Email newsletters generate returnsA lot of people talk about the value of email marketing, especially email
newsletters. If you don’t do it, they say, you’re missing out. You’re losing sales.

But if you’re used to selling by paper, email newsletters can seem foreign. Why are they valuable, and how can you use a great newsletter to kick your sales into high gear?

Why You Use It

Email lets you reach out only to those customers who have opted in to hearing from you. They are your self-selected target audience, meaning they are interested in reading your blogs, hearing about your business, and buying from you. If you want to promote something—a new product you’ve released, a new blog, a three-day sale—the newsletter is a great way to get the word out to the people who really care.

And, it can be free to start! Email marketing platforms like MailChimp offer free accounts for smaller lists. Compare that to the costs of pushing fliers, or even an ad campaign, and you can see how email newsletters are the bread and butter of selling.

Building Your List

The bigger your list, the more people you can sell to. So how do you grow your list?

A well-placed sign-up button can bring in subscribers. Putting it at the top of your sidebar is a good solution. If you want to be a little more aggressive, you can try lightboxes, which are basically pop-ups for your business. They can work wonders, but beware, they do irritate some customers. You can also collect business cards or have a sign-up sheet at your place of business.

When you are making your sign-up form, stress the benefits of signing up. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Why would they give you their email address? What do they get in return?

You could offer exclusive content and discounts, like Marie Claire UK does.
Marie Claire's Email Newseletter Signup

 

 

 

 

 

You could even offer people a discount for signing up—say, $25 back when they buy $100 or more from you.

Creating The Newsletter

The key to a great newsletter is adding value to your customers. Think about what might inspire you to take the time to open and read a newsletter. What value-adds could make it worth your while? Here are some examples:

  • Industry news
  • Helpful tips
  • Giving loyal fans a discount

Whatever the value you’re giving away, design the newsletter with that in mind. Don’t bury the lead. You wouldn’t want to wade through 5 paragraphs of 6-point font to find the discount code, right? So don’t make your customers do it either. Whatever you’re offering, make it clear.

This even goes for the subject line. Clever subject lines (“sizzling summer sales”) will do ok. Straightforward ones (“25% off our summer selection”) typically do much better.

The key is to connect with your customers and offer them real value in exchange for their time. That can be industry information, useful tips, a discount, or something else. Do that, and the rest falls into place.