Interacting with your customers is an important part of growing your business. Newsletters are among the ways you can engage your customers, keep them updated with news or promotions, and ensure that your business stays current.

What’s a newsletter?

Depending on your business and your ultimate goals, a newsletter can be a printed letter, an online post on a blog, or a routine email. It’s up to you how you want it to look.

Getting subscribers

Having a newsletter is a great idea, but you need to have someone read it first. You have two options — making your newsletter public, such as in a blog on your site, or making your newsletter subscription-based.

If you publish your newsletter on your website, you can keep it available to the general public who might visit your site. You also can promote public newsletters on social media sites like Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn® or Google+™.

If you want your newsletter to be private and subscription-based, make sure your subscribers agree to receive your communications. If you send emails to non-subscribers, you could be blocked for sending spam.

Getting subscribers follows the same pattern as getting people to “like” you on a social network. Create a sign-up form on your site — typically through your Contact Us page. Forward people to your social pages, and have them email you to get subscribed. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you could also ask customers to sign up after they make a purchase.

Writing your newsletter

Before you publish your first newsletter, make sure you follow these tips. They’ll help you keep the subscribers you have, and even increase your reach.

Have a purpose. Every message you send should have a defined message and purpose. Ideas include: spring tips for summer wardrobes, 3 recipes for your holiday party, or a sneak peek at our summer sale.

Stay on schedule. Send subscription-based newsletters no more than once a month. If you decide to make your newsletter a public blog on your site, you’ll want to publish more frequently — likely, weekly.

Stay brief. Your newsletter should take no more than two minutes for someone to read. Ideally, keep it to 300 words or less — the shorter, the better. Get your point across briefly.

Make it scannable. Lists (like this one!) make it easy for readers to get through content. Short paragraphs and bulleted lists are especially easy to scan on mobile devices like phones or tablets.

Include a call to action. Make your readers take action after reading your message. Click here for more info, sign up for a class today, and get 30 percent off with this code are all calls to action that will encourage readers to find out more or — better yet — make a purchase.

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