An e-newsletter can be an asset in your marketing toolbox. It’s an extension of your brand’s personality, a vehicle to share information and ask for feedback, and a way to develop your email list, which you can use to market to potential customers on other platforms like Facebook.

We’ll break all of that down later.

Recently this article by smallbusiness.com reported on a survey where “more than 1,000 small businesses answered questions that reveal how small business owners feel about their use of digital marketing tools.”

Forty-six per cent of respondnewsletter-postents have an email list that prospective customers can subscribe to, but only forty per cent use email marketing.

You may wonder, why have an e-newsletter if I don’t have the time or the skills to create one, when I can communicate with potential customers on social media?

Forty-six per cent of respondents have an email list that prospective customers can subscribe to, but only forty per cent use email marketing.

As this article by idealustlife.com explains, “Your (email) list is sacred to you. Facebook and Instagram and any other social media platform could disappear (or change their algorithms!!!) and all the effort you put into connecting with your tribe on those platforms would disappear. But, your list remains your own!”

You can use the popular newsletter tool MailChimp for free if your email list is under 2,000 subscribers. You can have different lists, e.g. past, current and prospective customers, for different communications.

If you advertise on Facebook, you can import your email list to create a ‘custom audience’. You then set up your ad to be seen by that list—people who are already familiar with your business because they’ve been receiving your e-newsletter (if you send one regularly). Improving the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising is one good reason alone to have a strong email marketing campaign in place.

So, how do you get started and stay on top of it all?

Ideally, you’ll be able to work with a designer to create you a professional, branded e-newsletter template, and you’ll be able to work with a writer to edit and proofread your newsletter copy. Stick to a regular schedule and don’t over commit—try to send a newsletter every two months to start.

But what do you talk about in the newsletter?

The answer is a little like Switchback’s philosophy on blogging (another post you can read here). Be yourself (stay true to your brand’s voice), share company and industry updates and news, ask for feedback and share content that will be useful to your subscribers (e.g. how-to content).

Back to the title of this article—when shouldn’t your business have an e-newsletter? If you don’t have the time or resources to execute it properly, you may want to wait on it. You might be surprised how simple it can be, though, with a plan and the right support.