Small business owners are always in search of cost-effective, time-efficient ways to keep in touch with existing clients/customers, and the internet provides us with a variety of ways in which to achieve that. One method of maintaining regular customer contact is the use of an Email Newsletter program. Using such a program enables your clients to maintain an on-going awareness of your firm, so they remember your firm when they finally have a need for a service such as yours instead of seeking out another firm because they forgot about you.
The use of an Email Newsletter program provides a variety of benefits to your firm, including:
· A regularly scheduled communication program to remind your clients/customers that you are available to service them
· A method of communicating new services/products, new staff members with areas of expertise which might be of interest to clients/customers, recent awards or recognition received by your firm, education/information about the latest industry developments
· A communication that is professional in appearance and helps to reinforce your firm’s branding message
· A communication that can link clients/customers back to your website or blog in areas that will be of particular interest to them.
Elements of an effective email newsletter include:
· short, easy-to-read articles
· interesting, attention-grabbing headlines
· special limited-time offers for newsletter-readers only
· information relevant to your industry (statistics and graphs are always interesting)
· communication regarding new products or services being offered by your firm
· company information of interest such as new staff, awards, new offices, community participation programs, etc.
· links to your website or blog that provide greater detail on articles discussed in the newsletter
Obviously, the use of a professional-appearing Email Newsletter presents some challenges for business owners who do not have HTML programming skills. Luckily Web 2.0 technology has provided us with a variety of resources that enable a small business to send a professional-appearing newsletter with only the most basic of computer skills. Services such as Aweber, Constant Contact and Ennect provide user-friendly, web-based email tools that enable any business owner to develop a professional email program extremely cost-effectively. Added benefits of using such a service are that they insure that you maintain compliance with the anti-spam laws, and they increase the potential that your newsletter will reach the customer’s inbox and actually be read.
Try an Email Newsletter program for 6 months as a test; track who it was sent to, who reads it and which articles they read (the software programs will provide reports), and who you receive additional business from. Compare your cost per person of implementing the program with the revenue you receive as a result of implementing the program to determine your ROI (return-on-investment). Then compare your Email Newsletter ROI with the ROI for other marketing programs you are implementing to determine its cost-effectiveness for your firm. I’m betting it will be one of your top-performing programs!
The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.