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A Return to the Classics: Newsletter Marketing 101

These days, it seems there’s always some new way to market your business. Social media, search marketing and SEO, and live video streaming can all help your business extend its marketing reach.

But more small-business owners are finding that a decidedly old-school technique can still be one of the most effective marketing strategies in their arsenals.

We’re talking about newsletter marketing. Some businesses choose to send out hard-copy newsletters, fresh from their local print shop. Others opt for the email variety, which still seems somewhat quaint, given the technological advancements that have taken place since “electronic mail” was a high-tech buzzword.

Low-tech though they may be, newsletters let businesses large and small connect with their clients and prospects in a much more in-depth fashion than many other varieties of marketing. They help keep existing customers engaged, and they offer opportunities to solidify relationships with prospects who are interested in a business’s products and services, but may still be on the fence about making any commitments.

Here are some strategies that you can use to achieve the best results from your small business’s newsletter marketing efforts.

1: Make Your Newsletter Worth Reading

This may seem like an obvious point, but too many businesses seem to miss it. If you want your newsletter marketing efforts to be effective, then you have to create newsletters that people will actually want to read. Make sure your letters contain information that is interesting, entertaining, and relevant to the people who are reading it. And remember, it doesn’t need to be directly related to the nature of your business; a tangential link is fine, as long as the content is good.

2: Keep Your Professional Newsletter Short and Sweet

Have you heard the term “TLDR?” It’s a dated Internet acronym that stands for “too long, didn’t read,” and it’s exactly what your newsletter recipients will be thinking if you overload them with too much information in your newsletters. Keep it short and sweet, and your clients will be glad they opted in.

3: Recycle Your Newsletter Content

You may not realize it, but your business may already have plenty of relevant content for its newsletters. Those infographics you posted to Facebook? Content. The condensed version of your last live Q&A also qualifies. Don’t be shy about recycling content from other platforms to make your newsletters more engaging. Just don’t recycle content already featured in previous newsletters, unless you have a very good reason.

4: Provide Value in Your Newsletter

You don’t want your newsletter to be too salesy, but there’s no reason you cant include a special offer with each edition. Giving subscribers access to exclusive incentives makes them feel valued, and it may even help drive business.

5: Keep It Light

Just because you’re writing your company’s official newsletter doesn’t mean you need to write in a lawyer-like tone. Keep it light and conversational, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. Your customers will feel more connected to you on a human level, and will start to think of you as a friend in the business.

What Are You Waiting For?

Newsletter marketing can be a very effective tool, but only if you actually do it. For your first edition, send it out to everyone you can think of; they’ll let you know if they’re not interested. The most important thing is that you get started. Don’t worry; you’ll get better as you go.

[Photo Via: AmesHistory]