The truth is, ideas are overrated. Do a Google search and you’ll find lists of 10, 20, 50 or more ideas for small business newsletters.
Great. What do you do, cherry pick a couple that look good and then see how they work for you? This approach is hit and miss, more likely to fail than succeed. Why? Because there is no strategy or thought involved.
The ideas you really require for a successful newsletter grow out of your business needs and knowledge of the market. They are principles that once understood help you to create an ongoing, productive dialog with customers.
5 Marketing Tips for a Successful Small Business Newsletter
If you are sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your list, hopefully, you are doing it with specific goals in mind and not to just ‘send’ something to your list. Once you’ve determined your goals for your newsletter, use these five marketing tips to ensure you make it effective.
Keep it Relevant
Ideas that work come from knowing your business and brand, and knowing your target audience or client. Where their needs and what you have to offer intersect is the sweet spot of opportunity.
Of course, determining this is sometimes easier said than done. If you have a particular target in mind (say, office managers in family law firms), then it’s a worthwhile exercise to arrange to speak to a few willing participants you already know to learn more about how they work, what they’re looking for and what their pain points are.
Ask them a standard series of questions, and the responses will help you develop a client profile and determine the kind of content and offers you need.
Keep it Regular
When you commit to producing an email newsletter, you, in fact, become a publisher. Just as you do when you publish a blog, social media post or website content. And publishers live and die by the schedule.
It’s relatively easy to produce one newsletter or two, but what happens if you get busy and start missing publication dates to deal with more pressing matters? Then your newsletter dies a slow death.
As a small business publisher, you need to develop a content calendar that does two things. First, it forces you to plan out your story ideas for the next six months or year, which is painful but pays big dividends down the road. Second, it commits you to regular publication dates that you must hit, no matter how painful.
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Keep it Interesting
This is where all the Google lists of interesting ideas for newsletters come in. What kind of approach or format serves your content best? And what mix of approaches will keep it interesting?
For example, a Q&A with an expert in your field could be followed by a customer spotlight or a roundup of industry news.
As the small business owner, you can write a heartfelt opinion column on a pressing industry issue that establishes your bona fides as it shows potential customers how you think and the type of person you are.
The formats and approaches are endless, but they need to be securely tied to your business objectives.
Educate – Don’t Aggressively Sell
When addressing an audience through a newsletter, resist the temptation to step on a soapbox and shout what you have to offer. You need to tone it down and wear an editorial hat and use the platform to inform and educate. Give your audience information that is relevant to them and their needs.
Establish a rapport. Soft selling yourself as the solution is far more effective than shouting.
Keep it Integrated
Publishing to your website, blog, social media, newsletter, and other marketing channels should not be done as isolated silos. Your content should be developed as an integrated whole, with each communications outlet supporting the others.
For example, blog posts can get repeated mentions on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, driving traffic back to the site. The newsletter can be used to highlight some of the best blog and social media content.
If you want to see how your various content marketing channels can work together effectively, contact the friendly team at VirTasktic. We’ve got strong ideas that will help build your small business. Start spreading the news.