email marketingHere’s a quick answer: No.

And in all likelihood, you as a small business owner should have one.

Granted, everyone is inundated with email these days so on the surface it may seem that the email newsletter’s day has passed. And it’s true: Landing in a customer’s inbox doesn’t insure they’ll engage with you.

But think of it this way: It’s a direct lifeline that connects you to your customer. And while it’s tempting to view social media as the same, it’s not. With social media, there’s no guarantee that your customers see your posts, between Twitter’s volume and Facebook’s algorithm changes. With an e-newsletter, your message is landing directly in sight of your customer (barring any junk folder mishaps). Of course, they may delete it, but there’s an opportunity there that social media can’t quite promise.

With that said, let’s go over the basics of starting a small business email e-newsletter.

First, gather those email addresses.

You can do this a few ways: through a sign-up sheet at your office or store, with a plug-in on your blog and via occassional social media pushes, just to name a few.

Some newsletter services include a sign-up page option for your blog as well.

Decide on a newsletter service.

Consider layout, ease and cost. MailChimp and Constant Contact are two popular options.

Determine your content.

You don’t want your newsletter to be solely a sales pitch — customers will hightail it to the unsubscribe button if you do. Ultimately, it’s up to you what you feature. Consider promoting your business’s sales or coupons, posts from your blog or content from elsewhere that you think is noteworthy.

Your primary goal is to create something of value to your subscribers so they continue to be subscribers.

Determine frequency.

Again, this is up to you. Your newsletter can be anything from bimonthly to weekly. (It could also be daily, but this, in most cases, is overkill.)

Choose a frequency that feels manageable, and you feel confident that you’ll have enough content for every time.

Send it!

Don’t let it languish — push that send button and connect with your customers. As you build your email list, you’ll likely notice a traffic spike on the days you send your e-newsletter.

What are your e-newsletter tips?

Image credit: RaHuL Rodriguez