After a challenging year for small businesses, developing an efficient marketing strategy will be more critical than ever in 2021. Given the impact the pandemic has had on the average company’s financial health, it will be especially crucial to invest resources wisely.
Many businesses will be considering what channels to pause or drop altogether in favor of more revenue-focused activities in the new year. If you’re doing this, too, you might take a look at your newsletter and think, “We’ve been sending this thing out every month and I can’t tie any sales to it. Shouldn’t we be spending our time on the things that drive revenue?”
While it might not look like a revenue-driver on paper, if you have the capacity to curate a quality newsletter, it should be in your marketing mix – even if you’re running lean and mean in the new year.
Let’s take a closer look at our top reasons to stick with a company newsletter.
- Email is popular.
While email isn’t exactly a shiny new channel, the research tells a clear story – it’s still immensely popular.
Don’t believe us? Here are a few data points to consider:
- A newsletter can be a great way to drive sales.
Right now, many companies can’t open their storefront or host people in their office, so they’ve had to get creative about lead generation. If someone is on the fence about buying a product, they’re likely to submit their email as a way to stay connected with your company. These people are in what we call the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey – they’re putting together options that could be right for them, and your curated newsletter can help guide them to the decision stage and get them to press “purchase.” Your newsletter can do this by including a few different tactics:
- Adding call-to-actions to direct users to products or content downloads
- Offering special coupons or discounts only available in the newsletter
- Giving subscribers early access to sales
- Providing in-depth product descriptions and information
- Highlighting positive customer testimonials
Sometimes something as small as including a coupon can push your customers over the edge. Kelton recently reported that emails that include coupons can increase revenue by 48%.
While you might reach a small segment of your audience with a social media coupon, a newsletter is guaranteed to end up in your target audience’s inbox. These email purchases can add up – Klaviyo shares that the average value order of one email across 13 major industries was $87.
- Newsletter technology has come a long way.
If it’s been a minute since you’ve created a newsletter for your business, you should know – things have changed. There are a plethora of new tools at your fingertips to not only level up your company updates but to make your creation process more manageable.
- Templates – Many major CRMs, like HubSpot for example, have pre-made templates to get you started creating a professional-looking newsletter, no matter what industry or niche you’re targeting.
- Design Tools – Many CRMs offer helpful formatting and text-editing tools, but if you’re looking for additional design help, here are a few places to start:
- Adobe offers a plethora of design capabilities for an advanced designer. If you’re comfortable working on graphics, this could be the tool for you to spice up your newsletter’s aesthetic.
- Canva is an accessible tool for those who are beginner graphic designers. With free templates for everything from newsletters to logos, this is a useful tool for all your graphic needs.
- Fiverr is a great option if you don’t have time to create graphics or templates for your newsletter (or just don’t know how). This site gives you access to hundreds of qualified freelance designers who can put together your newsletter assets for you.
- Interactive Capabilities – There are several more dynamic new ways to engage your audience while they peruse your newsletters. These include rollover images, radio buttons, quizzes, surveys and ratings, to name a few. For more ideas on how to make your newsletter more interactive, check out this roundup of examples.
- Automation and Workflows – It’s easy to fall behind on your email marketing campaigns if you don’t have the time to follow-up with every new subscriber or potential lead. That’s where automation comes in.The majority of popular CRMs or email marketing platforms can set up automated email workflows. These take the stress off of you when it comes to responding to every inquiry right away. In fact, when surveyed, one-third of professionals said their favorite benefit from automation was the time it saved their business.
These workflows can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Whether you’d just like a follow-up email for new subscribers or ongoing emails that continue to send relevant content, automation can help.
You can also use these workflows to do routine re-engagement campaigns for your subscribers. These initiatives help keep your newsletter contact list healthy and effective.
But remember, if complicated designs or graphics don’t mesh with your industry, don’t worry. One of the top trends for 2021 is text-only emails. Keeping it simple can cut down on distractions and deliver your need-to-know information quickly and easily. It also gives your reader’s eyes a little break.
- Newsletters can be much more personal.
Newsletters are no longer general, blanket statements and information – at least, the good ones aren’t. They can be a dialogue between you and your readers, providing them with niche content relevant to their interests and encouraging conversation. Effective newsletters focus on personalization, because customers are looking to be treated like people, not just as another contact.
Segmenting your subscribers into lists can help you get specific about your newsletter content. Personalization is easier once you’re able to define exactly who you’re sending this list to and what you’d like them to get out of it.
Your lists can be organized by several factors, including:
This personalization helps create trust between you and your audience, which is incredibly valuable to a business. A reported 91% of people want to read promotional emails from the companies they trust.
Newsletters are like a regular phone call with an old friend. They establish a consistent conversation with your audience, giving them the updates they need to know and all the tidbits you’ve been dying to tell them. Sending a newsletter is an easy way to keep in touch with your audience and continue the conversation.
- Newsletters help you build your contact list remotely.
As this year has demonstrated, in-person networking and contact building isn’t always a possibility.
By maintaining and promoting a quality newsletter, you have a powerful way to attract new visitors and build your contact database. This invaluable benefit supports just about every area of your marketing efforts.
While not every subscriber will be a qualified lead, businesses who invest in newsletters as a means to build their audience are seeing returns.
In fact, a study by Campaign Monitor found that for every $1 that businesses spend on email campaigns, they can potentially see $44 in return. 80% of surveyed professionals say they continue using email marketing because it grows both customer acquisition and retention.
Furthermore, by growing your audience, you’re increasing brand awareness. The more people learn about your successful services, strong company values and positive testimonials, the more likely they are to give you their business or recommend you to others.
If you’re new to newsletter audience building, you don’t have to tackle it alone. Several email marketing providers make creating a newsletter and an email strategy easy and accessible.
Don’t Cut the Newsletter!
As your business weighs which channels to continue in the new year, we hope we’ve made the case to keep newsletters in your strategy. Newsletters have evolved to be a crucial tactic in a successful marketing strategy, and when executed well, they can boost your sales and continue to grow your digital audience.
Need a little help getting your newsletter off the ground or looking to take it from good to great? We can help!