I think it's time...
...it's time to accept that even in 2018...
...at a time when everyone is "facebooking", "instagramming", "snapchatting", and so on...
...Having an email newsletter is still one of the most important marketing tools for a local business.
Yet, the vast majority of local business owners I have spoken to over the years do not have one.
TIME, PERCEPTION, & KNOWLEDGE (let's talk about these)
1) Time - You're busy dealing with customers, delivering services and products, handling payroll and the other 52 hats you have to wear to run your local business. You don't have the time to have a regular email newsletter, right?
2) Perception - You don't like getting phone calls and spammy emails from marketers that waste your time. Your customers probably don't want to hear from you all the time either, right?
3) Knowledge - You wouldn't even know where to begin to start an email newsletter. Do you use MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, or whatever? And with everyone using social media...it's too late to learn how to do it, right?
1) I'd have to argue that you do have the time, you're just being lazy.
2) Your perception is just that, your perception. People are literally dying to get emails from you. (a little hyperbole with the 'dying')
3) Having an email newsletter is not a dead marketing strategy and definitely something you need to learn about and implement.
Let's consider 5 reasons your local business needs an email newsletter.
1. Email Newsletters Encourage Your Customers to Think About You More Often
Your customers are busy people too. They have lives, careers, and families that they're busy with.
Even so...they most likely check their emails at least 1-3 times a day according to a poll by Statista.
When a customer receives an email from you, they think about you at a time when they normally wouldn't.
Sending them a message or promotion by email is a polite way to nudge them a little...
...to briefly remind them that you're there to serve them.
2. Email Newsletters Drive Sales
According to Convince & Convert, 68% of Millennials say promotional emails have influenced their purchase decisions.
(BTW...if you read that whole post by Convince & Convert, you'll be kicking yourself about why you didn't start an email newsletter a lot sooner.)
"The money is in the list", is a very popular phrase in the digital marketing space because it's true. It's been true for years and continues to be true.
Start an email newsletter, grow your list, and drive sales every time you click 'Send' in an email.
3. Email Newsletters Are Cheap
For the price of taking a family of 3 to eat at Chick-Fil-A once a month, you can pay for the cost of an email marketing platform to handle your email newsletter.
And get this...
After that initial cost, it usually doesn't cost you anything to send an email to your list of subscribers.
In other words, email newsletters are probably the cheapest, or most affordable, marketing channels for local businesses.
According to Wordstream, you can also expect to gain $44 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.
So really it's not costing you anything to maintain an email newsletter.
4. Your Customers Want You to Email Them
If your customers subscribed to your email newsletter, it's because they want you to email them.
It's permission marketing. They have given you permission to advertise to them.
Permission is the key...
Don't go buying a list of emails to send a newsletter to. That won't go well and none of the statistics I mentioned above will apply.
Don't be afraid to reach out to customers that have subscribed to your email list. That's not considered spam. That's not considered disruptive marketing.
It isn't disruptive at all. If anything, your customers not only want you to email them...
...but they're expecting you to email them. Don't let them down.
5. Email Is Still the Most Used Electronic Media
According to ExactTarget, 71% of consumers favor email as their first online "check" of the day.
I know this is true of me...
It's the first thing I check either before I get out of bed or right after.
And having an email address is basically a requirement to do anything or go anywhere online. That isn't true of social media accounts.
Email is still the most used electronic media...
There are some 2.6 billion email users compared to 1.7 billion Facebook and 313 million Twitter users.
Add to that the fact that almost every online service requires you to have an email address to sign up and even to sign in.
Take advantage of these numbers and the fact that your customers are checking their emails multiple times a day to see if they got something from you.
What Are You Going to Do Now?
The reasons and statistics I shared with you today should be enough to help you see that your local business needs an email newsletter.
You don't have to be a reporter or journalist to do it...
You don't need to fill your emails with unnecessary bloat...
You don't even have to promote or advertise or try to sell something in every email.
Authenticity and simplicity are appreciated.
Your customers are people. Keep in touch with them. Show that you care about them.
Build a relationship...a bond with your customers.
Yes, "the money is in the list"...
But, so are people...
relationships...and the future of your business...
So now it's up to you to add an email newsletter to your marketing toolbox and cross that off your list.