Email Marketing for Local and Small Businesses

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The most effective strategy businesses use to bring back their customers or convert interested people into customers is email marketing.

It works for almost any businesses.

It also works for local businesses.

Through email marketing, local businesses can build a relationship with their customers effectively and at scale.

To do this effectively, you need to send newsletters your customers find valuable.

This newsletter will do the following:

  1. You’ll maintain a relationship with your customers and remind them you exist.
  2. By being in their inbox week after week, they’ll remember you every time they need products or services like the ones you offer. You’ll be on top of their mind. They’ll refer you to their friends and family every time they have a chance.

That’s the power of email marketing and the reason it’s the most effective channel for companies that use it well.

Unfortunately, small and local businesses have a hard time using email marketing.

According to SalesForce 2015 State of Marketing report, 43% of businesses have email teams of 2-3 people.

Small business can’t afford to dedicate teams of 2-3 people to their email marketing. Most cannot afford even one person doing it part time.

If you are a small business owner, you know what I am talking about…

How many things are on your plate right now?

How many things are you responsible for?

Do you have time to create content for a newsletter?

Besides bringing in customers, you have to manage many other things.

You need to take care of finances, production, hires, supervision, and many other tasks related to running your business.

There’s no one from your team who has the time or experience to take care of a newsletter with top quality content.

If you cannot write a newsletter yourself, can you afford a professional writer?

Probably not…

Reality is that while most small businesses would gain much from having a newsletter, it’s really difficult for them.

Newsletter curation lets small and local businesses create great newsletters with minimal time investment.

Newsletter curation is the process of selecting the best content from the web and sharing it through a newsletter.

How to create a curated newsletter:

You can create it manually or with the help of software. Software will simplify the curation process and save time.

To do email marketing with a curated newsletter, you need to:

  1. Get/gain subscribers
  2. Find great articles they are interested in.
  3. Put them in a newsletter.
  4. Send it.

Let’s dive deep:

First, get subscribers:

There are different ways to bring in subscribers.

Typically, large or online businesses put a subscribe form in their website to collect email addresses.

These businesses usually have a lot of traffic to their website and serve customers from all over the world

For these businesses, this makes a lot of sense.

But if you’re a local business, like a gym, a hair salon or a toy store, this makes little sense.

Why?

Because it makes little sense for a person from Arizona to subscribe to a newsletter from a gym in Texas. That person is never going to become your customer. Then, why bother?

Besides this, bringing in new subscribers through the website requires traffic and specific knowledge and training to drive conversions that most small and local businesses do not have.

Most small and local businesses are not prepared to do this.

The best way to gain subscribers is to get your customers and those interested who come to the business with an enquiry.

These are the people who will become your customers or keep buying from you.

How to add them as subscribers:

Before you add them, ask them for permission. Else, you will not be welcome in their inbox.

Ask them if they want to receive special offers and the most interesting content from your industry. If your industry is not exciting, or you don’t know what your newsletter can be about, you can get some ideas here.

Let them know that one of the benefits of subscribing is that you’ll send them a weekly/bi-weekly newsletter with the best content about a specific topic.

What should the newsletter be about?

Your customer’s interests come first.

Think about what your customers are interested in.

What interesting content can you give them, related to the products or services you sell?

If your business is a gym, you could create a newsletter around fitness and health.

If your business is a law firm and your customers are small businesses, you can send a newsletter about business tips for small business owners.

If your business is a hair salon, you can send beauty tips (hair care, make up).

If your business sells clothing for kids, you can send fun activities to do with kids, tips to educate your kids, etc.

If your business is something not exciting at all, you can be more general. Here you’ll find some ideas.

These examples show something that’s really important.

Your newsletter does not have to be necessarily about what you do. It has to be about something your subscribers and potential customers find value in. Your subscribers and customers should look forward receiving it.

If you were the customer of a hair salon or of a gym, what type of content would you like to receive?

Would you like to receive a newsletter that only tries to sell you their services?

Boring…

Or would you prefer to receive a newsletter with great (beauty or fitness) tips from top experts?

I bet you’d prefer to receive top tips written by top experts …

So when you decide what your newsletter should be about, put yourself in your customers’ / subscribers shoes and think what type of content will make them want to open your emails.

Newsletters can (and should) inform users about the service or company behind the newsletter… but it should not be only about this.

To know what they are interested in…

  1. Use your best judgment. You know your customers and their interest.
  2. Talk with them and ask them what they are interested in. When you send a newsletter, ask them for feedback.
  3. Send small surveys to understand how much they like it.

Add your own voice:

Add a small (1-3 sentence) intro to the newsletter, a few words so it looks more personal. If you find this difficult, escape this part (most companies personalize very little).

This is an example of how you can personalize your newsletter if you are a gym.

Good morning John,

This week, I want to share some fitness tips with you. ..

In the first article, you’ll see what to eat before and after a great workout, so those muscles you are toning look their best.

Promote your business.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that newsletters are the best way to convert occasional buyers or non buyers into customers.

After you create a valuable newsletter that your subscribers read, you can start promoting your business.

This is better explained through an example. I’ll use a gym as an example, but the same can be said about any other small or local business, like a law firm, a local store, a hair salon, etc.

Let’s say that you are a gym and want your members to promote the gym among their friends… you can add, at the footer of the newsletter or at the intro, something like:

If you have a friend that is thinking about joining the gym, bring him in. He’ll get the first month free as a compliment from you. To thank you for bringing him in, we’ll give you this great outfit.

Tell your friend to mention your name when he signs up.

Hope to see you at the Gym this week.

Best,

John

General Manager

This is just an example.

Other ways you can promote your business in your newsletter is mentioning some of the new products or less known services you have.

You can also take advantage of the content you share.

If you’re sharing an article that talks about the advantages of bicycling or spinning, you can talk about the spinning class at your gym. You’ll be much more likely to get a positive reaction than if you just ask your subscribers about joining your class.

Why this newsletter works:

  1. You’re connecting with your customers/people interested in your services and delivering them value when they are away.
  2. Through the articles you shared, you’ve reminded them that you exist. You will be on their top of their mind next time they think about buying products or services like the ones you offer.

How to create a curated newsletter

Newsletter curation is the process of selecting the best content from the web and sharing it with your subscribers through a newsletter. This has the advantage that you don’t have to create this content, and you are delivering a lot of value (the best content there is).

You can curate content for your newsletter manually. You can also curate it with the use of software. Software will reduce the curation time by 95%.

NewsletterBreeze brings the content your subscribers are interested in into your account. Then it helps you select the best content by telling you the popularity of each piece.

With one click, select the articles to add to your newsletter…

Here’s an example of a newsletter created in 2 minutes using NewsletterBreeze.

Here’s more information on newsletter curation.

If you are not sure if NewsletterBreeze is right for your business, you can request a free consultation by clicking here.