Newsletters are the ideal way to keep in touch with your clients, suppliers and colleagues, however to be effective you need to do it regularly. I would suggest ideally once a fortnight, at least once a month.
 Mailchimp & Constant Contact
To give you an idea of how popular newsletters are, according to Mailchimp stats they have 15 million users, from sole traders to multi million pound organisations.

The Figures

I personally use Mailchimp for my own newsletters, and my last marketing newsletter in December 2016 had an admirable 44.5% opens (against industry average of 17.1%) and 4.5% click through rates (against 1.92%).
Constant Contact reports an average open rate ranging from 10.6% to 20.58% depending on the industry. Obviously the larger and more focused your contact list, the more likely your open and click through rates will be higher. But the subject line and header is the most important of a newsletter. Get it wrong and you will have minimal opens.
My contact list isn’t massive, however, they are all people I have had contact with in the past, so they are not ‘cold’ contacts. Emailing to people who you already know, is much more likely to be successful.

How to increase your contact list

Add a ‘subscribe here’ link to your website as well as on social media, basically everywhere you can add a link. You might want to encourage subscribers by offering a freebie as some don’t like giving away their email. If you have emailed someone who isn’t yet on your contact list, by all means add them, however you must however give the option to unsubscribe at the bottom of the newsletter. You will find that both Mailchimp and Constant Contact automatically include the option to unsubscribe.

Dont

  • purchase email lists as they are expensive, usually months out of date and will probably result in a huge bounce rate.
  • Just send your email when it suits you.
  • depending on the industry, don’t ramble on and put too much information.

Do

  • allow plenty of time, it can take several hours – you will need to think about and create good content that people will want to read, possibly write an article to link to, then find images and added new subscribers. Your efforts will pay off.

Benefits

  • Keeps everyone you deal with, clients, suppliers and colleagues, up to date with your news and special offers and helps to raise your profile.
  • Reminds your contacts what you do.
  • Encourages your contacts to buy more.
  • If some of your contacts are not clients yet, it may be the push they need.
  • Encourages your contacts to read your blog.
  • The more click throughs you get, the more likely search engines will push you higher in search results.

Conclusion

All in all we should be sending newsletters, but it’s not as simple as that. Of course it’s time consuming and you may not have the skills required. Outsource it or learn how to do it and you will be one step closer to getting more clients.

Article by Sue Edwards SJE Marketing. If you would like to be a guest blogger please contact me. Articles must be related to small business

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Sue Edwards

Marketing & Social Media Support at SJE Marketing
Sue Edwards helps small businesses with Marketing & Social Media support. She is also a CV Writer. Services include WP website editing & copywriting, Constant Contact & Mailchimp newsletters, Linkedin, Twitter & Facebook. Management or training on all the above.
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