When you’re running a small business staying in touch with your customers is critical. Email newsletters are a great way to connect with your customers and generate more business and customer loyalty. I know that when I sign-up for an email newsletter at my favorite winery I’m going to get information about events taking place at the winery. The same is true for many tech gadgets I buy like my Roku. I want to know when a new Roku player is coming out, new channels I might like, etc.
Now not every company and product needs an email newsletter, however just about every business should have one. Think about it, if people would sign-up to get regular updates about your company, why would you not offer a solution?
The problem for most small businesses is that newsletter software can be just one more expense. While there are great paid email marketing services like Constant Contact and iContact, there is also a great free solution you can use to get started and test the market – MailChimp.
MailChimp has a “free forever” plan that allows you to store up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. For most small businesses this is more than you’ll need which means you can enjoy MailChimp for free, forever. The only catch is that if you aren’t a paid member you will have a “MailChimp” logo at the bottom of your screen.
When you first sign-up for MailChimp they walk you through the initial process of creating a list of subscribers, building sign-up forms that you can add to your website, and of course creating and sending emails. The system allows you to easy see how many people read your newsletter and what links they click on which is very valuable for small business owners.
I’m not going to say that MailChimp.com is the best email marketing software on the planet. It is good, and the fact that they have such a great free plan makes it a great solution to start with. I have used both iContact and Constant Contact and currently use Constant Contact to run my email marketing campaigns.
As a small business owner I would definitely recommend that you have a newsletter if you don’t already. You can use a service like MailChimp to test the waters without spending any money. If your newsletter really starts to grow you can look at other solutions, what matters now is that you get started!