Does your company need to be doing email marketing? Does it need to send out a newsletter?
The answer, regardless of what kind of business you are engaged in, is almost certainly yes. In fact, many people think email marketing is the single most effective form of marketing or advertising.
Email marketing puts you directly into the inbox of people who have already indicated that want to hear from you (by giving you their email address). Staying in touch via newsletters keeps your audience engaged and potentially builds awareness of your brand.
Who Is Your Audience?
For most businesses, the audience is their pool of former, current, and potential customers. For others, the audience might be a network of colleagues, with the hope of generating referrals. Determining who the email newsletter is for is a key part in figuring out the most important question of email marketing:
Why Should Anybody Ever Read Your Email?
When sending a newsletter, you have to give the audience a reason to care; if the recipient opens your email and finds nothing of value, chances are they’ll either unsubscribe or ignore your future emails. So be careful in choosing what to include in the email—do not overload the message with updates on your company that a customer is unlikely to care about.
You’ll also want to build around the main subject of the email. If you’re having a customer appreciation day where every customer gets a free car wash, for example, be sure to provide enough information about the event while avoiding unnecessary and distracting information about unrelated topics. The main goals of the newsletter are to remind your customer about your business and build up goodwill with them so they’ll want to use you again and tell their friends about you.
How Do You Create and Send Newsletters?
The old-fashioned method of sending out a blast email is to simply type it up and put all the recipients in the BCC field, so that nobody knows who else the email is going to. But there are certainly more sophisticated newsletter tools, and there are two major players in that field: Constant Contact and MailChimp.
Both Constant Contact and MailChimp have been on the email marketing scene for many years, and they generally have the same features for similar prices. They both offer creative design templates and analytics to help you track how many of your emails are getting read, and who is actually clicking on the links you share.
Both apps also have a robust contact management feature. You can easily import your the email addresses on your mailing list from virtually any other program.