I don’t have an email list. Why should I have a newsletter?

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    Marketing by Minal

    Marketing by Minal UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    This is the number one question I get asked when talking to startups. It’s difficult to see why you should even think about having a newsletter if you’ve got no one to send it to. I’m going to share my top three reasons for having a newsletter, along with 10 great ways you can grow your email list.

    Why newsletters are great for your business

    1. They’re a direct line to your customers

    There’s a reason your customers bought from you in the first place: they liked what you’re doing and trusted you to do it well for them. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t buy from you again. Sending them regular news via email keeps you front of mind when they need you again.

    A newsletter also lets you show off all that you do. Your customers may buy only one thing from you and not know anything about what else you offer. A regular newsletter is a great way to showcase all your products and services.

    What’s better than current customers buying more from you? They recommend you to their friends and family. They may not have a need for your products or services, but know someone who does. And, your newsletter just popped into their inbox reminding them you do exactly what their friend, dad, sister or cousin needs.

    2. They’re a direct line to your prospects

    Newsletters are the perfect way to make sure prospects remember you and what you do. A newsletter will help you to show your prospects your expertise. Each time they receive your newsletter is a reminder you’re there to help them when they’re ready.

    A newsletter allows your prospects to develop trust with you. If someone trusts you enough to give you their email address they’re giving you permission to tell you more about how you can help them. Make the most of this opportunity by showing just what an expert you are.

    There have been a number of times when I’ve thought “oh, I need to buy X” and had a newsletter come through from a company that I signed up to that sells exactly what I need. They’ve saved me time on researching from whom I should buy and I already know, like and trust them. Am I going to buy from them? I sure am!

    3. They help you collect data that is yours

    Your email list is yours. It’s as simple as that. It’s something that you grow and nurture, and the more you look after it the better the results are.

    Yes, of course, you should have a social media presence, but you don’t own any of the user data on the social channels. Not only are you at the mercy of their algorithms, you’re competing with lots of businesses just like yours for your message to be seen.

    Owning and controlling the data means you can do so much more with it. You can tailor your messages for different groups of people on your list by segmenting your data. You might decide to have a different message for customers and prospects or for people from different regions. However, you decide to do it, having more control means better results for you.

    Now, I’m going to share with you ten ways you can start to grow your list. I started with a list of zero and am using many of these tactics right now. In less than three months (that’s how long I’ve been running my business) I have 60 contacts. That’s 20 a month!

    10 ways to grow your email list

    1. Put a sign-up box on your website, and put it on every page. Make it visible and easy to find. Tell people what valuable thing you’ll give them by signing up and how often 
    2. Put a link to your sign-up box on all your social profiles. Facebook has apps you can use to build your list. Simply place a shortened link (I use bitly) on all the rest
    3. Give something valuable away in exchange for an email address. Whether it’s a voucher or a piece of downloadable content, people will be willing to share their email address for what they see as useful
    4. Paper sign-up forms are useful, especially if your business has a physical location. Whatever your business, a paper form will show visitors that you have a newsletter and that they can join it. PRO TIP: put a copy of your latest newsletter next to the form so they can see what they will get
    5. Not everyone has a physical location, so software can help you to collect email addresses whilst on the move. I use List Builder from Constant Contact which puts email addresses I’ve collected straight into my email marketing account. And I don’t need an internet connection to do it
    6. Networking is really important when starting your business. It’s also great for adding people to your email list. Every time you’re handed a business card, ask if you can add them to your list. PRO TIP: make sure you tell them why they should join (what they’ll get) and how often they’ll hear from you
    7. Trade shows are great places to grow your email list. By having a simple prize draw on your stand, with an attractive prize, you’ll collect lots of contact details. Just remember to tell people you’ll be adding them to your mailing list.
    8. Competitions on your social channels are another great way to add to your email list. But make sure you use an app that lets you collect email addresses, rather than simply posting the competition details on your social feeds. Here’s a list of six apps that are free to use
    9. They’re annoying, but pop-up boxes on your website work. As with any other means of asking people for their email address, you need to show what value they will get in return. Offer a free ebook or an initial discount to encourage people to sign up. I use Privy, which has a free version
    10. It might sound counter-intuitive, but put a sign-up button in your newsletters. Think back to when I told you about your customers recommending you to a friend because your newsletter landed in their inbox. If you have a sign-up button in your newsletter, it lets that friend easily join your email list

    I hope I’ve convinced you that newsletters are an important tool for your business and that my tips on growing your list help you get started and keep going! If you have any tips that helped you to grow your email list, I’d love to hear them.

  2. Ecommerce Web Design

    Ecommerce Web Design UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Email lists are the only online marketing tool where the penetration rates and costs have remained the same over the past 10 years. Social media, Adwords etc all get more erxpensive. What I find interesting is the cost of acquiring an email address by some businesses. I have gotten up to €50 for providing my email address at a checkout in-store.
    Posted: Jul 13, 2016 By: Ecommerce Web Design Member since: Feb 11, 2014
  3. Marketing by Minal

    Marketing by Minal UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    That's interesting that you've been offered money in exchange for signing up to a mailing list. There's nothing wrong with offering a gift in exchange for an email address. As long as the person asking is clear about how your details will be used and how often you'll hear from them.

    I think you're right about the value of email marketing. It is consistently good value for money, especially are there are free-to-use email service providers.
    Posted: Jul 15, 2016 By: Marketing by Minal Member since: Apr 13, 2016
  4. niggler

    niggler UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Minal, congratulations on collecting 60 contacts for your email list in 3 months. Email list building can sometimes seem slow but it's a steady, and cost-effective, way of building your business and usually very worthwhile. Your email addresses will probably be highly relevant contacts because you hand-picked them at networking, trade shows etc.

    I would say though, that some email newsletter tools are more powerful (and time-saving) for small businesses than others. Most email newsletter tools don't help you reach anyone apart from your own email subscribers, but a lot of small businesses want to do more than this - they want to use the same content they produce for emails to promote themselves more widely online as well.

    So you might ask, what else could a tool give you as well as helping to build email newsletters? There are two additional features that are no-brainers for time-pressed businesses:

    1/ Blog - why can't an email tool give you your own webpage where you can not only accept new sign-ups, you can also publish any content you've written for your newsletter but which you also want to share more widely?

    2/ Social media posting - why can't an email tool enable you to post each of the articles or items you've written for your newsletter directly from the email newsletter tool to social networks? Then when anyone clicks on your content from social networks, they'd be presented with a clear opportunity to sign up to your email newsletter. This means you can use your social media posts to drive subscribers to your email list. And since having an email address (with permission) is more powerful than having a social media follower, that's exactly what you want.

    To cut a long story short, we designed an email newsletter tool that does these things, it's called "interests.me" and was originally intended for local voluntary groups, but we're just beginning to launch it to small businesses as we've discovered small businesses have similar problems of not enough time to do everything in separate tools, copying and pasting content all the time. It aims to help time-poor small businesses with a lot more than "just" email newsletters, helping you to integrate email newsletters with social media and blogging - all with one aim, to get you more email addresses, and ultimately more customers!

    Best of luck with your email address collecting. Do message me directly if you would like to try our email newsletter tool and I can give you a promo code.
    Posted: Jul 15, 2016 By: niggler Member since: Apr 7, 2008
  5. Stoneliuzhiwen

    Stoneliuzhiwen UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Wow, so it is nice. mailchamp, email marketing. It is also good for our guys like in globe trading.
    Posted: Jul 21, 2016 By: Stoneliuzhiwen Member since: Jun 20, 2016
  6. KateCB

    KateCB UKBF Ace Free Member

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    We stopped using email marketing over a year ago - the ROI was always very poor, people deleted the emails as soon as they appeared, didn't have time to read, deleted after a month of being unopened etc - and we are very niche market, so all marketing was relevant to martial arts/artists.

    Facebook and Instagram have provided a less expensive way to reach our customers, customers who are interested enough to follow/like/share our offerings and the ROI has increased by around 60% - same content.....same people.....but now those who are interested see in in their 'feeds' rather than in their email inbox along with 400 others emails.....
    Posted: Oct 20, 2016 By: KateCB Member since: May 11, 2006