1. Keep emails short, sweet, and not-too-frequent. Engage readers with informative content, but don’t overwhelm them with too much information or an encyclopedia-like email or they’ll just hit delete. Along the same lines, don’t bombard customers with a barrage of emails. Respect their time, and they’ll respect you.
2. Personalize your newsletter. Add a short note from an actual person at your company to alert customers to an amazing new product. Tell them about upcoming special events. But see tip #1 above: keep it short and sweet!
3. Promote your newsletter to customers. Train salespeople to ask every customer if they would like to sign up. It’s as simple as getting their email address! Remember, the bigger your email list, the bigger your loyal customer base.
4. Don’t sign people up without their permission. That’s just bad etiquette, and you stand to lose customers from negative word of mouth. Oh, and, don’t demand email addresses in the checkout line. Some retail stores make a practice of this, but it’s intrusive and offensive.
5. Ask customers to forward emails to interested friends. People just don’t think of things unless you ask. All it takes is one sentence at the bottom of the email. “Like our newsletters? Forward to a friend!”
6. Post your email newsletter content online. The more rich content on your website, the better you’ll do in web searches—another way to attract new customers. Include a “Share” button for social media.
7. Put a newsletter subscription form online. Make it easy for web visitors to sign up for your newsletter—but tell them what they’ll get each issue and how often: “Sign up for our biweekly Wine Line, with featured wine varietals, food pairings, and special deals!” No one wants to sign up for mystery emails, so be specific.
8. Tell staff about the current newsletter’s topic. If a customer comes in looking for a product you featured, employees should know exactly what they’re talking about.
9. Keep a regular schedule. Of course you’re busy, but marketing is not an expense or a time suck. It’s a necessary investment in your business. Failing to market may free up time temporarily, but in the long run you’ll lose more than you gain in customer share.
10. Choose your delivery date wisely. Do customers tend to purchase your product on a particular day? Time emails accordingly, or tie in with other media promotions like newspaper ads or Facebook posts.