It seems that as a business owner, particularly a small business owner trying to do everything on your own, the number of ways you are supposed to communicate and interact with your target market is simply overwhelming.
Most business owners feel they have to maintain a top website, generate relevant and timely content, blog on their site, blog on guest sites and then also maintain an active Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence as well. Then, on top of everything, there is the business email.
Too often the business email becomes a collection of content, advertisement and promotion from other sources. This makes the newsletter a rehash of other posts and articles rather than a unique marketing opportunity. When done correctly, a newsletter has the potential to really motivate your customers to go to your website is ways that the other marketing options don’t.
What is the Message?
Every email should have a message, a purpose and a point. This message needs to be something that is relevant to your business, but also relevant to your customers. Creating an email that has a point and a reason behind it will increase the impact on the reader and help your business to be seen as a trusted site for information and relevant, timely insight.
The newsletter should benefit customers or potential customers. If it doesn’t provide the content of interest or if it is a repeat of your social media posts or website information, it becomes a redundant marketing tool that can negatively impact your brand.
Engage Your Target Audience
Having an online newsletter relies on one important factor and that is getting people to provide their email address. Finding ways to generate interest in receiving your email newsletter is the most critical factor for increasing your target audience.
Having options to sign up for your newsletter embedded into your website as well as on your social media platforms is a great idea. These sign-up forms should let people know just what they are signing up for, the frequency of the newsletter and a taste of what they can expect. Another simple solution to get attention to the sign-up is to use a pop-up when they are on your site. Just be careful to select an option that doesn’t pop-up with every page view as this will quickly turn people off.
You should also consider posting past issues of the newsletter on a dedicated page on the website. Make sure to have sign-up buttons on all of those old copies as well; they are an excellent marketing tool.
Make It Yours
You have probably had the experience of opening up an email newsletter or marketing campaign and having to look to find out where it came from. This should never be the case as your newsletter should be branded and designed to match your social media presence and your website.
By consistent branding using your business logo, fonts and images across all platforms you begin to associate your brand with quality, top content and customer focus. This cannot happen if there isn’t consistent branding or if there are multiple branding programs depending on the specific platform.
A very nice touch is to send a Welcome message to people when they sign up for your newsletter. This can be a form message, but it should not look formulaic. Instead, create a template that merges their name into the email and gives them a personal message to welcome them to your newsletter.
It is also a great idea to include a survey to allow them to check off areas of interest. Within your email marketing program, you can then have different groups of people that have different interests and modify parts of the email to personalize to their interests. Of course, if you are only marketing one product or one line of products you may not need to include this option for creating subgroups in your email database.
With either option, this is a nice way to send a personal message, let them know how to contact you if they need any help or have any questions and also provide the business social media contact information as well.
Choosing when to send out email newsletters, including the best day and time is often a factor of analytics. By using programs that can trace when people open your emails, which days have the best response and which items in the newsletter receive the most interest, you can set a schedule that works for you as well as for your target newsletter audience.