In a world of Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, using email to market your small business may seem about as archaic as using a courier pigeon these days. But don’t underestimate the power of a really carefully thought out e-newsletter or email campaign. After all:
- there are always going to be those “old-school people” who prefer to get content sent directly into their in-boxes as opposed to social media
- it’s just another way to make sure you are reaching your target demographic… nothing wrong with having a few angles to better your odds
- you won’t be at the mercy of Facebook filters, over-crowded Twitter feeds or any other obstacles you have little to no control over
- it’s easy and cheap (maybe even free)
So go ahead and launch an email campaign. Just a few tips to consider that will help your success:
1) Use a tool! Use something like Constant Contact or MailChimp to make your life easier. These inexpensive products will help you design beautiful emails, manage your contacts, give you valuable stats, synch with social media and save you tons of time. I personally use Constant Contact, love it, and( full disclosure) I’m an affiliate. You can try Constant Contact for FREE here.
2) It’s not about you! Offer your readers advice and content, not just info on your products, services, events etc. Asking someone to open an email to see what your company has been up to is like asking someone NOT to go to the fridge or bathroom during a TV commercial.
3) Use photos and graphics! We humans are visual creatures and an email with pretty visuals is just easier to read than a huge body of text.
4) Design! Your e-newsletter should be crisp and clean and easy on the eyes. Good design will further entice the reader to read.
5) Play it Cool! But not too cool! You might have to experiment with this one because everyone’s target audience is different, but don’t over-populate your subscribers’ in-boxes with email (that could lead to the dreaded unsubscribe). At the same time, don’t be so scarce they don’t recognize you when you do email (that could lead to the dreaded delete or worse… SPAM!). The key is to be consistent. Email on a regular basis (once a week, or once a month) so that readers expect to hear from you, and even look forward to it.
6) Cross-Market! Link your e-newsletter to your social media platforms and vice versa. Encourage people to sign-up from your blog and website. Remember, email marketing is just another piece of your online marketing strategy. It doesn’t stand alone.