Your business is as healthy and lively as it is giving and receiving communication. If you want to get something in, you have to put something out.
There are many ways in which a business can get its message out to prospective clients or customers:
- having a visible presence on the internet and pulling in visitors to your website
- offline advertisements
- offline direct mailings
- online pay per click ads
- being engaged in the social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- participating in applicable trade shows
- leading or participating in a “meetup” group
- joining your local business associations such as the Chamber of Commerce
One obvious way to promote your business is through email newsletters. These can be a great vehicle for staying in contact with your clients or customers, and bringing prospects that you’ve met into and through your sales or marketing “funnel” until they become customers.
Naturally, to cover yourself legally you would have an “opt-in” email subscriber list, one that is composed solely of people who have opted to receive your emails. And you would always have an “unsubscribe” link in each email by which someone who no longer wanted to receive your emails could opt out.
Do Email Newsletters Still Work Today?
Yes! Absolutely. But, they must be opt in email newsletters and, obviously, they must contain content that your subscribers would find useful, informative and interesting. So you need to know who your “audience” is.
The Magic of Communication
Aside from the actual newsletter content itself, there is something almost “magical” about putting out communications through various channels to your prospective customers and repeat customers.
Why do I say, magical? Because often you will find that you are promoting in one direction or to a certain set of individuals or businesses, but lo and behold, business starts coming in from some other directions or businesses, in addition to the ones you were promoting to directly.
Case in point: Several years ago I was consulting the owner of a graphic arts business. This person was quite well known and worked on a lot of prestigious projects for various businesses and organizations. But his business volume had dropped off considerably over the past six months, and he was actually quite worried.
My simple remedy was to get him to outflow communications to all his past clients, current clients, and prospective clients. I’m not going into all the details in this short blog article, but the bottom line is, within two months from the onset of his renewed promotional activities, he literally had more business coming in than he could comfortably handle. And a healthy portion of it had come from entities he had not even promoted to.
Yes, he had to get out of his comfort zone a bit, but so what. His business was flourishing instead of diminishing.
This is a true story, and just one of many similar cases involving both small and large enterprises.
If you want something to come in, you have to put something out there… and a business should always be promoting, in good economies, poor economies, stupendous economies, lousy economies, whatever. In good times or bad.
You are creating your business’s future when you promote well and consistently. Naturally, you have to work within your current financial wherewithal, but there is ALWAYS a way to get some promotional activities going, regardless of the size of your budget.
Back to our email newsletters…
An email newsletter should have a good design… if you don’t have the design talent or technical know-how to create a good design, then get someone who does to create it for you. In the long run, it is definitely worth it.
Gather up every email address you have lying around somewhere gathering dust, and enter those email address into Constant Contact or whatever database you have that can work seamlessly with your newsletter.
Again, make sure you only include people who have agreed to receive your emails. If you just met them, jot down their email address on the back of one of your business cards, write OK to email, and get them to sign it. Then keep that card on file…. I’m sure you can get creative on how to gather up some opt-in email addresses.
Put a newsletter signup link and form on your website inviting people to subscribe to your newsletter. You can even set up a double opt-in subscriber list by having an auto-generated email go out to each new subscriber that includes a link they can click on to verify they do want your emails. This protects you in the event someone else entered that person’s info into the form on your website without their consent. It can happen.
And you should make it easy for your subscribers to share your emails with their friends, other business owners or executives or pertinent opinion leaders, etc. Over time this can result in some fresh leads for you.
Email Newsletters – Take Away Points
- Always be promoting your business. Always. You are creating its future by doing so.
- Opt-in email newsletters are a great way to promote and to stay in touch with clients and prospective clients.
- You need a nicely designed newsletter and a compatible database software program for your list of subscribers. “Constant Contact” is a popular one.
- Don’t inundate people with emailings… we all get a lot of them, right? So spread them out a bit.
- If your newsletter content is useful, informative and interesting to the audience you cater to, your subscribers will enjoy it.
- Make it easy for your subscribers to share your emails with their friends or business acquaintances.
- If you don’t know how to put all this together in an effective manner, find someone who does. It could make a big difference to your business.
- When all else fails, PROMOTE. When in doubt, PROMOTE. When business is booming, PROMOTE.
Yes, even when your business is making so much money you can hardly believe it, keep promoting. It’s been said by more than one management consulting guru and successful business manger that the seeds of a business’s hard times are often sown during its good times. Typically, by overspending on everything else except promotion and marketing.
Sometimes companies quit promoting because they get into this mentality: “Business is good, why do we need to promote?” OK, business might be great right now, but you want to keep it great. Sure, you can adjust your marketing budget, but never just quit promoting.
Besides, an email newsletter program once up and running is quite cost-effective compared to some other forms of advertising.
Written by Bob Nelson
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RESULTS PROFESSIONAL MARKETING and a clickable link back to this page.