For more than a decade, small businesses have used eNewsletters to stay in touch with customers and prospects. It’s a proven method to build relationships, generate repeat business and get some coveted referrals. But with ever-changing technology and the rise in social media and blogging, eNewsletters have also evolved.
So what are some of the keys to success today? Here’s 7 tips to make your eNewsletters pay off:
- Have a clear purpose. What do you want to accomplish with your newsletter and why would people want to receive it? Clarity here will make it easier to define your target and develop your content.
- Be relevant. Your list can be segmented into smaller groups based on subscriber preferences (what type of information they want), type of relationship (customer, alliance partner, prospect), buying habits or other demographics. This makes it easier to deliver relevant content if you stay true to your targets.
- Be brief. Newsletters typically have multiple elements – from articles and case studies to promotions and announcements. Keep the content brief for easy scan-ability in order to build interest. Use links to lead readers to your website, blog, or landing page for more information.
- Be a resource. Demonstrate your expertise and provide useful information that will help your target audience solve problems or improve something in their life or business. Mix in education with promotional messages or special offers.
- Include video. Most email marketing platforms allow for video done by you or others. Depending on your business, videos can be educational, motivational or simply entertaining. But do keep them relevant to your target.
- Use clear call to actions. Tell your readers what you want them to do using action verbs like Read More, Learn More, Buy Now, Call Us For a Free Quote or Sign Up Today.
- Be consistent. Decide on a frequency, set an expectation with subscribers and stick to it. If someone subscribes to a monthly email, avoid sending them stuff weekly or they will likely unsubscribe.
Email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp and iContact make professional newsletters relatively simple. The reporting allows you to track key information such as open, bounce and click-through rates. And here’s a real bonus. The reports also tell you who opened your email and what they clicked on. A nice feature for follow-up if you choose to use it!
Today, eNewsletters are still a good strategy for many small businesses. Does yours need a facelift?