Should I write a newsletter for my business? How do I set up a newsletter? Which email software should I use? What should I write in it? How often should I send it?
These are questions that pop up all the time in the online communities that I’m in and the very short answer is – yes, you should be sending a regular newsletter to your people. It will help you build a loyal customer base and grow your business. Put simply, it’s easier to ask people to buy from you again if you’re in regular contact with them.
But don’t just take my word for it here are some stats from Markinblog (you can read the full article here)…
Regular newsletters drive sales
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%.
- Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.
- 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.
- Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than new customers.
Newsletters are super cost-effective
- It costs up to 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one.
- Increasing customer retention by 5% increases profits by 25-95%.
Your customers like them
- 89% of see customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention.
What this looks like for your business…
So, we’ve established that sending out regular email newsletters to your people is a good idea for your business as it creates customer loyalty and helps build sales, in theory. But, in practice lots of people still feel that a weekly newsletter to their customer and potential customer list is a bit salesy and icky and besides, “what would I say every week?” and “isn’t it super complicated?”
Do I really have to do this?
No, not if you don’t want to, but you’re missing a great opportunity to build resilience into your business, create meaningful relationships with your customers and increase your income.
But isn’t it super salesey?
Only if you want to sound like Derek Trotter! There are ways of asking your people to be involved with your business without pushing a sale all the time.
What should I write in my newsletter?
Stuff that interests you, is relevant to your customer base and, is entertaining, a call to action or ask (even if it is “click this link”)
If you aren’t interested in your newsletter it’s easier to put off doing it.
Genuine enthusiasm is contagious
How often should I write this newsletter thing?
As often as you can manage so that you continue doing it. At least once a month, more often if you can, expecially if you’re a product-based business.
Which email platform should I use?
The one you find easiest to use and fits your business needs.
There are platforms that are better suited for e-commerce newsletters and ones better suited to service-based businesses, and they all do the basics that you need.
The most important thing is to find one that you get on with so that fear of the tech doesn’t stop you from writing your newsletter.
I have experience of using several different platforms and have my preferences so can help you decide which is best for your business needs and personal tech style.
Sound’s great Ruth, but I really, really don’t know what to write?
Nor do I sometimes. So this is what I keep in mind through the week and note down
- Something I’ve read that I can share
- A question that’s popped up a lot in my week
- Something seasonal
- A challenge or success for me or my clients
- A project I’m working on
Okay, I’m coming around, but how do I get people onto this list
Glad you asked, that’s a whole nother blog post. The simplest way is to add a sign-up form to your website so that people can give you your email address to hear more info.
If you’re a product-based biz then offering a discount code in exchange for an email address is a good way to build your list and boost sales.
For service based businesses having a “useful thing”* that folk can download in exchange for their email helps build your list (*these are called lead-magnets)
Don’t forget to tell people that you have a newsletter on your social media and add your links to your profile pages.
I have a spare gmail account which I use for most emails that I sign up for. I rarely open this account and don’t actually read any of those emails. Yes, this is what we’re contending with as business owners. BUT, I also give me real actual email address to businesses that I value and who I know I want to buy from or work with now or in the future.
These are emails I look forward to, always open and read, and that I find helpful, thought provoking and inspiring.
The Switch from Helen Perry because there’s always something interesting
Republic of Happy from Veronica because it is so darn colourful and fun
Ian Snow – Because one day I’ll buy a floral sofa
Money Saving Expert – because keeping track of my finances is important to me
If you’re on the fence about newsletters, have a look in your inbox and see if there are newsletters you open or look forward to – what is it about them that engages you? What can you learn from them and apply to your newsletter?