Effective marketing can be carried out totally for free and keeping in touch regularly with prospects, customers, clients or patients is essential to growing your business. One effective way to keep in touch is to send out newsletters and few businesses are so downright boring that even an occasional newsletter can’t be made interesting and give out tips and useful information. Providing you avoid adverts and talking too much about you or your staff – no one really cares about Deidre’s OE or your new reception desk – they really will keep your customers coming back more often.
Leaving aside the debate about whether physical or electronic is best, sometimes it takes a little trial and error to discover the best way to deliver the newsletters electronically in the most eye-catching or interesting looking format.
You could try Business Contact Manager on Outlook. Available as part of the package so effectively free, a friend of mine finds this works well. I didn’t have much luck with it, as for no apparent reason about half the newsletters just disappeared into the ether! In addition, it is limited on formatting and you get no dashboard reports on just how many have opened your newsletter or what sections they have read.
Much more useful is an on-line marketing tool called Mailchimp. Mailchimp is totally free to use (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month which should do for most of us!) and has a number of really useful features:
- It stores your contact list safely and securely. They categorically guarantee not to share or use your contacts.
- You can categorise your contacts e.g. between customers or prospects or between different types of customers.
- You can clearly see who has subscribed or unsubscribed.
- It shows you, for each newsletter or mailing, just how many recipients have opened the newsletter and in addition, the “click rate” or ‘click through rate” which measures the number of times recipients click on a link to access an article or your website.
- You’ll get a very good idea of how you’re doing as your results are presented side by side with your industry average. For example, a 40% open rate may not look good to you, but when compared to the 15% average achieved by people in your industry, it’s actually awesome.
So what are you waiting for? It’s free, easy to use even for novices and a really effective way of marketing.
If you need help with your newsletters, Mailchimp or your marketing contact Nick on 0800 ASK NICK or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve gone to all the trouble and expense of being in business you may as well maximise your returns!