Use a simple CRM and sales tracking app like Base to manage the leads that you receive from your e-newsletter marketing efforts.

Why your small business needs an e-newsletter

Internet marketing needs a diverse approach and you’ll have to be creative to find marketing methods that appeal to a diverse audience. You’ll probably do some marketing via your website. You might do pay per click advertising through Google or other sources, too.  You might do some social marketing to engage followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook. But if you don’t do newsletter marketing as well, you’re missing out on the infinite potential of email.  Many of your customers are in and out of their email all day long — every day.  If you develop a valuable newsletter and get your customers and prospects to agree to be a subscriber, you’ll have regular access to people who are interested and in many cases, to people who you’ve already proven your value to — which increases the chance of repeat business.

With newsletter marketing, you’ll have access to a growing list of interested people who may buy from you repeatedly as well as tell others about you.  Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with customers. They help you build your brand, increase your company’s perceived authority, and can be a great way to launch new products, build and retain brand loyalty, and continually build your overall reputation.  How do you build a newsletter and get a list of subscribers?

Email Newsletter Tools

There are a number of low-cost email newsletter tools. They help you manage a mailing list, give subscribers opt-out ability without your intervention (very important for CAN-spam laws, which any company that uses email for marketing purposes should familiarize themselves with), enable you to schedule newsletters in advance, and some will even offer you reporting information to help you measure the efficacy of your newsletter. A few examples include: AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response. Many offer a simple method to display opt-in forms on your website and an interface that’s as easy to use for composing newsletters as email.

Tips for Building Your Subscriber List

  • Offer a freebie to subscribers. A coupon code for a discount, free shipping, or some other perk is a great option.
  • Put value in your newsletter. Make people aware that there are benefits to being a subscriber.
  • Promote your newsletter everywhere. Put an opt-in box above the fold on your website, link to your newsletter in your press releases, blog posts, and other online marketing collateral. Mention it on Twitter, Facebook, and your other social media accounts as well.
  • Offer a bonus for referrals. If customers initiate sign-ups from others, for instance, they might receive a special thank you gift or discount.
  • Have a contest for something great. Announce the winner in the newsletter so that participants will sign up in order to be kept informed of the winner.

Caution! It’s easier to lose subscribers than to get them! Make sure you keep these things in mind:

Don’t Spam.

If your newsletter doesn’t provide much value and is just a constant sales pitch, people will unsubscribe or could mark your newsletter as spam, which could hurt your reputation with search engines.
Provide Value. Make sure your newsletter is interesting and valuable otherwise people won’t read it. If needed, get some help.

Be Consistent.

A consistent schedule, style, and branding strategy are all a good idea. It may take time to find a system that works but your reporting can help you with this.

Check Reporting.

Your reporting is valuable in terms of helping you understand whether or not your methods for email marketing are working or not. Use this information to help you continually improve your open rate and your conversion rate, too.

Make sure that even though your newsletter isn’t just promotional in nature that you do have some sort of call to action for interested people. Consider using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Base to help you track leads that come from your newsletter readers.