Small Business Best Practices for Email Newsletters

by Emily Retherford

4 min read

Email newsletters are a great way for a new business to market its products and services. They can be very effective if they’re done correctly, and each newsletter costs nothing other than business owner’s time. Newsletters are a great way to market to both past and potential customers. Having a consistent approach will be much more effective than random marketing. If the newsletter is interesting enough, its recipients will eventually look forward to it, which is the ultimate goal for any marketing piece. This form of drip marketing will lead to business in the future. Perhaps the timing wasn’t right when a prospective customer first made contact; several months later, when the customer is ready to buy, the newsletter has served its purpose as a constant reminder.

Get Consent Before Adding Anyone to a List

The first step is to create an easy way for current and prospective customers to sign up for the mailing list. This also give the business owner permission to regularly email and market without violating any anti-spam laws. Add an unsubscribe option for recipients who no longer want to receive the newsletter. Post messages to your social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook, to let people know how they can sign up for your mailing list.

Address your Target Market Directly and Personally

The next step is to create the newsletter for the business’s target market. Tailor it to the specific focus of the business. For example, an accountant should write about topics that address taxes and how it could affect individuals and business owners. If an accountant wrote about a completely unrelated topic, it would lose the focus of the original audience.

Making newsletters specific to the sections within target market drastically increase their effectiveness. An accountant could write an email newsletter specifically tailored to families with new babies, for example. Anyone in this situation would be very in tune to this topic and have great interest in what the newsletter had to say about financial products for growing families.

An effective newsletter is educational and interesting on a personal level. Newsletters need to be written toward the perspective of its intended audience. Having a boring or uninformative newsletter would quickly lose the audience’s interest. The average person gets many emails every day, and an effective newsletter needs to stand out from the pack. Having a catchy subject line or newsletter title will help. However, the content will keep the customer reading and eventually may pique the interest of the reader into purchasing the business’s products or services.

Making it personal also allows the reader to develop a relationship with the brand. Emails have become so impersonal that it is hard to convey human connection through this medium. Adding a personal story or message can build this connection from the business owner to the customer.

Use a Professional Email Domain So Customers Recognize You

Use a recognizable email domain, or the newsletter could be mistaken for spam. Recipients might delete the email before they ever open it.

All email communication, especially newsletters, needs to have easily read and accessible contact information for the company. It should have the company name, address, phone number and a link to the company’s website where the customer can access more information. When the timing is right for a purchase, the potential customer needs to be able to find the business’s information with ease. Include links to the business’s social media, such as icons that link to the company’s official Facebook page or Twitter feed, so your mailing list subscribers can also follow your communication on other channels.

Reward Customers for Signing Up

Provide an incentive for the subscribers to join your mailing list, such as a free service or a coupon that they can get for signing up. Most people are reluctant to give out an email address for marketing purposes. Having something of value given in exchange for their permission to email will increase the amount of subscribers.

Send Brand-Relevant Content That Sets You Apart As an Authority in Your Field

The message of the newsletter needs to portray the business’s brand to the customer. The purpose of the newsletter is to drive new business. For professionals such as accountants or bookkeepers, discussing changes in tax laws or tips for business owners would help demonstrate mastery in their field. An electrician could put provide some do-it-yourself tips that average homeowners can do to lower their energy bills. A bike shop owner could display how a new wheel for a bicycle drastically improves race performance.

Tie this content into a way that the business can help the reader in these endeavours. Provide a link back to a page on the business’s website discussing relevant products and services, or remind the reader of your contact information if they’d like to learn more about how you can help them.

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