Despite all new marketing channels that keep popping up each year, there is one constant marketing medium that is still going strong. You guessed it, it’s email!
In a 2013 study by the Content Marketing Institute, researchers found that 78% of respondents (company owners/managers) use business newsletters. Another study by Nielsen Norman Group found that over 90% of people prefer to receive company updates through newsletters as opposed to social media (10%). So, why are newsletters important, and what are they used for? Let’s dive in and find out!
What Is a Company Newsletter
Company newsletters can be either printed or electronic. These days, they’re mostly electronic and are sent through emails, ergo the name – email newsletters. These are periodic updates that cover sales promotions, news, and events related to your business, product, and services. You can send them weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or according to your company’s timeline goals.
What Is a Newsletter Used For
The primary goal of newsletters for businesses is to maintain an ongoing relationship with your existing customers and contacts. To do that, you first need to set up an email list. Newsletters aren’t intended to generate new clients (not directly at least)! It’s a retention practice that can bring repeat customers to your business, as well as to increase your brand recognition and loyalty. You can still attract potential clients with your newsletter, but that is a side benefit and not the main reason to maintain a good regular newsletter.
Why Your Small Business Needs a Newsletter
According to Internet Guru Jakob Nielsen, “Email newsletters are the best way to maintain customer relationships on the Internet.” It’s also one of the cheapest, but more on that below.
Email newsletters for businesses can lead to:
#1 Personalized and More Targeted Customer Communication
The good thing about newsletters is that they can be easily personalized to the recipient. It’s a less invasive channel of communication, where it’s normal for you to approach a customer since they’ve already agreed to join your email list and receive notifications and updates from you. Some email marketing service providers offer the opportunity to segment your email list into different client groups, so you can target your emails even more.
#2 Higher Brand Recognition and Association
The way a typical business transaction works is you sell a product or a service to a client, and then you just wait for them to reach you when they want to buy again or need support. That’s the outdated way of doing business and also the way that won’t retain your customers for more than a single purchase.
With a company newsletter in place, you can turn the one-time purchase into an ongoing conversation with “dormant” clients (people who have already used your product or service). You can let them know of special offers, seasonal discounts, maybe even add a subscriber-only promotion, as well as new products or services you’ve added to your offers. In addition, newsletters are a smart way to upsell customers and cross-sell other related products or services. That way, you will gradually place yourself as a credible business in their minds, and they’ll be much more likely to buy from you than from someone else.
#3 A Wider and Quicker Audience Reach
The beauty of keeping a digital newsletter is that it can instantly reach people with the click of a button. If you’re planning on adding new products or services to your list of offers, what better way to quickly let your customers know about it? It’s a fantastic way to generate hype because of the power of bulk email. Can you imagine that a printed brochure can reach people that fast? Yep, not a chance!
#4 A Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
Let’s say you have 1000 people on your email list. Even if you have half that, can you imagine the costs of printing out 500 brochures compared to just assembling an email and hitting ‘Send?’ It’s virtually cost-free!
Not to mention it’s environmentally-friendly too. Why cut down an entire Amazonian forest so you can print our collateral that recipients may or may not keep, when you can turn to email? Using a digital medium is not only cheaper but it’s something that users can go back to again and again. A brochure is easily lost and the ink will quickly fade. An email is (almost) forever.
#5 Exposure That Captures Sales
Earlier, we mentioned that the main benefit of newsletters for businesses is to create a lasting relationship with existing customers. However, you shouldn’t neglect the possibilities of attracting prospects to sign up for your newsletter as well. You can leave a signup form on your website, drop a link to it on social media, and you have many other options. With this increased exposure, you can tap into a pool of people who have already interacted with your business, haven’t converted, but are likely to do so.
It’s much better than cold calling people in your area to ask if they want to buy your stuff. Plus, looking at the long-term benefit, you can not only make them first-time sellers, but you can also upsell additional services down the road like you can do with your existing customer base. Continuously expanding your customer base is a sure way to avoid the #1 reason why businesses fail, which is their inability to get new clients.
Remember, it’s imperative that you incentivize people to subscribe to your email newsletter. Those who haven’t used your product or service yet will need to be wooed with some sort of perk, such as a first-time customer discount. For your established customers, you will have to follow a different approach. For example, you can have coupons for loyal customers, like a loyalty discount or a freebie, the choice is yours!
#6 Expanded Customer Database
Your clients are the backbone of your company. That’s the purest truth there is. Without them, you’re lost. With an updated database of your customers and their activity, you can keep track of trends in their buying behavior, including seasonal shopping. Each niche is unique, so you can’t rely on what best practices and trends you can find online. It all has to come from your truest form of market research – a.k.a., your customers.
After all, no one should know your customers better than you.
#7 Increased Number of New Leads
Aside from the obvious ways to convert prospects, having a newsletter where you share not only company-focused updates, but industry news as well, is a good way to put out shareable content that can then reach a wider audience. Who knows how many leads await there!
We hope we managed to explain why newsletters are important and how they can significantly boost your sales if you make them a long-term strategy for your business.
So, let’s recap: Why do we need newsletters? Because they allow you to achieve:
- Personalized and More Targeted Customer Communication
- Higher Brand Recognition and Association
- A Wider and Quicker Audience Reach
- A Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
- Exposure That Captures Sales
- Expanded Customer Database
- Increased Number of New Leads
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