Email marketing is a highly effective tool of every good marketer. In our today’s entry we’ll tell you how to write engaging and valuable newsletters that won’t annoy users.
For many people, email marketing may seem to be something anachronistic, after all, the first email was sent in 1971. On the other hand, the first sales email was written in 1978 when Gary Thuerk used the network to send out his offer to 400 potential customers. As you can see, email marketing has been present on the market for a very long time and contrary to what you may think, it’s not a relic of the past.
Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising. According to The Institute of Market Research, in 2014, email was the most frequently chosen medium for online communication (used by 97% of Internet users), 70% of users check it every day and 40% visit their inboxes even before brushing their teeth. Many people start the day not from scrolling Facebook but from checking both personal and corporate email accounts. That’s why you should use this communication channel to contact your potential customers as 57% of respondents perceive better those companies which send newsletters.
A well-prepared newsletter can improve your brand image and loyalty.
A newsletter – what is it and why is it not spam?
A newsletter is a method of constant communication with the brand’s customers. It was created to maintain a solid and positive relationship between the customer and the brand. It focuses mainly on image and only then on sales goals.
When you think about email marketing, you often subconsciously associate it with spam. Spam means simply unwanted and unnecessary messages sent to users’ mailboxes. On the other hand, according to Seth Godin’s book, a good newsletter is always permitted and builds a relationship with the customer, which consequently improves sales.
Non-permission based marketing is a typical and irritating trick of marketers which results in the fact that users associate marketing with annoying practices such as pop-ups that take up the whole screen when we want to read an article or mismatched ads displayed while watching videos of a particular person on YouTube. TV commercials that last so long that you can freely make tea and one-pot lunch also aren’t the best examples of marketing.
Email marketing shouldn’t be an annoying necessity that you have to go through to get what you want. That’s why it’s worth getting acquainted with the notion of permission marketing. The recipients should want to receive your newsletter, moreover, they should enjoy each of your emails and be happy to read them.
However, if for some reason people aren’t satisfied with what you offer, they should have the possibility to easily sign out and never receive an email from you again.
In order to be sure that all the customers made a conscious decision to subscribe to your newsletter, you should think about a double opt in. It’s nothing more than a link that they get and need to click on in order to confirm that they’re the ones who have signed up for the newsletter. This ensures that no one will give a false or someone else’s email and also reduces the likelihood of being accused of spam.
How to take care of your database hygiene?
Apart from double opt in, you should also pay attention to the bounce number and their types. Remove hard bounces immediately.
A hard bounce means that the e-mail couldn’t reach the recipient (e.g. because the inbox no longer exists or never existed as someone gave a false or wrong address). The faster you delete such an email address, the better. If you send hard bounce emails too often, mailboxes will start marking you as the address sending spam.
How to grow your newsletter list?
As we’ve already mentioned above, recipients should be willing to make their email addresses available to you. Obviously, it’s not so simple as most people don’t want to easily share their personal data with someone completely strange, therefore, you need to somehow encourage them. But how? Keep reading.
Subscribing to the newsletter must be preceded by obtaining appropriate consents for electronic communication. These consents must be voluntary, specific, conscious and explicit.
Remember that it’s the sender’s responsibility to prove that he or she actually has the consents. Therefore, it’s always better to really have it.
How to build a newsletter mailing list?
1. Place a registration form on your website. Probably few people will sign up this way, however, if you outline the benefits of subscribing to the newsletter, the number may increase significantly. Maybe you should offer an extra attractive discount or a small gift? 68% of Internet users admit that this method of encouragement really works. Others say they subscribe to newsletters because they’re interested in what the website is about or want quick access to information. Therefore, start from taking care of the 68% at the beginning!
- If you want your form to be a pop-up banner, make sure it’s not annoying. Set the capping to 1, if the customers don’t want the newsletter, don’t bother them with constant questions. Don’t disrupt the shopping process – it’d be a shame to have your shopping cart abandoned.
2. Organize a contest in which your potential customers will provide you with their email addresses.
3. Take advantage of social media – Facebook has launched an advertising campaign dedicated specifically to the collection of email addresses.
4. Benefit from numerous offline options. All participation cards at fairs, forms in the shop e.g. on tablets, where buyers can enter their emails, offline contests, QR codes which open the registration form and are placed in newspapers. As you can see, your imagination is the only limit in this case. Every physical contact with the customer can be an opportunity to obtain his/her email address. Don’t waste these opportunities! However, also in such cases, it’s necessary to confirm the correctness of the address – many people may provide a false one so if you offer a gift for subscribing to the newsletter, first you need to check if someone actually deserves to get it.
Which data should you collect? Start from the email address and name – the more data required, the less people will be determined enough to sign up. The name is necessary for personalization, you should also ensure that you do it properly, remember about all possible inflectional endings. Even if the shop is dedicated for ladies, make sure you avoid situations when a man is addressed “Dear Mrs”.
Newsletters improve sales
Sounds unbelievable? According to the 2019 study, every one dollar spent on email marketing paid back in 44 dollars. Additionally, we can’t belittle the image value of email marketing.
Why is this communication method so successful? Well, it’s a very personal and customized form of communication via a private channel. It’s not an annoying Facebook advertisement but an interesting message tailored to the recipient who has agreed to get it.
People who subscribed to the newsletter are your potential customers. They know about your company (brand awareness) and trust you enough to share their email addresses with you. Since they’ve allowed you to interfere with their private space, you, as a marketer, should appreciate it.
Why is it a good idea to have a newsletter?
Having a newsletter has numerous advantages, apart from the fact that it can help you to earn users’ trust. Thanks to it, you can reach thousands of people in a few seconds. In addition, there are systems for sending email campaigns, which allow segmentation of recipients and very personalized communication. Email addresses are potential leads that are collected very cheaply – you don’t have to do it, but then it’s just thriftlessness.
Segmentation and targeting of recipients – why is it so important?
Many people don’t fully exploit the potential of newsletters. Some people forget about segmentation, which is, after all, a major advantage of email marketing. 53.57% of people who send newsletters don’t personalize them.
And personalized emails have a 26% higher open rate. That’s something you should fight for!
Mailing programs provide a great deal of knowledge about user behavior. These programs enable you to observe who reads the newsletter, who reads but doesn’t buy, what recipients click on and what time they do it. Moreover, you can segment recipients by their behavioral data. Tailor your emails to users’ behavior! The tools offer you very important information about people who buy your products and who don’t buy them but might want to. Analyze the open rate – it’ll help you to deduce who likes your company and who isn’t its biggest fan. If you see that someone clicks but doesn’t buy, you may try to attract them with discounts and special offers.
You can also target your recipients based on declarative data.
What can you send in a newsletter?
Well, literally everything!
- Have you published new blog posts? Inform about it! Create a good teaser and tell your recipients what they can learn from a given article.
- Do you have a new product on your offer? Great, let people know about it and encourage them to try it out!
- Is there something special happening in your company? Are you about to visit some fairs or launch new products or services? Has your company won an award or been ranked high in an important ranking? Your potential customers should know about it!
- Educate, share knowledge and show your expertise.
- If it suits your business type, ask your customers how they’ve been doing. Newsletters don’t have to be a one-sided form of communication, just the other way round, it’s great if someone replies to your email.
- Offer some premium goods so it’s really worth subscribing to your newsletter. Provide people who signed up with extra discounts and reports. Make sure that this communication is truly personal and rewarding.
Valuable newsletter practices
- Choose one template that matches your company’s colors and stick to it. When customers receive a newsletter, they should be able to automatically identify the company it comes from. One template that people will quickly get used to can be helpful here. The graphic design is important for 45% of users.
- Don’t spam. The fact that someone agreed to get emails from you doesn’t mean that you need to tell them “good morning” every single day. It’s better to send your newsletters less often, only when you actually have something valuable to share. Remember that email marketing shouldn’t provide only sales offers but also some quality content. 69% of people believe that newsletters should contain some interesting pieces of information.
- If you love your subscribers, let them go. Signing out of the newsletter should be as simple as signing up. Don’t force anybody to stay with you and don’t make it hard to leave. When someone wants to sign out, try to find out what’s the reason. A valuable feedback will help you draw conclusions.
- Emails should always be sent by the same person. A permanent sender will ensure a stronger relationship between him/her and the recipient. It’s always better to have a relation not with Delante in general but with a specific person working there.
- Ensure that the message has an interesting topic. Using a name of the recipient will attract attention. Outline the content of the message – discounts and special offers. Use the AIDA model.
- Use alts. Many email service providers block the display of images. Encourage the recipient to download these images with an interesting alt. Make sure you send an HTML/TXT version as well and check whether your newsletter displays properly. Maybe there are some email platforms that it doesn’t look well on. Your newsletters should always look nice, regardless of the device and mailbox the recipients use. Most mailing programs give you the possibility to check all these elements, however, you can also do it manually.