10 reasons why every small business should send an email newsletter
Whether you’re an interior designer with a new range of wallpapers to show off or a farm shop owner keen to share pumpkin carving tips, an email newsletter can help your small business connect with your ideal customers and, ultimately, make more sales.
If you haven’t launched a newsletter because you don’t think you need one or you started one years ago but ran out of ideas and enthusiasm, then now is a good time to get back in the saddle and see for yourself how they can work brilliantly well for small businesses.
Here are my top 10 reasons why your business needs an email newsletter:
1. To build a marketing database
Most businesses have a contact form or sign-up button on their website to collect email addresses but this is often not followed up with regular emails. Once your audience has signed up to your mailing list you can contact them as frequently as you wish and tailor the content to suit your business goals depending on trade and seasonality.
2. To connect with your audience
Sending a weekly or monthly newsletter is a great way to let your subscribers’ peek behind the scenes of your business. You decide what content goes into each issue so you can choose to inspire, educate, connect or promote to your audience. Share your wins, struggles, tips and tricks to build a relationship with your readers.
3. To encourage engagement and feedback
Start a conversation in your newsletters so you can find out what your readers want – whether it’s specific content, advice or new products or services. Your audience has signed up for your newsletter because they want more than your website or social media offers, so discover what these gaps are and fill them. Try including a link to a survey asking a series of questions or just ask one timely question in each newsletter.
4. To build credibility
Sharing your knowledge shows you are an expert in your field which establishes credibility and, ultimately, trust in your brand. And trust plays a huge part in converting ideal clients into loyal paying customers. Use conversational copy to tell your audience about why you do what you do and how it benefits them in terms of solving a problem or question they have.
5. To sell your products and services
Persuading your readers to buy is obviously crucial to the success of your business but don’t make the mistake of making your newsletter all about the hard sell. Your subscribers will hit the unsubscribe button pretty quickly if you do that! The majority of your content should be helpful, informative and timely rather than full-on sales. Make sure you include at least one clear call to action which tells your readers what you’d like them to do next – such as a buy now button with a link to your website’s products or services page.
6. It’s cost-effective
Sending an email newsletter is cheaper than pretty much any other form of marketing. Printing marketing materials, placing a Facebook ad or running a PR campaign are usually much more costly. Sure, writing the content can take up a chunk of your time – or you may hire a freelance copywriter to do it for you – plus there’s the cost of using an email marketing service if you’ve gone for a paid option but it’s usually pretty cost-effective.
7. Invaluable insights
Mailchimp, for example, offers analytics which allow you to monitor trends, track performance and create more effective campaigns as you go. These insights help you better understand your audience as you learn who has interacted with your marketing – whether they’ve bought or downloaded. So you can tweak your newsletter content, templates or timings to suit your subscribers depending on how many people opened your email, clicked on the links to your website or unsubscribed.
8. Easy to create
Marketing platforms like Mailchimp give small businesses the tools and guidance to make creating an email newsletter relatively simple. Choose from a selection of templates to create your basic newsletter and then personalise it with your brand colours, artwork and logo. Once created, this template can be used again and again when populated with new content to keep each issue looking fresh. Once you get to grips with scheduling, you won’t even need to press go when you want to send your newsletter. You can even create a welcome email which is sent automatically whenever a new subscriber signs up to your mailing list.
9. Easy to share
Email newsletters are easy to share with friends and family with a click of the forward button. Which means your marketing could potentially reach a far bigger audience than your mailing list indicates. So create shareable content to encourage your audience to share it far and wide.
10. Repurpose content
Once you’ve created content for your newsletter, it can be reused and recycled in a variety of ways. A longer newsletter story can be turned into a blog post or LinkedIn article. Or you can extract useful nuggets of information or tips and turn them into a series of social media posts on a specific topic. This kind of evergreen ‘oven-ready’ content is useful to have in a designated folder to be used when you’re struggling for time or inspiration but still need to post.
Over to you
So now you know about the benefits of having an email newsletter, there’s no reason why you can’t get started! To get the ball rolling, subscribe to successful emails in your industry and note down what you like about them as inspiration. Hone in on what you’d like your email to achieve and get creating with a user-friendly service like Mailchimp which is free for the basic packages.
Need more help?
If you’d like an email newsletter but don’t have the time or patience to create one yourself, get in touch to book your free 15-minute discovery call.
Discover the benefits of hiring a freelance copywriter here.