In today’s ever-changing world, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the “latest and greatest” marketing trends and tools for reaching your audience.
(Videos…and giveaways…and Reels — oh my!)
But while no one believes in the power of social media like I do, I also know there’s something to be said for one of the oldest, most effective strategies in the book: starting a small business newsletter.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the stats:
- The average ROI for email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent.
- Email marketing revenue is estimated to reach almost 11 billion by the end of 2023.
- Emails from businesses are the preferred method of communication for 46% of smartphone users.
- 59% of people report that marketing emails have influenced their purchases.
So, why are small business newsletters so successful? It’s pretty simple.
A well-crafted email feels personal. It’s a direct line of communication that allows you to speak directly to your audience, address their most pressing needs, and cultivate those long-term relationships that are essential to your business’s growth. You can share information about upcoming events, include tips about a new product or trend they have to try, and even share bits and pieces about your personal life — all actions that can help foster an actively engaged and loyal community.
And here’s another piece of good news: Email newsletters are incredibly cost-effective. (Remember when I shared that the average ROI for email marketing is well over three thousand percent?!?)
With so many email marketing tools out there, getting your small business newsletter going can be a low-risk, low-cost investment. Plus, when done right, a newsletter will grow your business by increasing web traffic, improving brand recognition, positioning yourself as an expert in your field, and generating new leads.
5 Steps to Starting Your Small Business Newsletter
If you’ve been thinking about starting your small business newsletter, there’s no time like the present. Just be sure to create a design and tone that feel authentic to your brand, your mission, and what you have to offer. And then follow these five simple steps to get it out to your audience:
Step 1: Decide what you’ll share.
The #1 goal of a digital newsletter is to bring value to your potential customers, so think carefully about how you’ll consistently deliver answers and resources to help solve their biggest problems.
Your newsletter can include a mix of motivational, educational, or promotional information. I also like to always give my subscribers a chance to reach out with feedback about what they need and how I can help. (The newsletter is for them, after all!)
Step 2: Set a schedule.
Deciding how often you’ll send your newsletter often comes down to bandwidth and the amount of content you can develop. So, for example, if a weekly newsletter seems like too big of a commitment, plan on a bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly email instead. (A daily newsletter risks coming off as spam, so think twice before sending one too often.)
There’s no perfect formula for scheduling, just stay consistent and stick to your delivery calendar, so your followers will be able to anticipate (and look forward to) when they’ll be hearing from you in their inbox.
Step 3: Create (or cultivate) your content.
Each newsletter you send should feel fresh and unique, but there’s something to be said for sticking to some kind of formula for your content. (This helps your subscribers know what to expect and it makes the content creation process easier for you.)
Some items you may want to share consistently include:
- A personalized introduction from you or someone at your business
- Links to new blog posts on your website
- Free resources (downloads, how-to guides, checklists, etc.)
- Event updates and registration opportunities
- Giveaways, coupons, or promotions
- Testimonials from happy customers
Mix up what you include in each newsletter and remember: You don’t have to recreate the wheel every time! Use content you’ve already produced and repurpose it for your newsletter.
And don’t forget to lead in with an attention-grabbing subject line. This will ensure your newsletter doesn’t end up in the trash before it’s even opened.
Step 4: Choose a platform and template.
There are plenty of easy-to-use platforms out there, so do a little research and decide what one works best for you. (I love FloDesk for its beautiful, modern layouts that are so easy to customize. Mailchimp and HubSpot are fan favorites, too!)
Optimize your content by pairing it with an attractive, on-brand design. All these platforms have templates that let you easily arrange content blocks with drag-and-drop editing tools and customizable fonts and colors. Once this template is in place, you can work off it for every newsletter, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
Step 5: Send your newsletter and pay attention to results.
Once you’ve sent your newsletter to your mailing list, revisit your results to evaluate each one and look for patterns that tend to get the most traction. (Pay attention to the time of day sent, email subject lines, length of email, etc.).
Most newsletter platforms have built-in analytical tools, so take some time to review delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates, and revenue generated from each email. Keep track of what emails have been the most successful and why and adjust your future content depending on your findings.
A well-planned digital newsletter campaign is a part of any smart marketing strategy. Even those who don’t spend time on social media always check their email, so don’t sleep on this opportunity to reach your followers where they are.
At Brand Social Marketing, we’re here to assist with all your online marketing efforts, so reach out today to discuss your email needs, and let’s see how we can help!