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Non Profits, online marketing, inbound marketing strategy

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Did you know 91% of people check their email daily? Eighty-two percent of consumers open emails sent by companies. The numbers mean you have a receptive audience to market your products and service to through email marketing campaigns.

One email marketing tactic, the electronic newsletter, can make the difference between your small business flourishing and treading water in a highly competitive environment. By dedicating the necessary time and energy, you can connect with potential and loyal customers via an email newsletter. A growing number of small businesses successfully attract new customers by providing website visitors with the option to subscribe to a weekly or monthly electronic newsletter.

Benefits of Running an Electronic Newsletter Program

Instead of uploading information that you present to a general audience on your website, an electronic newsletter targets website visitors who have expressed interest in learning more about your small business. Electronic newsletters therefore represent one of the most effective communication tools that you have for engaging your leads. You make personalized connections, deliver effective marketing messages, and pave the way for conversion from lead to customer.

Here are some other benefits of electronic newsletters:

  • Establish brand recognition
  • Build trust
  • Increase website traffic
  • High return on investment
  • Gain more exposure
  • Call to action seals the deal
  • Establishes you as an expert in your field

However, many small business owners fail at optimizing their email newsletter campaigns and reaping the associated benefits.

5 Reasons Why Electronic Newsletters Fail

Although they can be a compelling way to get your small business message across to potential and regular customers, online newsletters can also fail to motivate subscribers to read what you send them. There may be dozens of reasons why no one reads your newsletter, but five reasons stand out from the rest of the pack.

1. Unpredictable Schedule

Unpredictable

As with your small business blog, you need to adhere to a regular newsletter publication schedule. You cannot send your small business electronic newsletter once a week for six weeks and then stop sending your newsletter for a month. Think about your television programming schedule. You expect the same show to appear at the same time on the same day every week. That is the same philosophy held by your electronic newsletter subscribers. Your subscribers expect to read your newsletter that you send on a consistent schedule, whether the schedule is once a week or twice per month. Remember that your electronic newsletter subscribers have myriad options when it comes to finding information online. Your newsletter may not be one of those options, if you do not publish on a consistent schedule.

2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make with electronic newsletters involves sending irrelevant, sales-heavy material that does not engage their audience. Far too many newsletters contain pushy sales messages that make small business owners appear as shameless self-promoters. Your newsletter should be useful to your subscribers by helping them solve problems or giving them new information about your field or industry. Plumbers can help newsletter subscribers fix persistent faucet leaks. Dog trainers can offer ways for canine lovers to get their puppies to stop chewing furniture. Organic grocery stores can send useful recipes that provide subscribers with nutritional ways to bolster their diets. Think about your target audience and write for them–it’s not about you. Once your subscribers receive tangible benefits from reading one of your newsletters, they are more likely to open subsequent newsletters to learn more about your small business.

3. It’s a Bore

Asleep_at_DeskExpect potential and loyal patrons of your small business to seek a different source of information if your newsletter lulls them to sleep. There is no way you can present an effective call to action that follows paragraphs of uninspiring text. Voice represents the most important writing tool that you have for conveying your small business message in an engaging way. Readers pick up on the voice you use to make your points and present your helpful information. Think about the importance that the inflection in your voice plays in swaying potential customers to take action. The same principle applies to your written words. Show your newsletter subscribers that you are excited about that you have to offer them and make sure your material is relevant and presented in an engaging style and voice.

4. Too Many Numbers, Not Enough Stories

The best way for your electronic newsletter to gain loyal following is by writing one or more stories into the each edition. Leading off with a compelling story sets the stage for the rest of the newsletter. Work humor or drama into your stories to captivate your audience. Far too many small business owners inundate their newsletter subscribers with statistics, which can heighten the bore factor.Numbers are great, but you need to make a personal connection with your newsletter subscribers, before you can expect them to buy one of your small business products or services. Make the personal connection by writing stories into your electronic newsletter content.

5. Call to Actions that Say “If You Feel Like It”

So, you have perfectly set up the sales stage by providing helpful information to your electronic newsletter subscribers. You adhere to a regular publication schedule and you engage your readers with cogent stories. Now the time has come to close the deal and you cannot afford to fall flat on your face with a tepid call to action. Your call to action should be clear, concise, and actionable.Whether you want subscribers to comment on your content or pick up the phone to ask questions about a promotion, you need to make direct statements that create the impetus for action. For example, an automotive dealership can end an electronic newsletter by writing, “Stop by our dealership to learn more about our state-of-the-art service center.”

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Make sure your call to action is committed and requires commitment. Consider the difference between the following two statements:

1)    “If you liked our article, download our free guide.”

2)    “Download our free guide now for more great information!”

The first is too passive and has a sort of “if you feel like it” sense. Avoid this bymaking your calls to action more like the second statement: direct and action-based.

Electronic newsletters represent one of the most cost efficient ways to reach out to your customers. Put these 5 tips into practice to make sure that your customers read what you send them.

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