Keeping in touch with your customers on a variety of mediums and platforms will help you reach more of your market and increase repeat business. Email newsletters are an often underused marketing vehicle and can be a valuable supplement to your overall marketing campaign.

While typical social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ continue to be an important resource to reach your customer base, one of the great benefits of email newsletters is the flexibility of the medium. Unlike Facebook or Google+, the quantity and design of your content is completely up to you and can be a smart resource to strengthen your brand. Using design elements to reinforce your brand identity will give your email newsletters a much more recognizable appeal than a simple Facebook post.

As with other elements of your marketing strategy and advertising plan, taking full advantage of the unique email newsletter medium is the key to seeing good results and getting a favorable return on the investment of your time and energy. Focused, effective and professional email newsletters are a welcome benefit to your customers and an effective marketing tool for you business. These general guidelines will help you to compose great email newsletters, connect with your customers and strengthen your brand.

Before advanced spam filters become commonplace on major email clients and webmail services, spam email gave legitimate email newsletter marketing a bad name. Even today, some business are hesitant to use email newsletters as part of their online marketing strategy for fear that their newsletters will be considered spam and actually drive away business. Fortunately, email users are well aware of the difference between email spam and legitimate newsletters and welcome the opportunity to get extra information, hear about special deals and stay up to date.

Although the email newsletter format is suitable for more significant correspondence than typical social media sites, ultimately most newsletters are a form of advertisement. Keeping it simple will not only allow you to focus on the important information, subscribers will be more likely to read and digest your complete marketing message. Look out for newsletters that contain multiple topics that can be divided into separate emails. Readers will be more likely to focus on each individual topic and take action to explore your product solutions.

One of the most valuable assets of any smaller business is the ability to interact with and relate to customers on a more personalized level than larger competitors. Although your marketing materials should always be professional, a genuine, personal tone to the content and design of your newsletters is most likely to connect with your customers in a lasting and meaningful way.

Even in more formal professional industries, customers value the personal connections made in the course of doing business. Presenting your brand with a personal touch lends credibility and an important reflection of accountability to your customers. Along with quality content, genuine communication with your customers is a hallmark of effective email newsletters.

Long past are the days when marketing strategies were based on an empty sales pitch and a catchy jingle. Savvy modern customers are looking for quality information from reputable sources to help them evaluate product options and make an informed purchase. Email newsletters based on quality, relevant, useful information outperform newsletters that present offer a product, particularly for building long-term customer loyalty and brand strength.

An easy guideline is to base each newsletter on an informative but concise piece of information. It might be some interesting news related to your industry or an important point from a blog post that links back to the full article. This is also a good opportunity to make your newsletters more interactive by asking questions and encouraging customers to get involved and join the discussion on your website or social media pages.

After you’ve presented some useful information, follow it up with a relevant tie-in to your product and increase interest by including a special deal, coupon or exclusive discount opportunity. A time-sensitive or limited offer can also add urgency and motivate immediate action or inquiry. Newsletters are a great platform to introduce new products, detail the benefits of service programs and offer customer loyalty rewards. Offering tips, news or even company background information is a great way to educate customers on the benefits of your brand.

The ultimate purpose of your email newsletters is to drive traffic to your online business, encourage repeat business and increase conversion. Giving your subscribers a clear and compelling next step is a critical link in the path to sales. This kind of “call to action” is commonly included in many types of advertising including print, radio, television and digital mediums.

In the case of your email newsletters, you’ll want to include a clearly defined link that tells readers where the link will take them and what they can do when they get there. Graphics in your newsletters can use size, color, texture and even placement to draw attention and stand out. It’s also important to avoid confusing subscribers with too many links. A prominent link at both the top and bottom of your newsletter is a good place to start.

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