Every online marketing expert tells you the same thing: your business needs to have an email newsletter that you send out to subscribers. When there’s that kind of unanimity from your advice-givers, that usually means they’re right. An email newsletter is reasonably easy to put together, free or inexpensive to send out, and highly effective. Here are ten good reasons to create one for your business.
1. Your customers want to hear from you.
There’s a common perception that people don’t like promotional email, but research indicates that people actually do want to receive such messages; they just want to receive them in appropriate doses (usually monthly). Fully 91% of the general public wants to see promotional email from companies that they trust (Source: Marketing Sherpa). Your customers want to connect with you—oblige them.
2. Email newsletters spark sales.
There’s a certain set of people who are never going to buy your product, and that’s OK. There’s another set of people who are always going to buy your product, and that’s wonderful. But there’s a third, more vaguely-defined set of people, who might buy your product but for whom it’s far from a given.
For those people, a nudge, a call to action, a coupon, or a discount code can very easily be the spark that results in a purchase. Some people are impulsive, and 7 out of 10 people say they used a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the past week (Source: Blue Kangaroo).
3. Newsletters reconnect you to your customers.
Relationships are not rocks, they are houseplants. If you ignore a rock and come back to it a thousand years later, it is very likely that the same rock will be sitting there, unchanged. If you ignore a houseplant and come back to it even just a few days later, it will have wilted. Wait long enough, and it will be dead. Relationships require regular reconnection, and an email newsletter is a low-maintenance way of staying in touch with customers and generating some of that reconnection.
4. Newsletters build your credibility.
A newsletter is a channel by which you can further develop your credibility with your customers. By sharing your knowledge with them, you enhance your value and make them more likely to seek you out for help when they have a problem you can solve.
5. It’s a cheap way to test marketing ideas.
One of the problems with marketing is that ideas can be expensive to test. You may have a great concept for a promotion, or it may be a horrible idea that will never work, but the only way to test it is to try it. If you have to buy media space to test your concept, then it’ll either be an expensive flop or an expensive success.
Your email newsletter, however, is a very inexpensive send. You can afford to test a not-clearly-brilliant idea with a relatively friendly audience, and find out if the concept is something that will fly (or not) when you scale it up to that big media buy.
6. It’s a way to get people when they’re on their phones.
Many people get notifications of incoming email on their phone. Typically we just swipe those notifications away if they aren’t urgent but—and here’s that impulsiveness again—sometimes we’re bored or just not busy and the email is juuust interesting enough that we read it and take immediate action.
7. You can give your customers things of value and trigger their desire to reciprocate.
It’s human nature 101: when someone gives us something we value, we feel indebted to that person and we want to give them something in return. You probably can’t give away free samples of your product in an email, but you can give them information—tips, tricks, and hints about your products, or about the problems that they are facing in their industries. Anything you send them that they put a value on is going to promote a positive feeling about your relationship and a desire to return the favor.
8. You can segment your market as narrowly as you wish.
Say you’ve got a customer group that you know makes rare large purchases and is super price-aware but doesn’t want to be hassled all the time, and another customer group that makes regular steady purchases and is relatively price-insensitive but loves to hear from you. Any newsletter you send out to both groups is going to annoy or be useless to one group or the other and quite possibly to both. But what’s to stop you from segmenting your audience and catering your content accordingly?
9. It’s a warmup pen for your leads.
Lots of people who aren’t quite ready to buy choose instead sign up for a newsletter, because they want to get more information in an easy and non-invasive way. This makes your newsletter an opportunity to nurture your leads in a slow, non-threatening, and inexpensive way.
10. You can start two-way conversations.
You can use your newsletter as a place to ask questions of your customers, get their responses, and put those responses back into the conversation. Not only does this create great engagement with your customers, you can end up with a lot of material for your next newsletter.