Did you know that there are almost 4 billion email addresses worldwide? That’s a whole lot of emails that could end up on your mailing list, a whole lot of customers you could maintain relationships with, and a whole lot of people you could promote new products to. 4 billion email addresses are, of course, a whole lot more than you’d ever need as a small business, but adding the tiniest percentage of these email addresses to your newsletter mailing list gives you a scalable, no risk, and low-cost marketing method that’s consistently proven effective. Read this beginner’s guide to learn why and how to use small business newsletters.

Why do you need a newsletter?

We all need newsletters simply because they protect loyal customer bases in times of uncertainty. This mailing list could save you if Instagram or Etsy shut down your platforms overnight and lost all your crucial followings. With a global pandemic that has destabilized in-person shopping, your mailing list can also direct customers to new selling avenues and keep them engaged in your business. For more tips on overcoming pandemic-related changes this holiday season, listen to our webinar series “From Making to Selling.”

Newsletters are not only pandemic proof, but they can also:

  • Create a connection with customers → Newsletters remind your customers of your business and establish a lasting relationship.
  • Get leads and sales → Email marketing delivers a very high ROI at $52 for every dollar spent in 2019.
  • Create an aura of exclusivity → Exclusive deals and insider info increases brand loyalty.
  • Expand your audience → A Delaware-based business could develop a loyal customer base anywhere in the world. If you can ship nationally or internationally, you can tap into those 4 billion emails from across the globe.

How do you develop a newsletter mailing list?

By having an opt-in system for your newsletter, the people on your mailing list already have an invested interest in you and your work. This gives the quality over quantity of engagement as Michelle Freeman spoke about in our webinar “Selling without Craft Fairs.” The question is, how do you encourage people to opt-in?

  • Place sign-up buttons clearly on your website.
  • Place sign-up CTAs on social media.
  • “Mine all your gold” by encouraging existing customers (friends, family, and social media followers) to sign up and give you feedback.
  • Offer exclusive deals, discounts, or insight when people sign up. Some examples include:
    • “Be the first to know about new products.”
    • “Get a 10% discount coupon when you sign up.”
    • “Receive exclusive deals as part of our loyal mailing list.”

Where do I start when creating a newsletter?

Let’s start with where NOT to start: Creating a new email on Gmail or Yahoo. Instead, we recommend using an email marketing platform to bring in more sales. Some of our favorites are SendinBlue, AWeber, and GetResponse. Each of them has different features and prices, but they all offer templates for newsletters and automated services that reduce hassle and abide by the anti-spam laws.

What content will increase your newsletter conversion rate?

With a platform and a mailing list, here are our top 5 content tips for your newsletter:

  1. Make the first email a welcome/thank you email to make the customer feel part of the community and thank them for choosing to shop small.
  2. Use short and clear headlines. ⅓ of people decide about opening an email based on the subject line.
  3. Less is more with content. People tend to skim through emails, so you should show them why and how to purchase your products through bold CTAs and quality photos.
  4. Personalize emails. Starting with the recipient’s name increases conversion rate by 26%. One great example of personalization in marketing is Netflix’s “Top picks for you.”
  5. Tell your story in your voice. Keeping newsletters personal and relatable is important for small businesses.

Next steps

If you have questions about email marketing or small business development, reach out to NextFab or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and top business tips! (see what we did there)