Importance of Newsletters For Your Business

“Sign up for our newsletter!” A phrase you hear quite often. But what are you signing up for? Depends on what site you are on and what that site may be offering to you. Have you ever wondered what exactly those businesses get from having a newsletter? Seriously. What’s in it for them?

The Post and Courier Newsletter Editor, Emily Daily, shares her insights and expertise in newsletters from her 15 years in media, marketing, and public relations.

 Leads to Clients 

Newsletters being sent to people that already have an established interest in the company or business. These leads come from website submissions, social media, and anytime a person reaches out to the company for more information. When a person signs up for a newsletter or offers their email address, this individual is considered a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and is ready to learn more about your business. Now, you nurture your lead with follow up marketing emails, letting them know about special offers, information that only subscribers or MQLs would get to learn, and anything exciting that may be internally happening with your business.

“Not only is it important for marketing the business and sharing new product news or upcoming sales or events, but it’s also a way to connect with customers on a personal level. Many successful newsletters are written from a personal point-of-view, often from a business owner, CEO, or editor. This gives the readers a chance to feel like they have a true connection to the company.” 

– Newsletter Editor, Emily Daily 

Building Relationships

People want to feel like they are getting something from a newsletter. What information does your business offer that can be helpful to your target audience? What makes your business stand out? Offering knowledge and delivering it right to your lead’s inbox developing a personal connection that may otherwise have been lost. Newsletter Editor, Emily Daily, explains:

The advantage of a newsletter versus a typical marketing email is that companies can create an established group of readers who trust their brand and stay updated with their news on a consistent basis. Every time a reader opens a newsletter from that company, they know it won’t simply be a marketing push – it will have other content that interests them as well. Therefore, newsletters tend to have much higher open rates and click-through rates, especially when they’re sent out on a consistent basis.

If someone signs up to learn more from you, what will they be learning? Here are some options:

  • Awareness: New products or services? Perhaps a new team member! Let your audience know.
  • Expertise: What do you know that can help your audience? What resources do you offer? A guide? Article?
  • Promotion: What’s going on in your business? Having a sale? Special offer? Holidays are primetime to offer your loyal audience something special!
  • Coverage: Extra! Extra! Read all about it…in our newsletter! Compile a spot for readers, leads, clients to go to know about everything and anything that may apply to them. The Post and Courier often use this method with our niche newsletters – Breaking News, Sports, weather, climate change, food & dining, and so much more!  Instead of taking the time to search the website, we send you the links you want to know about it. A one-stop-shop of information!

Not Just Newsletters

A newsletter is not just an informative way to nurture leads and build client relationships. Newsletters are not only a great way to reach new audiences, but they are also a great way to advertise. Joining an established newsletter series can highly benefit your business. Each newsletter that The Post and Courier sends out has sponsorships. These are businesses advertising within a source that they know reaches their target audience and is a trustworthy, primetime, and amicable form of advertising.

“The benefits of being a sponsor for content like this are unique to broad appeal newsletters. The open rates will likely be higher percentages than general newsletters since the readers are specifically seeking out that content. This means they will also have higher trust in the content of the email. This makes your brand stand out even more.” – Marketing Coordinator, Michael Strong writing about Newsletter Sponsorships.

Adding newsletters and email marketing to your budget can significantly help you save in some areas while continuing to grow and nurture leads.

 

5 Events To Promote Your Business

What if we told you that your business can reach a whole new audience, gain quality leads, and be immersed in South Carolina excitement? With Post and Courier events, you can!

That’s exactly what events with Post and Courier can do for your business…and then some!

We had a successful year of events and are looking forward to an even stronger 2021. Your business has the opportunity to sponsor or participate in any and all events that come up.

A partnership through sponsorship or event participation could lead your business to…

  • 200,000 people+ will see your business from email alone
  • 7,000 attendees+, both in-person and virtual, will see your business
  • 4 million+website page views
  • 10 million+ views across platforms including social media and email

Listed below are events YOU can sponsor or participate in during 2021!

1. Kids Club Live! || February 2o, 2021 

Kids Club Live is the merging of Lowcountry Family Expo and Kids Club! The inaugural year of the Family Expo happened in February 2020 and was such a hit we had to bring it back! Check out last year’s line up here!  More than 2,500 people attended last year’s Family Expo! Kids Club was also a brainchild of 2020 that turned virtual amid COVID-19. More than 8,400 attendees and over 1,400 families tuned in for each event and received more than a million social media impressions! Kids Club and Lowcountry Family Expo were such hits, that we decided to merge the two family fun events into one big event!

Learn More About Kids Club Live! Here! 

 

2. Virtual Events || Any time! 

Have you heard of The Post and Courier Virtual Events? You can learn, dance, play Bingo, and even cook with us from the comfort of your own home! Over the last 6 months of virtual events, there have been a total of 4,860 registered users. With banners, social ads, email marketing, and other means of promotion, you’re reaching anywhere from 7,000 to over 16 million people while partnering with The Post and Courier to teach viewers and readers alike something new!

Learn More About Virtual Events Here!

3. Night At The Movies|| Next Event on January 23!

The pandemic has us missing heading to the movies with friends and families! A Night At The Movies is a great way to still experience the joy of movie-going. The dog-friendly events are socially distanced, COVID safety compliant, and for all ages that takes place in the Post and Courier parking lot in Downtown Charleston. Our recent movie nights have included food trucks and a photo booth (that your business can sponsor! Your logo on each picture taken!).

Learn More About Night At The Movies Here!

4. Bicycle Across South Carolina (BASC) || October 

Bicycle Across South Carolina (BASC) is a multi-day ride hosted by the Post and Courier. BASC takes participants off the road and onto the scenic trails of South Carolina. Riders will experience a unique opportunity to explore state parks, off-the-grid-trails, and engage with a community of like-minded enthusiasts. BASC kicked off its inaugural ride in September 2019. In 2020, we were lucky enough to celebrate year two with brand new routes for riders to experience a diverse look at South Carolina’s landscape!

We are actively working on BASC 2021. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest!

Learn More About BASC Here!

5. Steeplechase of Charleston || November 14, 2021 

Steeplechase of Charleston 2020 was an outstanding event with 2,500 attendees, 30+ vendors, and a long list of cherished sponsors. Racegoers were able to enjoy a socially distanced tailgate with their friends, shop local vendors, and watch an incredible docket of horse races right here in beautiful Charleston.

Learn More About Steeplechase of Charleston 2021 Here!

 

These 5 events are incredible opportunities for you to expand and immerse your business in the Palmetto State. Between the variants of these events and a multitude of other events such as We The Women, 12 Leaders To Watch, College of Charleston 250, and Pints and Politics, your business can partner with The Post and Courier and gain so much more than new business and quality leads.

Ready to find out? Learn more about sponsorships, contests, and other events! 

Highlights: Steeplechase of Charleston 2020

November 15, 2020, starts with sunshine and smog rolling over the hills of the Stono Ferry Racetrack. Clouds pushing through bringing soft rain throughout the morning as people trickle into place. The skies open up and give way to miraculous sunshine just in time for the races, leading to a gorgeous fall day at Steeplechase of Charleston.

With amazing sponsors and numerous tailgaters, Steeplechase of Charleston 2020 is one for the books.

The opening ceremonies kick off with a high note as Grammy award-winning artists Quiana Parler and Charlton Singleton from Ranky Tanky perform the National Anthem for Steeplechase of Charleston. All of which stream internationally on the National Steeplechase Association (NSA), Blood Horse, and Horse and Country TV! Click here to watch! 

As the riders begin to take off, Opening Ceremonies sponsor Hopkins Law Firm gave the first “Riders Up!” followed by Mark Peper of Peper Law Firm who also gave a “Riders Up!”

A Crowning Achievement!

Steeplechase of Charleston became the qualifier of NSA’s trainer and jockey of the year Hall of Fame

trainer,  Jonathan Sheppard, and jockey, Gerard Galligan, who both left with winnings from 4 out of 5 of the races, a total of $50,000 in purse money. Read more about the winners here.

Another big winner? James Schelb winning the first-place raffle prize, a trip to Haig Point on Daufuskie Island! Charlie Black coming in second-place winning the raffle prize of a unique equestrian bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon. The raffle overall raising $2,100 for Hollings Cancer Center. Fun for a good cause!

Vendor Village

Between the races, guests enjoy the opportunity to explore the vendor village. Whether it was holiday shopping for designer boots at Charleston Shoe Co., handmade jewelry from Georgia Jewels, or boutique handbags from Darling Clutch Co., the most extravagant gifts were found!

Then, come time for a recharge, guests stop for a snack at Flight food truck or nitro cold brew from Pourly Grounded Coffee.

A popular destination throughout the day: LuXe Mobile Cigar Lounge.  Guests found an immersive cigar experience and a moment to take in all of Steeplechase.

Enjoyed By All!

Even Southern Charm star Madison LeCroy and The Righteous Gemstones actor Danny McBride are spotted taking in all the excitement of Steeplechase 2020!

The volunteers and Steeplechase team pulled off a wonderful, safe event.

Thank You!

A huge thank you to all the vendors for providing both their time and their resources to enhance the Steeplechase experience. The day would not have been the same without these amazing businesses and organizations! View the full list of vendors and sponsors here.

 

How to Promote your Award-Winning Success in 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for businesses across the globe. But our annual Charleston’s Choice awards have shown that customers want to keep showing support for their favorite local businesses. So we wanted to help winning companies highlight their success and adapt award celebrations to a changing environment.

The Charleston community nominated and voted for the top businesses in a variety of categories. Now is the time for you to highlight your honors and give your business the extra boost that awards can provide.

Here in Charleston, customers are always on the lookout for Charleston’s Choice honors, as it shows a business is the best of the best. And this goes for all types of awards any business might be recognized for. Let your community know you’ve been recognized through these branding and promotional strategies. Almost all of them can be done digitally and virtually so that you don’t have to rely on in-person customers.

Brag in your email marketing

You’ll want to make sure that you’re bragging about your award everywhere you can. Emails are a great place for that. You can make specialized emails focused on your award. Or simply add in the honors to your existing communications.

If you have a regular newsletter, dedicate a special edition to announcing the honors. Make an event out of it and catch subscribers’ attention by detailing how and why you won.

What makes your customer relations the best in the business? Why is your business the top tourist hotspot? Awards carry prestige by nature. But customers want to know just why you’re the best.

This is also a good place to start incorporating the award logo into your branding. This would be temporary and wouldn’t be applicable in all branding locations, so there’s no need to rework your logo. So find the best way to pair your logo with the award branding and place that naturally in your emails. Have employees update their signatures to include that your business is an award winner.

Show off the award with pride

Take advantage of this time to promote your award in the digital and physical space. SEM campaigns can show web searchers that you are a business worth looking into. And traditional web page ads catch the attention of audiences in your area, if you are employing geomarketing capabilities.

Businesses with a customer-facing storefront will have an easy time showing off their award. On-location signage promotes your success to all potential customers or clients. 

But businesses located within a large office complex in their own suite don’t have the opportunity to flaunt as much. Local billboards are a good substitute and open you up for even greater reach.

If physical ads by the side of the highway aren’t your thing, you should at least be showing off your victory on your website and social media pages. Update your website’s hero image and fancy up your homepage for a few weeks to celebrate. Maybe even run a contest to show you want to celebrate with your customers, not just tell them how great you are.

Other benefits of winning awards

If you haven’t gotten your business entered into awards, consider the added benefits outside of attracting new business. The prestige of being an award-winning organization affects all aspects of business.

Awards can bring growth to your business internally as well. It’s not always about showing off the award to the public. Current staff will be able to take pride in the work they do and the company they belong to. It’s an opportunity for a great boost in company morale. So even just putting up the award logo around the office can have great effects.

The celebration events for the awards themselves can also be a great opportunity for employees of winning businesses. Award parties can be a place to network with other winning businesses and build new business relationships.

Our Charleston’s Choice celebration brings together local businesses and gives them a chance to show the community why they were selected for the top honors. Restaurants and beverage companies can share their award winning creations with attendees.

There is always value in building your face-to-face engagement with your community. Event sponsorships can enable you to directly reach your community and professional peers. It is a great way to build your brand image.

Signs, advertisements and published announcements are the wide-reaching way to show off your accomplishment. But, an event sponsorship gives you a more intimate way to connect with potential customers or partners.

Finally, it should go without saying that a little time to unwind does wonders for everyone.

 

Steeplechase of Charleston_Diamonds Direct

Spotlight On: Branded Content

Spotlight On: Branded Content

Authenticity for the Win

By, Sterling Eason, Senior Director of Partnership Development

Now more than ever, consumers are gravitating to brands to hear their authentic stories.  They want to see the CEO on Zoom (with her dog) in weekend clothes giving a tour of the factory or follow a social media campaign that teaches them something new.  And, it's comforting when the delivery is genuine and authentic.  The best part? Authentic communication is as effective as it is affordable.

This is where branded content comes in.  It is the vehicle for the authenticity to travel within, which is why it can be one of the most effective tools used by brands today. Trust can be built between the consumer and the brand when they see the people behind the brands and the products.

New sales and marketing models are emerging weekly.  Coupled with concerns and uncertainty around budgets for marketing, we are stepping onto new ground that can feel precarious. There will be no return to the status quo for consumers in the near future - the new normal is taking shape.

We recently surveyed our business partners at Steeplechase of Charleston with the majority  indicating that their top tools for marketing are social media and branded content.  This is where the affordability theme steps in.  Creating branded content doesn’t mean slick and expensive productions.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

What is your goal?

Let’s start with what branded content is often used to do:

  • Drive engagement
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve brand loyalty

 

First, gather your smartest minds together and talk it out.

Be sure to populate that team with people from multiple areas of the company. Remember, your brand is represented in everything from sales to operations to the front lines of customer service - all these areas should weigh in. 

  • What do you want for the brand? Find your themes.
  • Start putting them into buckets with ideas attached to each.
  • If you are efficient, this is a one-hour meeting. Preparing your people before the meeting is key. Give them time to think about the brand and assign them ideas to bring to the table.

 

Develop the story and concept.

You have your buckets of goals with themes, now pick one.  Pick a week on the schedule to push it out and work backward to begin your planning. While you are at that, create a basic content calendar for the year and share it with the team. Be willing to change that calendar as often the market will present new challenges. For guidance, here's a great article discussing the Nine steps to great storytelling.

 

Develop content that strengthens likability while also carrying out your major goal.

Good content is key to convince consumers to click.  People like content that makes them feel good and in turn, they often will feel good about the brand. Make them laugh, teach them something, give them special access. With consumers spending less time commuting, etc., they are looking to fill in gaps. This is your opportunity to bring them content that entertains and informs - resulting in consumers taking action.

A SATISFYING CONTENT EXPERIENCE → DRIVES CLICKS → HOME PAGE → SALES

 

A few ideas to consider:

  • Give them access to something - Go behind the scenes and show your process. People love to see things being made!
  • Another suggested strategy is to not only attempt to create a community centered on enthusiasm for your brand, but for your brand to enthusiastically support existing communities that have a purpose separate from, but relevant to you.

 

How to tell your story

  • Find the easiest platforms for you to use.  This is where Social Media steps in often.   It is user-friendly, easily-measured, and inexpensive. (If you aren’t consistent with content on social media, you are likely not going to build your followers.)Baker Motor company Steeplechase Social Content
    • However, there are many other platforms such as articles, video calls, virtual events, branded videos, newsletters, as well as conference calls.
  • Identify the voice: If it is a Zoom call, bring in a moderator to hold the content together by keeping everyone on message; if it’s an article, have your CEO pen the piece from their perspective, or, if you are hosting a virtual event, pin it to a theme and have your host give a strong introduction and close.
  • Record and reuse.  Once you have built a body of content, save it! Use it again. Replay it to a new audience. And by all means, add it to your website so that those visiting for the first time can get a sense of your brand voice.

Here's an example of a branded content video created by Steeplechase of Charleston for our presenting sponsor, Baker Motor Company:

 

Last but not least, three golden rules:

  • Have a purpose for what you are doing when you tell your story.
  • Tie that purpose back to a call-to-action.
  • Make it easy for them to act as well as react.

 

The time is now to drive connections. The desire of your customers is there. What are you waiting for?

A partnership with Steeplechase of Charleston can mean much more than exposure on race day. Consider a conversation with me to discuss how your brand can be a part of our overall content strategy that begins well in advance of race day and extends across multiple platforms.

 

 

By Sterling Eason, Senior Director of Partnership Development, Steeplechase of Charleston, The Post and Courier