Dos and Don’ts for Your Small Business Newsletter
Although social media gets all the buzz, email marketing still continues to be an extremely lucrative marketing channel.
Businesses are continuing to grow their email lists and connecting with consumers through their newsletters.
Making sure you’re creating an active newsletter list directly effects your revenue from your emails.
Following a few core rules will make sure you get the most from your list and keep your subscribers happy and opening your emails.
Do: Use a Professional Template
The first tip is to use a professional template. You’ll notice that a lot of people use the plain text emails (they definitely have their plusses), but I highly recommend that businesses spend the time to create or buy a branded email template for their newsletters.
The difference between an affiliate list and a small business newsletter is that affiliates, mostly, don’t care about their brand and just want to maximize their clicks. Small businesses want to get the most clicks without sacrificing their brand.
Because of this difference, using a professionally branded email template is important.
Do: Incentivize Subscribers
People need a reason to sign up for your newsletter. For some, it might be enough to promise email updates every time something new happens. The problem with this strategy is that it assumes that users are willing to wait to get something.
Instead, cater to people’s need for instant gratification. Use a case study or free consulting as an incentive for people to join your newsletter list.
Make it clear what people will get for joining your newsletter (the instant gratification) and position the other emails as an added bonus.
Do: Keep in Touch
This brings us to the next tip – keep in touch. Your gut might tell you not to email your subscribers often, but instead make sure you are connecting with your subscribers every time you have something important to say.
Don’t miss an opportunity to email your subscribers and stay top of mind. Letting your list stagnate can make it difficult to build an active list since people forget when they signed up and for what.
So keep in touch and create an active two way conversation via email.
Do: Read Replies
When you send emails, make sure you use an account you check and can respond from. Invite your subscribers to email you questions and to interact with you through that email account.
The reason for building this kind of interaction is because it keeps your emails from hitting your subscribers’ spam box. Once a subscriber emails you back, you get added to their safe list and it’s more likely you’ll actually reach their inbox in the future.
You can’t have an active list if your emails are being put in a subscribers’ spam box.
Don’t: Add Me To Your List Without Knowledge
This is honestly the biggest no no you can do with your email list. Do not go to a conference, get a bunch of cards, and manually add them to your newsletter list. It will drive people insane and annoy them like crazy.
Only add people that have opted-in. It keeps your list statistics higher and reduces the number of unsubscribes.
Want to convince people you meet at a conference to join your list? Create business cards that have a link to a specific URL with a landing page customized for the conference. The idea is to create a highly relevant landing page for the people that you meet at the conference.
Don’t: Send Me Useless Emails
Treat your subscriber list as sacred. It’s very easy for someone to add you to their spam box and Google is making it easier and easier to just unsubscribe from lists. You should only send emails you think are worthy of an email and add value to the user.
Make sure to send resources and content to your subscriber list to continue validating the value of your newsletter.
Don’t: Hide the Unsubscribe Button
Emails are required to have an unsubscribe button to be compliant with online regulations. Sometimes, though, businesses will include the button but make it difficult to unsubscribe.
Instead of hiding your unsubscribe button, make sure it’s easy to find. The reason for this is because you don’t want people on your list that don’t want to be.
Subscribers have two options to stop getting your emails: either unsubscribe using your link or to spam your emails. It’s definitely much better to have one person unsubscribe rather than having them tell mail providers that your list is spamming them.
Remembers it’s not the size of your list, but instead the number of active subscribers you have.
Don’t: Use a noreply@ Address
It’s amazing that so many companies still use a noreply@ email address when sending emails. As a small business, it’s a definite no no. You want people to reply to your emails (automatically adds you to their safelist) and you don’t want to seem overly cold and corporate.
Making sure every aspect of your online marketing is on brand means reviewing what email address you’re using to send your emails. Are you fun? Maybe your email address is hello@. If you’re more corporate it could be messenger@.
Choose an email address that is on brand, interesting, and allows people to reply.
If you don’t have a newsletter list, you should absolutely get started today. It can be a huge revenue source and keep you connected with prospects as they flow through your sales funnel.
Make sure to follow the best practices and the golden rule: your email inbox is sacred to you, respect your subscribers inbox as well.
Do you have a newsletter list? Have you been added to a newsletter you didn’t want to be? What have you found that works for your list? Leave a comment and let us know!