How do you communicate with your customers when they aren’t in your store, restaurant or cafe? Do you blog? Tweet? Post on Facebook?

All those formats are fine for snippets of information, but what if you want to send an update to all your customers about what’s been going on in your business for the past month or what’s coming up in the next month?

Sending something via email is the most cost effective option, but crafting a professional looking email (featuring graphics, videos and / or hyperlinks) in your Gmail or Outlook can be challenging. Plus it’s annoying having to keep track of contacts that way, and doesn’t allow your customers to opt in or out of your campaign.

For that reason, we recommend that our clients use an email marketing campaign service to craft these messages. There are several service providers online like MailChimp (our preferred vendor), ConstantContact and iContact, just to name a few.

Here are our top 5 reasons why your business should use an email marketing campaign:

1. It allows targeted outreach – you can easily divide all of your contacts into various lists, and send email campaigns to all of them or only some of them. Maybe some of your customers are just sale shoppers. Maybe other contacts are just friends and family who would like to be kept in the know.

2. It is measurable – you can easily see who opens your newsletter, what their click-through rate is, and ultimately, what your conversion rate is. This way, you can modify future campaigns / strategies to maximize your efforts.

3. It is customizable – most providers have templates that you can customize to include your logo, color scheme, and other features that you would like to have. This way, the newsletter feels like you and your business, but a little better.

4. It drives traffic to your website – since the email campaign is interactive (and links are embedded), it’s easy to direct your customers right to your website.

5. It looks professional and is easy to use – aside from looking fancy, a customized newsletter looks professional. It includes options for customers to change their subscription settings or unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive updates. Additionally, as the services are aimed at small business owners with little to no design or digital marketing experience, they are easy to use.