Spending the time and energy to obtain clients’ email addresses can give small businesses a big advantage when it comes to marketing efforts. E-newsletters, for example, are an inexpensive yet highly effective way to communicate with clients that can enhance a business’s reputation, provide instant tracking results, help publicize services and special promotions and increase client loyalty. And because 95 percent of online consumers use email, according to an infographic by renowned digital marketer Wolfgang Jaegel, small businesses can be confident that the e-newsletter is reaching a large number of current and potential clients. Erika Taylor Montgomery, CEO and chief publicist at Three Girls Media, with locations in California’s Silicon Valley and Seattle, offers tips on what to include in an e-newsletter to engage clients:
- A Personalized Introduction: According to Montgomery, most e-news providers like Constant Contact and MailChimp allow a company to upload a list of contacts, including the recipient's first name. “It's a nice personal touch to start an e-newsletter with, ‘Hi Susan,’ for example, followed by an introductory paragraph from the company CEO or other senior executive,” she says.
- Blog posts:Montgomery believes that providing links to blog articles is a great way to gain exposure and increase website traffic. She recommends including the first paragraph of a couple of recent blog articles in each e-newsletter, along with a “read more” tag at the bottom that takes the reader to the full post. A financial advisor, for example, could include a link to a blog article about how to effectively budget spending costs and save money.
- Upcoming Events:Including information about upcoming events allows clients to stay in-the-know about events the small business will be participating in that are open to the public. A spa, for example, could highlight an upcoming Girl’s Night Out pampering event to attract both new and current clients.
- Social Media Links:Social media links in an e-newsletter help drive traffic and encourage clients to find out more about the company on those channels. “Include not only a link, but an introduction to the content such as, ‘Are you following us on social media?’ followed by one or two posts from each social media platform,” says Montgomery.
- Images: Montgomery suggests including one image for each different section of the newsletter. “It breaks up the copy and is visually stimulating for the reader,” she says.
- A Coupon or Special Offer: By offering a discount or special offer of some kind, it gives recipients incentive to work with the business and try something that they may not have done otherwise. For example, a retail store could include information about a special promotion or coupon to save on in-store purchases.
- Business Information: Montgomery recommends including information about the small business, like a description of services and contact information, and have a link to the company’s website at the bottom of the e-newsletter.
The Wolfgang Jaegel infographic indicates that for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investments, which means that when done right, e-newsletters can be an inexpensive yet highly effective way to connect with and attract new clients and keep current clients engaged. “Former clients are more likely to refer new business to a company if they receive regular reminders, which can be included in an e-newsletter,” says Montgomery. “It is also a great way to keep current clients in the loop of what's going on at a company, and gives potential customers insight into a business that they may not get simply from the business's website alone.”