In the world of marketing, developing relationships with customers is essential to ensure repeat custom and drive sales growth. You need to have as many tools as possible at your disposal, and an email newsletter is an invaluable part of your marketing toolkit that can be easily overlooked.
An email newsletter is a better tool than a social media post for getting your message across and retaining customers. Think about social media itself and this will become apparent: people change their social media accounts all the time, and the amount of “noise” in a newsfeed or stream can hide your message. People very rarely change their email address, however, and if they have subscribed to your newsletter, it is highly visible whenever they check their inbox.
Without further ado, let us look at how you can create an effective email newsletter which will engage your customers, retain them, and drive increased sales for your company.
If your newsletter isn’t full of valuable, informative content then it isn’t going to engage your customers. It’s merely going to be an email which is ignored. You need to keep your customers interested. Some examples of interesting, informative content which make an effective newsletter include:
- Videos and embedded media, webinars
- Interesting facts about the company and industry
- Informative and engaging blog posts
- Tips, tactics, and tutorials
- Items about personal interests
- Items about hobbies
- Work-related news and company actions: updates, new products, volunteer projects, and so forth
- Reviews of new projects
- Competition results
Of course, there are many more pieces of informative content you could include. Brainstorm ideas before you start your email campaign and keep reviewing content based on feedback. Keep it interesting and informative, and customers will be less likely to hit the unsubscribe button. Make your email newsletter something your customers actually look forward to in their inbox.
Drop the sales talk.
The worst thing you can do is make it all about sales. Yes, this is the end result of your marketing, but how many of your customers want to feel like they are just being sold a product to? The point of marketing, especially in such an intimate medium as an email newsletter, is to make your customers feel personally invested in your company. Nobody likes a hard sell, so drop the sales hype. Leave the sales for specific offer-based emails. If you absolutely must include a sales pitch in your newsletter, keep it brief and within context.
Keep it brief.
People do not spend long reading information on the Internet. Chances are that your newsletter will be no different, as attention spans are spread thin. Therefore, aim to keep your content brief and easy to digest. Use layouts which are easy on the eyes, such as scannable content blocks, bullet points, brief blurbs, snapshots, and call to action buttons. Whatever you do, don’t go over the top with information – this will cause your readers to become lost and make them more likely to click away.
Aim for clicks.
As much as your customers deserve something, you do too. Give your customers just enough information whilst leaving them wanting more. Your customers should be eager to learn more about your message and product. Include links to your website, social media accounts, and blogs to provide them with more in-depth information and keep them involved in the conversation. After all, the point of an email newsletter is to build a relationship with your customers.
Include strong, relevant calls to action such as “See more”, “Click for more info”, or “Watch the video to find out more”, and you will retain your customer’s interest.
Be consistent and reliable.
A newsletter is like a friend. If a friend is flaky, we trust them less. A newsletter should therefore be reliable and consistent, not flaky. If your readers expect your newsletter at a certain time, make sure it is in their inbox when you say it will be. Pick a frequency, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, and stick to it. Make sure that new subscribers know when to expect the newsletter on the opt-in form.
Construct a compelling opening line.
In life, first impressions count. This is true for both personal and professional relationships. A compelling opening line can make the difference between capturing a person’s interest and losing it immediately. If it isn’t interesting or thought provoking, you might as well just forget it. Your readers will not make it past “hello”.
Avoid using generic terms like “April Newsletter”, “Your Monthly Newsletter”, “This Week’s Newsletter”, etc. Shake things up and make it interesting. State who the newsletter is from, as well.
Respond to your readers.
Sometimes people want to give feedback, so make sure you provide an email they can actually send it to and make sure you respond in a timely manner. Talking to your customers in this way lets them know there’s a human on the other end of the email who will take their concerns and questions on board. By building a rapport with your readers, you will not only help them feel involved, but will also gain valuable insights which can improve future newsletters.
Allow your readers to easily opt out.
At the end of the day, you cannot keep people on board who don’t want to read your message. People unsubscribe from newsletters all the time for a multitude of reasons. It’s just a fact of life, and it’s rarely personal.
Letting customers go is just as important as retaining those who want to read your newsletter. Therefore, you must make it easy for them to unsubscribe (they can always come back at a later date). The harder you make it for them to unsubscribe, the more likely they are to hit the “spam” button, and you definitely don’t want that.
Creating a lively, attractive, and personable email newsletter takes a lot of work, but it is worth it. Getting the balance right will help you craft a friendship with your customers that is rarely found in any other marketing strategy. Follow these simple steps and in no time at all you will see positive click through rates and conversions, leading to success for your company.