Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

The Basics of Email Newsletters

Email marketing is used by some of the largest businesses in the world. However, it’s not just for big brands with big budgets. Email newsletters allow your ag and food business to attract and retain new and existing customers, build credibility, develop your brand, and provide a venue for promotions. Email newsletters are a great tool when used with other additional marketing channels and at the end of the day, they drive people directly to your website, blog, or e-commerce page.

At this point, you may be thinking “What in world would I put in an email newsletter?” Content options are limitless for your newsletter. Here are just a few ideas.

Types of content:

  • SHORT articles about your products or customers
  • Blog post links
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Infographics (use canva.com to easily make these for free)
  • Podcasts
  • Coupons
  • Events calendar
  • Resource links
  • Recipes
  • Testimonials
  • Community outreach
  • Farm animal profiles
  • Contests
  • Interesting crop facts
  • How to use a product

Creating your company newsletter can be made simple by using a free online email marketing service such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Make yourself aware of these best practices for creating an email newsletter before beginning.

Email Newsletter Best Practices:

  • Know your audience and select relevant material
  • Personalize your email
  • Thank your readers
  • Be brief by using links
  • Be consistent (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  • Include links to your social media accounts
  • Have a newsletter archive on your website or blog
  • Use a clear and catchy subject line
  • Create a simple clean design and keep it consistent with each edition
  • Use a professional email service provider
  • Select a mobile-friendly email template
  • Use a catchy name instead of “Email Newsletter” such as “The Buzz” for a honey company or “Weekly Dish” for a food truck
  • Use preview mode, check your links and always have someone else look over it before you send it
  • Have a clear spot where people can unsubscribe from the newsletter

Once you get the hang of it growing your audience will become second nature. But here are a few tips to get you started.

How to grow your subscribers:

  • Have a clipboard or iPad set up at your farmers market stand to collect emails
  • Have a newsletter sign up form on your website
  • Collect emails when customers sign up for an event
  • Offer an informative downloadable document on your website such as a recipe, but to download it the viewer must enter their email address
  • Verbally mention the newsletter when talking with customers
  • Create a QR code that customers can scan with their phone and it will direct them to the signup form
  • Keep your newsletter sign up form as minimal as possible

Every online marketing expert tells you the same thing: your business needs to have an email newsletter that you send out to subscribers. When there’s that kind of unanimity from your advice-givers, that usually means they’re right. An email newsletter is reasonably easy to put together, free or inexpensive to send out, and highly effective. Take it one step at a time and before you know it your experience with customers will transform into a relationship.

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