That sounds wrong doesn’t it? Saving time by doing a regular newsletter. But I promise you it will save you time.
The longer I work on my own business, the more I see that the small, daily tasks that are easily put off are the ones that make the most impact and save the most time in the long run.
Most people don’t do one because they think it will take too much time. I was talking with a prospective client who wants to, “do a newsletter once I have a substantial email list.” When I asked her why she didn’t want to start one right now, she said that she didn’t think it was worth the time to do a newsletter for just a handful of subscribers.
But she was thinking of numbers, not individual people. Email marketing is about building relationships and that can start with one email subscriber. Your first few subscribers are just as valuable as the 1000th subscriber.
And, just because you read a statistic that 1 in 100 people will buy your product (I 100% made that up – not a real number!) that doesn’t mean you have to talk to 100 before someone buys. It means that if you talk to 500 people, then about 5 will buy something. It could be person #1, #4 and #256-#258. You don’t magically get 5 sales at the end of talking with 500 people. So if you’re not talking to subscriber #1 until you reach 500 subscribers, #1 isn’t even going to remember who you are!
In addition, I’ve heard clients say they start to dread the newsletter so they stop doing them. They’re approaching it as just another task on the list that they have to get done. If, instead, they framed the newsletter as part of an ongoing conversation with their audience it would be so much easier to do.
A newsletter is a great way to regularly talk with your email list. Not only can it be done quickly, but the time it saves you is so much more than the time it takes.
Ways newsletters save you time
Regular communication with your audience
When I write “regular” I don’t mean “not strange.” If strange fits your brand, go for it. I mean on a consistent, predictable basis. Send the newsletters frequently enough so that your audience doesn’t forget you. If it’s your only real communication, send them something weekly. You can do a monthly newsletter if you send enough other emails that you reach your subscribers at least weekly.
Build up trust by sending out your newsletter regularly – the same interval between them, and even better, on the same day each time period. Right now, I’m sending Friday newsletters because it works for my schedule the best. People who read my newsletter know to expect it on Fridays, generally in the morning. (I try, but it doesn’t always happen for the East Coast time zone).
And, because you’re remembered, and your audience sees you weekly, it’s your opportunity to be likable. So, somewhere, put a little bit of your personality in your newsletter. A note, a photo, some news about you. Some people will like that, and some won’t, but the ones that don’t weren’t really your people anyway. Best to know that early!
How is any of this a time-saver? You don’t have build and execute warm-up campaigns when you launch a product if you list is ready to hear from you. Plus, you have to do a lot less work “convincing” people to buy from you if you’re already in a relationship. You can do market research with just a question out to your list if they look forward to your emails.
Get your content out there in the world
Your content can educate and update your audience about what’s happening in your industry/discipline. Instead of educating customers one by one as they inquire about services, your newsletter can provide education to a group all at once. An informed customer takes less time upfront. You can get to work helping them much faster.
You could make the argument that simply publishing on your blog/YouTube channel/podcast that you’re getting the job done. But people are busy and they don’t remember to go back to a site to look for the next blog posts. A newsletter with highlights or a recap can help your audience get to the content they need.
Send people to your website
Your newsletter should have multiple links back to your website. Instead of letting your subscribers read everything in their email, give snippets and send them back to your site for most of the article.
More traffic to your site gives you more opportunities to sell your audience the products they need. It also shows your audience what you’ve been up to on your site – other articles, other products and services, and other areas of focus. It gives your audience more chances to find the help they need.
Insight into your subscribers
Your newsletter software such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, or MailerLite can collect data about your subscriber behavior. Lots of business owning moms focus on their open rates and click rates and how they compare to previous months and to their industry as a whole. If you do a search, there are tons of articles about increasing your email open rates and what to do if they drop.
But if you’re a business owning mom with a smaller business, you’re going to want to pay more attention to WHICH emails get opened and which ones don’t. Same with links. See which ones get the most clicks and you’ll know what subjects and types of articles people want more of. To me, that’s much more valuable that the absolute number of clicks. And if you replicate the reason people are clicking, then it follows you should get a higher rate of clicks.
Knowing what people want more of will help you with your content strategy and your content production. You won’t waste time writing about things your audience doesn’t care about.
Forward to a friend
One thing that I like to put on my client newsletters (and on mine too) is the “forward to a friend” link. It’s a great opportunity to ask your audience to spread the word for you. It always save you time if others help you with your promotion.
If find that newsletters do not get shared very often. But when they do, because the end recipient is getting a recommendation from your audience member, someone they already know and trust, the newsletter is likely to be read.
Make more offers
Having permission to be in your subscribers’ inboxes each week gives you a great opportunity to make offers to them (hmmm, I need to take my own advice here). You need to constantly be making offers for your products and services so that when someone is actually ready, your offer will be in their head already.
Research shows that buyers generally have seen a marketing message or been made aware of a business between 7 and 11 times before they made that purchase. A newsletter provides one of these touchpoints, and renews that on an ongoing basis. Making a sale to someone who already knows, trusts, and likes you is going to take much less time than making a sale to a prospect who only heard of you yesterday.
Time savings from newsletters that add up
So you can see that a regular, helpful newsletter can do a lot of the communication, education, and trust building with your audience. You can do this at scale with a newsletter instead of customer lead by customer lead. And that’s a great way to save long-run time.
So far, my own newsletter drives traffic to my site. My audience includes busy, business owning moms who really want to get in, get to work, and get done by 3:00. They like to check out my blog from the newsletter instead of heading to the website periodically checking for new posts. As long as I feel like I can serve my audience and help them this way, I’m pro-newsletter all the way!