email, from you, to them. When businesses decide to offer newsletters, they tend to do the opposite. There’s usually little if any actual NEWS and the whole thing looks and reads like a poorly disguised advertisement.
Content may be king… but useful content is more valuable to your customers and likely to engage / interest them more. Everyone’s email inbox fills up rapidly these days and the last thing you want to do is to irritate a customer by taking their time up with some of no value to them.
Consider these great points
Jim Connelly (a business coach and entrepreneur) outlined a few great points for consideration when preparing your email marketing:
- What if you treated the people who read your current newsletter, as if they were already friends?
- What if you sent them actual news and asked how they are?
- What if you sent it, not on some lame automated schedule, but only when you had something of value or interest to share?
- What if some of them contained no special offers or sales pitches?
- What if some were just offering to help?
“Business is all about people, is it possible that this approach would help you develop a deeper, richer relationship with your readers? Is it probable that it would sound more honest and trustworthy than the usual; “we call it a newsletter but there’s no actual news, I just want to sell you stuff,” approach? Because if it is, it could massively improve how they felt about you and your business.” – Jim Connelly
Why does this matter?
It matters because business is all about people. People do business with people they like. People recommend people they like. There’s real potential here, for those with the courage to make their newsletters more human.
Want to super-charge your Email Marketing?
People reading your content is a GOOD THING — it creates a positive impression of your business and positions you as an authority on your subject.
Different people may also want to hear different information from you, this is where breaking your email marketing into different lists can come in handy. For instance sometimes you may want to email your wider network (suppliers, networking contacts, customers, colleagues, etc.) and sometimes you will only want to email people who attended a specific event. Tailoring your content to each of these groups will often yield better results.
Then there is the strategy that is proving to be even more effective: offering content upgrades. Basically what you are doing is offering anyone who is interested in your content an opportunity to exchange their email address for more content. This could be a current customer, a website visitor, etc. You are offering them quality information and finding out whether they are interested. If they are already a customer, then you have just learned more about what they are interested in, if they are a website visitor that came to you from Google then you have a brand new contact to talk to, engage and potentially turn into a customer!