Marketing with E-Newsletters

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Hi there, Small Biz Tech Girl here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.

Today I want to talk about e-mail newsletters or e-newsletters.

Do you currently send out an e-mail newsletter for your company, and if not, should you? If you don't already send out a regular e-newsletter, the entire prospect of publishing one can be paralyzing. Or maybe you already have one but feel it has become stale and ineffective.

What Can an E-Newsletter Really Do?

Whatever your status is concerning e-newsletters, here is why I think you should have one for your business:

1. It builds relationships, and business is all about relationships. E-newsletters are your opportunity to continue the dialog with your customers and potential customers long after they've left your website.

2. It reinforces repetition, and repetition is key when marketing. Any marketer will tell you that it takes at least three impressions or more before a consumer “gets” your marketing message. A regular e-newsletter helps your company stay “top-of-mind” with current and potential customers.

3. It adds a little push to your pull tactics. In e-marketing, marketers talk about push tactics – those that you broadcast out and push to consumers – and pull tactics – those that you use to draw consumers in. A website is normally a pull tactic. But an e-newsletter is a push tactic – you can broadcast it or push it out to people and the links in e-newsletters lead them to your website.

Deciding what to publish in your e-newsletter can feel like an insurmountable task, especially if you don't consider yourself a writer.

Take a moment to think about your company's goals and how an e-newsletter can help you achieve those goals. With a clear focus, coming up with content ideas becomes a whole lot easier.

Reasons to Use an E-Newsletter

Here are some of the business goals you can achieve with your e-newsletter:

· You can drive traffic to your site. An e-newsletter should first and foremost be a gateway to your website and specifically to content, resources, and information that will be of most value to the recipients. Don't treat the e-newsletter as a mini website chock full of extensive content. Instead look at it as an appetizer with the entree located on your site.

· You can brand your company. E-newsletters should contain branding elements such as a clear name, tag line, logo, and color scheme that is consistent with your company's image. · You can establish your reputation. E-newsletters can be valuable to consultants or executives because they can include links to blog posts, white papers, articles and other online resources that demonstrates expertise and experience.

· You can market your products and services. An e-newsletter can augment what you are selling or what you do by highlighting particular products or services, introducing new ones, announcing sales or discounts and even linking to relevant articles, blog posts, and other content that enhances your marketing messages.

· You can provide customer service. A good e-newsletter should be a useful tool for the recipient. Link to your website's FAQ or frequently asked questions page. Include your contact information so someone can reach you immediately. Your e-newsletter should make interacting with your company a cinch.

· You can help close sales. With an e-newsletter, you can link recipients directly to product pages or order forms. However, it will probably take more than an e-newsletter to actually close a sale. Your e-mail newsletter is part of your overall marketing mix that works in concert with your website and other online and offline tactics to help encourage sales.

When it comes to e-newsletters, as with all e-mail communications, less content is much more effective. Think “action” when you are composing your e-newsletter. What actions do you want the reader to take? And how can you influence them using the fewest words possible?

If writing is not your forte, hire a consultant who can show you a strong portfolio of their e-newsletter work. Don't automatically go for the writer who writes traditional newsletters. A printed newsletter is a different animal from the electronic kind.

To produce a professional e-newsletter, try a Web-based tool such as Constant Contact at constantcontact.com, iContact at icontact.com, or Bronto at bronto.com.

Ultimately, an e-newsletter is not about the articles. It is about communicating and connecting with your existing customers and the people who have expressed an interest in your company to build relationships with them.

That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at smallbiztechgirl.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for Small Biz Tech Girl, e-mail me at smallbiztechgirl@quickanddirtytips.com or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.

Small Biz Tech Girl's Quick And Dirty Tips For Boosting Your Business With Digital Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com.

Tune in for another business boost from Small Biz Tech Girl, the host who’s not afraid to go under the Internet's hood & get a little dirty!

RESOURCES

Constant Contact – http://www.constantcontact.com

iContact – http://www.icontact.com

Bronto – http://www.bronto.com

Newsletter Icon image courtesy of Shutterstock