Share this page on:
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle BookmarksMyspaceTumblrRedditGoogle ReaderDiggDeliciousBlinkListStumbleUpon

Keep existing customers (and acquire new ones) with a newsletter

One of the main secrets of a successful internet venture is to tell enough people – and often enough - what you offer so that your business is always present in your customers' minds. An electronic newsletter will do the trick - and all the work - for you.

An electronic newsletter can be as simple as sending an e-mail to those who have chosen to receive it. Newsletters usually have a theme, finance, IT, or advice of various types - just tell people about what you do best. Subscriptions to the newsletter are usually free, subscribers sign up for a subscription on your website and they will then receive the letter via e-mail with a certain periodicity, eg. twice a month.

I have sent out an electronic newsletter in Swedish called “Flying start” for a number of years. The letter gives free marketing tips to over 16 000 subscribers every other week. It's free to subscribe to it, yet the letter is profitable. How can that be? Let's start from the beginning …

My newsletter has two purposes: One is to be able to reach all our customers with information, tips and new offers. The second purpose is just as important and necessary. Sending out a newsletter puts a blowtorch behind my own butt because it forces me to keep me up to date on trends in marketing. If I can't tell my subscribers something new and exciting in an interesting way, they will simply disappear. The advantage for me is that I get free education all the time.
”Flying start” is sent out every other week and I spend about half a day a week to keep it running. It's time well planned because the company often receives more than one hundred orders each time the letter is sent out. Another amazing thing about newsletters is that it could eventually fill your website with smart content because you can publish old newsletters on the pages. Are you convinced that you should have a newsletter yet? Here are some more reasons:

The newsletter will help you to:

• Create relationships with your customers.
• Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
• Inform customers about why they should do business with your company.
• Create additional sales.
• Extend your customer database.
• Build confidence in your business.
• Making the customer service even better.
• Create natural reasons for subscribers to return to your website.
• To improve your website because you know that it'll attract new subscribers all the time.
• Communicate with customers and only pay with your time.

As you can see and understand - it's verging on a crime not to have a good newsletter if you want to promote your business inexpensively.

And - yes, you can start and run a newsletter.

For starters: You don't need to be a writer or a journalist to publish a newsletter.
It's perfectly acceptable to write and simply tell people what you do best and do it in a way that you would want to receive it yourself. The newsletter is all about giving away your knowledge or other information that the subscribers want - just like a newspaper does.
The short-term result is higher sales and the long term result will be even higher sales and also a chance to sell to more people – isn't that amazing?

Seven things you should always have in your newsletter:

• Make sure you always have one (but only one) offer in the newsletter. Readers know that you run a for-profit business and that you want to sell, but let the customers set the pace. Try out different offers, one at a time and place it at the end of the letter. The better the offer, the better deal you will get for the time you devote to the newsletter to pay for itself.

• Create a reason for readers to visit your website. Offer them, for example, a little quiz and place the correct answer at the bottom of the page. You can also add specific information that you talk about in the newsletter. Always keep some of the information on your website, so that you can recommend the readers to continue reading about the exciting topic there.

• Newsletters can certainly be regarded as a news source. Unlike sales letters, newsletters have the same status as a newspaper. Respect that and make sure that the information you provide customers with are up to date, true and newsworthy.

• Good, helpful and useful information should be presented in a timely manner.

• Offer some space on the newsletter where the readers can leave feedback. Anyone who has provided feedback once will gladly do it again if you answer him/her the first time.

• Provide a direct link to a page where people can cancel their subscription by e-mail.

• Make any contact information directly to you. It creates a personal touch and generally good feeling about you.

How to get subscribers to the newsletter:

To get me to sign up for your newsletter, it's essential that you clearly show me what I get if I start to subscribe. It can be anything from getting interesting information to special discounts for subscribers only. It's also important to talk about what happens to my address so I know that you won't sell it to someone else.

Finally - the technical solution you use isn't important. The key is that you publish your newsletter with your customers in mind. You will get better at your job and soon you'll also be laughing all the way to the bank.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.