An electronic newsletter, also called an e-zine, e-news and a myriad of other names is as its title suggests — an informative letter filled with news in an electronic format. More popular than ever before, it is a convenient way to both send and receive information and stacks up as a truly great business advertising platform.
Ultimately, the e-newsletter is a powerful sales and marketing tool at the tips of your fingers. With minimal fuss, you send it electronically and direct to the customer’s inbox. And as an alternative (or in addition), you can mail it out via hard copy. (This however lies outside the scope of the article).
E-Newsletters are a great, quick way to get core information to your contacts while maintaining the client-business relationship. As your business stays fresh in their minds, the aim is to keep those customers coming back and hopefully spreading the news as your ‘word of mouth’ sales army. It is a form of email marketing that is inexpensive and cost-effective.
Used to provide anything from information, inspiration, motivation and advertisements, the e-newsletter assists in creating a subtle yet powerful bond with customers that makes them feel part of an exclusive group. More specifically, it can be used to announce existing or new services and initiatives, advertise products, introduce new staff, share success stories or case studies, run competitions, highlight changes in business activities, provide images and video links or simply pass on new season greetings.
But let’s step back for just a moment.
Generally when a business collects new customer information, their email addresses are included, resulting in an important piece of data for your contact database. By collecting this data, you are asking for the provider’s permission to opt-in to receiving business communications.
Sourcing these details can also be achieved via other channels such as having a website e-newsletter registration system (the ‘Newsletter sign up’ box). Not only will these participants now be receiving your ‘business news’ but they will also be privy to information about your services and products, hopefully attracting them as new, paying customers.
In an effort to promote this marketing strategy, we should explore further benefits of writing a company e-newsletter:
Position yourself as an expert.
By consistently providing information about a specific topic, service or product, you become an authority on it. You demonstrate that you are the go-to person for this information. Your reputation as a business grows and lead generation increases.
FREE information for your clients.
Everyone likes to receive something for nothing. By providing this value to your clients (or prospects — remember those who sign up out of interest), they realise that you are genuinely on their side. It shows that you are not all about the hard sell but rather building and maintaining relationships. By demonstrating your intent to help your clients, they will be much more open to your products and services.
Make money easier.
It’s a given that remaining a profitable business by way of increased revenue received from existing customers is easier done than pursuing new ones. This can be achieved by targeting both your current and past clients through your contact database. These readers are going to be more receptive to receiving your mail and therefore a better chance at receiving a higher response rate.
Of course, growing your business also needs to be considered. Those prospective clients that you have met through referrals, networking events or social media are prime candidates for your e-newsletter. Now being familiar with you, hit them up with your next newsletter to further expand on your business. Note: you may need to gauge people’s receptivity as you don’t want to be known for spamming.
Track the results.
The great thing about sending out electronic messages is the fact that they can be tracked. Has it been received? Has it been opened? Has it been deleted without so much as a subject read? If it’s digital, you can monitor it. Hardcopy on the other hand — who knows? It could end up in the bin or as lining to the pet hamster’s cage. At least you can receive some indication when going electronic.
Your business is online and not necessarily offline – meaning that you do not have a brick and mortar store. Customers like to think that your business is approachable. By offering an e-newsletter and reply mechanism, you are effectively saying ‘hey, c’mon in to my digital world and say hello’. It allows clients to interact with you. This is a good thing as people in general prefer to do business with people that they know.
You can see that there is a pretty convincing argument for creating an e-newsletter full of informative, beneficial content that also doubles up as an advertisement medium for your products and services. Consumer sentiment is at an all time high when they feel positive about your business. And customers feel positive about your business when they believe you are there to help them.
Even from a strictly business perspective, with the amount of time invested and cost involved in producing an electronic newsletter, it really is a no-brainer. It is a way of maintaining relations with your current customer base, a vehicle for reaching new clients and more or less instantaneous.
So why not give it a go, you may surprise yourself. At the very least, you’ll surprise your customers.
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