For small business owners, marketing can be a quagmire. Many wonder, “What should I invest my time and money in? What will yield real results for my business?”
While there are many marketing initiatives that require an investment of dollars, launching an email newsletter is something you can do for free.
Yes, you heard that right—free.
“But,” you may ask, “how do I do that? And why would I want to?”
Did you know 72 percent of consumers prefer business communications take place via email? Further, email is the preferred means of business communications across all age groups (MarketingSherpa). And, for one in five companies, email marketing provides an ROI greater than 70-to-1 (DMA National Client Email Report 2015).
So how do I start an email newsletter?
If you already have an email list of subscribers, getting a newsletter out can be pretty simple. Through software called MailChimp, you can set up a newsletter that you can send monthly or even weekly. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 email addresses, which should meet the needs of many small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs.
If you have content, you can cut and paste it into a MailChimp template. You can choose the look and layout of your email. MailChimp makes it easy to add social media icons so that it can be shared. And, if you’re really ambitious, you can add a signup button to your site so that visitors may subscribe to your list to receive your newsletter.
“But I don’t write,” you may say. Well, there’s a simple solution for that, too. You can always hire a writer (like me) if you need help getting your thoughts down. Or hire someone to edit what you write. Or, perhaps you have an employee who would appreciate having the experience of writing content for your newsletter.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be long and complicated—a piece of about 400-500 words can be enough. (This piece is just 500 words, to give you an idea.) And, even better, you can repurpose your newsletter copy into a blog post—which can then be shared via social media. That’s three marketing pieces in one!
Need an image?
Need an image to go with your newsletter (or blog post or social media post)? Check out this list of royalty-free image sources which can be used at no cost. My favorites are Unsplash and Pixabay, but there are many sites to visit. Heck, you can spend an entire afternoon looking at beautiful images if you let yourself!
And, if you can’t find an image you like, you can try a site like Canva to simply create one. Some are free, while others cost around $1.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to MailChimp, sign up for a free account and start experimenting. You can send yourself a preview before committing to actually sending out anything to your subscribers.
And if you need help developing content for your newsletter, blog or social media, get in touch.