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60 March 2017 | beautystorebusiness.com "Email continues to deliver the high- est return on investment, (ROI), of all the marketing channels," says e-newsletter service Constant Contact's senior manager of content and social media marketing, Dave Charest. "But don't just take my word for it. The Direct Marketing Association recently reported that email marketing had a median ROI of 122 percent—four times higher than social media, direct mail and paid search." While social media can help your company or business reach new audi- ences, email marketing helps turn pro- motions into direct sales. Here, we show you how to get started with five simple steps to create compelling e-newsletters that will cast your brand or store in the best light and draw in new customers. 1 Invest in email marketing software. There are many online e-marketing ser- vices to choose from, including Emma, MailChimp and Constant Contact. They can help you create visually compelling e-newsletters for your business—without the need to hire a graphic designer. With a simple interface and user- friendly design, Constant Contact is a great option for small beauty store and salon owners. "It's designed for time-starved, small business owners, who aren't marketers by trade, to eas- ily create valuable and engaging email newsletters for their customers," Cha- rest says. "We're regularly testing new features and functions with customers before they're added to ensure our plat- form is always easy to use." Consider picking a service that is compatible with your skill level. If you've never created an e-newsletter before, research a market- ing software company's customer ser- vice policy, so that if questions arise, people are there to help. Starting at as low as $20 a month, and increasing from there depending on how many people your emails need to reach, most email marketing software also won't break the bank. When you're shopping around for marketing software, make sure your provider has a high mes- sage delivery rate so that your e-newsletter won't get stuck in your customers' email spam filter. For example, Constant Contact's rate is 97 percent or higher. Because other businesses that pose the most competition for your store regularly send out e-newsletters and promotions, it's important that you do so as well. The last thing you'd want is for your company to be "out of sight, out of mind" in the minds of consumers. Also, communicating with your customers on a regular basis nurtures your relationship to them, supporting greater trust and loyalty. 2 Create engaging content. While the ultimate goal of an e-newsletter is to sell merchandise, you'll do this more effectively if you showcase topics that interest your audience and provide them with valuable information. If readers take an interest in this information and want to share it with friends, you'll also grow your reach organically. "Present compelling content that isn't overtly promotional and is written with the customer in mind. For example, beauty tips for winter skin could feature little-known facts. By avoiding an overt sell, you're more likely to keep your readers engaged and inspire them to share your content," Charest says. This type of content is often called value content—information that can enhance your customers' lives. For Cos Bar, a beauty retailer founded 40 years ago with both brick-and-mortar stores and an e-commerce website that originally launched in 2006, CEO David Olsen says that creating interesting con- tent for emails starts with getting to know your customers. For Cos Bar's in-store specialists, who are well versed in all the Images courtesy of Constant Contact and Cos Bar Example of Cos Bar's "share the joy" campaign email blast. Constant Contact's sign up screen and sample of schedule form. "Email continues to deliver the highest return on investment, or ROI, of all the marketing channels." –Dave Charest, Senior Manager of Constant Contact