If you run a local business, being warm and welcoming whenever someone steps through the door is just part of doing business.
It’s one of the simplest ways to provide a positive experience and tempt customers to return.
(Have you ever walked into a small local shop or café and been meet with rudeness or indifference? It doesn’t exactly make you want to go back in a hurry…)
You need to do the same with your email newsletter.
Your Newsletter Is an Extension of Your Business
People are not in your local shop, restaurant, café, etc, all the time. That’s obvious. But even when they are nowhere your business, you can still reach out to them and make them feel like they are part of your community.
It’s something that’s detailed in this blog post from Emma.
It’s all about the need for local businesses (restaurants, in the case of the blog) to take a ‘warm and caring strategy’ with their marketing.
But while being warm and caring is easy when you welcome people into your store, recommend products and thank them for visiting… it’s not so easy when they are nowhere in sight.
It’s hardly warm and welcoming (although there are exceptions).
Yes, social is important, and I recommend having a strong social presence. But you have to wait for people to reach out and engage with you, and you can’t reach out to each contact personally.
And while sending an email newsletter is not the same as writing an individual email to every person on your list, it is still more personal than a Facebook post.
Of course, to make the most of your email newsletters, you need to use a few tricks.
Take a Personal Tone
The best strategy whenever you are writing a marketing email is to use a personal tone – as though you are writing to a friend.
This is true of almost any marketing email, but it’s especially important when you run a small local business.
You need a personalised touch to engage your subscribers and make them feel like they are truly valued.
Address them by name if you can, and use the same natural, friendly language that you would use when speaking to them in your store. Do everything you can to match how you would speak to them in person.
Write from a Real Person
Use a real email address from a real person at your business. Don’t write from a sales address because that just makes the email feel more like a marketing message.
Send it from yourself, and make sure people can reply to each email so they can contact you if they want to.
Even better, insert a friendly photo of yourself at the end of the email. It helps to make a deeper connection and literally puts a face to the business.
Keep the Focus on Them
Tell subscribers (briefly) about what’s been happening since your last email, but beware of boring them.
Always put the focus on the things that they can get out of your business (people always want to know what’s in it for them).
This could include:
- Special deals
- Upcoming events
- New products they might find interesting
- Gift ideas
Let them know they are truly welcome and that you can’t wait to see them.
Let them know that they ARE your business and that you are grateful for their support.
Talk about issues that are important to them. That might be the way that you source local produce or how you are supporting an upcoming local charity event.
Show that you are part of the community just as much as they are.
Make Sure Your Subscribers Feel Welcome
Email is one of the most effective ways to create a personal bond with each person on your list and develop a stronger relationship with them.
Don’t wait until people walk through the door to be warm and welcoming.
Make sure they feel welcome wherever they are and reach out to them with an email newsletter between visits.