Owning a successful small business requires more than the ability to provide items or services currently in-demand. To stand out from the competition while establishing your business as trustworthy and professional, you must first create a functional marketing strategy.
One of the most used marketing tools available for small businesses is an email newsletter. And it’s only normal, since, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019). Now that’s a high ROI!
Before we start going into the reasons why you should consider creating a newsletter strategy, let’s first go through the basics.
What Is an Email Newsletter?
An email newsletter, usually referred to as a “newsletter”, is an email message sent periodically to keep your subscribers and readers informed of your latest product releases and promotions, and to provide helpful information. Newsletters are especially useful for small businesses as they help build your contact list and they can position you as an expert in the services/products you offer. When done well, the people on your distribution list will come to know, like, and trust your brand.
Just starting out with email marketing? Check out our introductory guide here.
What Can a Newsletter Achieve
If done right, a company newsletter can generate amazing results and become a key resource to your target audience.
Build Goodwill with Your Audience
Although email marketing may seem outdated with the advent of smartphones and the spread of social media, it’s still one of the best methods of communication when it comes to online business marketing.
In 2019, global email users amounted to 3.9 billion users (Statista, 2020). According to Statista, this figure is set to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023. That’s half of the world’s population. What does this tell us? Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Your clients all have email accounts, so it makes perfect sense to communicate there as well.
Emails allow for targeted communications, which are quicker and cheaper than snail mail. And unlike social media, the audience or list is yours.
Email marketing is highly effective, as emails are part of everyone’s lives, and provide small businesses more opportunities to reach potential customers. Emails are often deemed much more personal than traditional online advertising, allowing you to connect with your audience, tell stories, and build goodwill. All while learning more about what your audience is interested in and wants to learn from your business.
Promote Specials, Events, and Coupons
One of the best ways to make the most out of your email newsletter is to send strategic promotions, specials, and exclusive digital coupons. Once you’ve built a relationship with your audience, you’re more likely to know what to promote, and your audience is more prone to purchase.
By engaging your readers with exclusive discounts, not only will you improve customer loyalty, but you’ll also have a high ROI at your fingertips with minimal cost.
Take advantage of the data you can collect on your subscribers and current followers to develop contests, giveaways, and special events that can result in higher sales and free marketing from those enthused about your promotions.
Increase Customer Value
People who subscribe to email lists and use newsletters to seek out new products and services are much more likely to rebuy items in the future, which is why email marketing and newsletters are so valuable. When you know your audience’s shopping patterns, wants, and needs, it’s much easier to market to them directly just at the right time for the best outcome possible.
To increase your customer value, you’ll first need to figure out how much a customer is worth to you. Many small business owners will have an idea and guess, but sitting down, looking at the numbers, and coming up with a concrete number will be invaluable to your business.
Once you know the value of your customers, you can identify what email campaigns are working and how well compared to other marketing campaigns.
Craft a Newsletter Strategy
Before you begin sending emails or promoting your newsletter signup page, it’s imperative to create an email marketing strategy outline.
Purpose and Target Audience
The first question you’ll want to answer is what’s the purpose of your newsletter. Is it to increase awareness? To create more sales? Once you’ve figured out your goals, you’ll need to consider the audience you want to reach, including demographics, interests, and any other pertinent data you can rely on.
Frequency of Emails
Newsletters can be sent daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, depending on your audience. Be sure to avoid sending too many emails, as this will likely result in users unsubscribing. However, if you don’t send enough emails, they’ll probably forget about you. So, you’ll want to find a suitable middle ground, and the best way to do that is by testing your frequency.
If you’re looking for data on the frequency with which consumers like to receive brand emails, 49% (Statista, 2017) of consumers said that they’d like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
One way to quickly learn more about your subscribers and target audience when you are running campaigns is to implement A/B testing.
A/B testing involves testing two or more types of an item with an audience to determine which performs better. There’s something about small business owners and hunches, but reliable data is much better than feelings.
Using a/b testing to compare headlines, imagery, and even CTAs (call-to-action) can provide valuable insight into the behavioral patterns of your audience.
The best way to make sure your readers will be interested in your newsletter is to provide engaging content. If you have a blog look at the posts that are performing best. You can create your content strategy even based on those topics. Another thing to take into account is the previous communication you’ve had with your potential customers. What were their main areas of interest? Maybe you can identify some content topics from there.
If you’re sending out your newsletters to a European audience, you’ll have to make sure you’re GDPR compliant. It might feel like a bit of a hassle, but we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide in this blog post.
Email Marketing Is Essential for Small Businesses
Crafting a well-executed newsletter strategy can quickly prove to be one of the most effective and profitable marketing strategies. Remember to listen to your customers, build a relationship, and send emails as frequently as needed. If you do these things correctly, your email marketing campaign is more likely to succeed and help grow your business.