9 Tips to Get Results from Your eNewsletter
Email marketing is a low-cost, high-return marketing channel, and an eNewsletter is an easy way to stay front-of-mind with your customers, prospects, and business partners. It gives you an opportunity to share your content and keep them up-to-date with your latest news, promotions, and product information. Of course, you should follow general best practices for all marketing emails, but here are some additional considerations to keep in mind to keep your customers engaged and looking forward to your newsletter each month.
Keep it on-brand.
Even more so than other email promotions which may represent a particular event or promotion, your newsletter represents your company as a whole and must reflect the voice and character of your brand. Your contacts should be able to recognize it as soon as it lands in their inbox, and it should consistently deliver the type of content and personality that has helped you build a relationship with them. Elements to focus on include your newsletter’s layout, colours, fonts, images, logos, and writing style.
Provide content your contacts want.
When creating your newsletter, think about it from your contacts’ point of view: What would make them take a minute out of their busy day to read your email, among all the emails they get every day? Good incentives include email-only promotions such as a coupon or promo code, problem-solving content that helps them do their jobs, or human interest info about your company’s latest community project.
It’s also important to remember that emails can sit in your contact’s inbox for a long time, so include a mix of time-sensitive content such as promotions as well as evergreen content such as blog articles that will still be relevant if contacts read your newsletter a few days, weeks, or months from when you send it. For the same reason, make sure you leave any landing pages up for a long time.
Make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for.
Keep your email short or include a table of contents at the top so your readers can easily find the information they want. It helps to use a clean, simple email layout and break content into small, readable chunks. Also, consider how your newsletter will look without graphics if your contacts view it in their preview pane.
Link to your other platforms.
Don’t include full write-ups in your newsletter. Not only does this make it long and cumbersome to read, it also deprives you of a chance to drive traffic to your blog, website, and social media channels. Instead of including full blog posts, stories, and promotional details, simply provide a short blurb and a link to the rest. This will help your readers easily find and view the content that is relevant to them and will drive traffic to your other online platforms.
Depending how much content and how many target markets you have, it may be worthwhile to segment your contact list and send customized newsletters to each group. This will ensure that your customers only receive information that’s relevant to them.
If your target markets are closely related or you have a limited amount of content to share, another option is to break your newsletter into separate sections based on each topic, so your readers can easily find the material that’s relevant to them.
Create a publishing calendar.
Your eNewsletter will only become a successful marketing tool if you keep at it. Create a monthly or quarterly publishing calendar outlining what content and promotions you will include and when you will send it out, and then stick to those deadlines. By consistently producing quality newsletters that your contacts can rely on, you will establish yourself as a trusted source of information in your field and provide a source of steady traffic to your other marketing platforms.
Test your newsletter on different email clients.
We mentioned this in our previous post, but it’s especially important for longer emails like newsletters where there are more chances for your formatting to go awry. Make sure to test your newsletter in Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail/MSN before you send it out to your contact list to be sure you are presenting a professional image to everyone who receives it.
Contacts who respond to your newsletter emails are warm leads, so don’t ignore them! If your marketing team is not authorized to respond to customer inquiries, make sure they send any messages to the customer service or sales teams and then make sure those team members act on the forwarded responses.
Even complaints are useful sources of feedback. They let you know where you need to improve and provide an avenue for you to mend the relationship with your contact. Even if you can’t convert them into a lead, at least you can avoid any negative publicity or escalation of your contact’s concerns.
Track your ROI.
Beyond tracking your opens, bounces, clicks, unsubscribes, and other metrics related directly to your email, many email services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact provide tools that make it easy to track the ROI of your email campaigns.
You can use Google Analytics tracking to determine which of your newsletter traffic led to sales or conversions on your website, and many email services tie in with your social media platforms, CRM programs, ecommerce platforms, and more to help you see the full business impact of your newsletter. Use this information to improve the content of your next email to generate even greater returns.
An eNewsletter is a great way to get your content in front of potential customers and keep your brand front-of-mind. To maximize the effectiveness of your newsletter, include useful, well-branded content that links back to your other platforms, in a layout that makes everything easy to find. Plan ahead so that you know what to include in each issue and consider segmenting your list if you have multiple target markets. And, as always, remember to test and track your newsletter and engage with customers who respond to the information you send them.
Have questions or tips about eNewsletters, or email marketing in general? Feel free to contact us or leave them in the comments below.