In the online world of search engine optimisation and social media, it's very easy to think that all online advertising relies on organic, and passive, forms of marketing. However, delivering your content to your target market is still very important. One of the most effective forms of direct marketing is an email newsletter.
Newsletters as direct marketing tools
Newsletters allow business owners to deliver their content directly to a potential customer's email inbox, something most people check on a regular (if not daily) basis. One key benefit here is that subscribers have "subscribed" to the business's newsletter because they want to be kept updated about news and offers from that business. This means that you, as a Darwin business owner or marketing manager, are delivering content to pre qualified members of your target market. Fantastic!
Businesses can use email newsletters to deliver:
- Updates about the goings-on at the company.
- Exciting new services or products being offered.
- Exclusive deals or specials that may not be available to people not receiving the newsletter.
- Valuable content or links to blog posts, videos or other media of interest to the target market.
Email Newsletter Systems
Technically, an email newsletter could be as simple as an email that you send out to a list of potential customers. To get the most out of this form of marketing though, it's a good idea to employ the use of a specifically design email marketing system.
Effective online newsletter systems allow business owners to easily craft branded, professionally formatted mini websites that are sent to a managed list of subscribers. The benefits of using such a system are:
- Superior control of how your newsletter will look on the various email clients and browsers.
- Design control over colour schemes, logos, layout and graphics.
- The ability to track the usage analytics of your email campaigns.
- Being able to manage multiple subscriber lists, and target different newsletter campaigns to different subsets of your audience.
Newsletters and business objectives
As a Darwin small business owner or manager, it is likely that your business objectives include generating more sales and establishing your business as the clear leader in your industry. By providing valuable content about your industry, and articles that will help your target market, your credibility as a knowledgeable provider is raised in the eyes of your audience. Simply by keeping your business top of mind by being more visible to your audience than your competitors, and offering deals and useful content, it is likely that you'll see your number of enquiries and sales increase.
How do I get people onto my newsletter list?
There are many different ways to build your subscriber list. The most fundamental way is to include a "Subscribe to newsletter" form on your website (you can see one at the top of this page). Having a prominently positioned subscribe form on your website gives website visitors, who have enjoyed your website content and want to be kept updated, a way to provide their email address and opt-in to receive your newsletter. Other ways of attracting subscribers include:
- Offering the ability to sign up to the newsletter at the point of sale in your brick and mortar location.
- Offering a discount on goods or services for subscribing to your list.
- Including a subscribe form on other popular locations where your business is active, such as Facebook and other social media.
- Including a "would you like to receive our newsletter?" question in online enquiry forms.
There are many creative ways to attract subscribers to your newsletter. Finding the most effective ones depends on your type of business and online strategy.
We've discovered that email newsletters are an effective way of driving traffic to your website, generating enquiries and increasing the credibility of your business. We know that we need to attract subscribers to our newsletter to extend its reach, and that we can come up with ways of doing so that are tailored to our type of business. Overall, as successful marketers, we should be exploring how tools like newsletters can be used along with our website as part of our wider online strategy.