Do Email Newsletters Really Work?
Many years ago, someone told me that email newsletters were dead and that they were not an effective way to promote a business. “They won’t be around for much longer,” he told me.
At the time, I thought he was wrong and I still do. An email newsletter, when done properly, can be a very effective and cost efficient way of keeping in touch with many people at once, to promote your business. In this issue of Scribbles I’ll give you some examples of how best to do this.
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Do Email Newsletters Really Work?
You probably receive a large number of email newsletters into your inbox every month – unless you’ve unsubscribed from them all because they’re no good! The ones you do receive are probably deleted rather quickly – and I don’t blame you. Too many people publish newsletters that are badly written, contain poor content that you can’t use or arrive on your screen far too often. This means that email newsletters have always struggled with bad press.
However, there are some newsletters that are well written and proof read; they contain free content that you can actually use, rather than just sales pitch. And they arrive just when you were wondering if was about time the next issue came around.
Let me tell you about two email newsletters that have been going very successfully now for many years – and how they bring new business to the people who write them.
How do Email Newsletters work for our clients?
Sue Ferguson has been running Options HR for ten years. Back in August 2010 we started writing and publishing email newsletters for Sue. You can read the past issues here
. Every two months, Sue and I agree a topic and we write about it. The subjects are either topical – recent changes to Employment Law and how they affect businesses – or something that her clients ask about. We’ve written newsletters on how to recruit staff, how to train them and improve their performance and, if all else fails, how to sack them. Each issue contains useful, practical advice that any small business owner can put into practice – and it’s all free.
Earlier this year we wrote a newsletter full of interviewing tips, based on a workshop Sue ran for one of her clients. Another client would contact her now and then, for small pieces of work regarding his staff and she hadn’t heard from him for a while. Having read the issue on interviewing, he called Sue. He’d shown the newsletter to some of his managers – people responsible for recruiting new members of staff. Most of them had no training in interviewing and didn’t know about many of the issues we wrote about. When it comes to interviewing, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily end up on the wrong side of the law. With this in mind, Sue’s client asked if she would put together an interviewing skills training course for the whole of his management team!
It can take time, but if you keep sending a newsletter on a regular basis, ‘quiet’ clients will come back and ask for more.
How do Email Newsletters work for Appletree?
Every month for the last 13 years I’ve been writing and publishing Scribbles on the third Wednesday of the month. (Before that I used to post printed copies to my clients and contacts every month!)
Each month, as you’ll have noticed, I focus on a different aspect of marketing and give you practical advice that you can put into action for your business. Occasionally I might include a sales piece about a workshop I’m running, or a book you can buy. But most of the newsletter is just full of useful content. (And if you spot any typos that will be when I’ve forgotten to ask someone else to proof read the copy for me!)
Early in 2004 I met Rachel at a networking event and she asked me to do some marketing for her new business. We worked together for about a year to get her business up and running. Over the next couple years we exchanged the occasional email and passed referrals back and forth. All the while, Rachel received her monthly copy of Scribbles.
In June this year, Rachel replied to the issue of Scribbles that I sent out. The topic was LinkedIn, but Rachel actually asked me about email newsletters. Could I help her put one together for her new business? Of course I could and that’s exactly what we’ll start doing this month. It’s taken about 10 years for Rachel to become a client again, and it didn’t even take a newsletter about newsletters to encourage her to ask me about them!
So do newsletters still work? If you write useful, practical content and you keep doing it on a regular basis, then yes, email newsletters do work. When you are consistent (as with any marketing activity) they can be one of the most cost effective ways of keeping in touch with a number of people at the same time. So Scribbles will continue to appear in your inbox on the third Wednesday of each month for as long as you want to receive it!
Some More of the Good Ones
Here are a few more really good email newsletters that you might find useful for your business.
This one is written by Absolute Learning and is covers topics such as how to get ahead in your career, how to improve your time management and how to get more from your networking.
is published by Persona People Management. If you’re looking for advice on how to grow your business by getting more from your staff, then this one is for you.
The Sales Bridge
is written by Longley Academy and is full of useful advice on how to improve your sales technique and thus grow your business.