Email newsletters are a convenient way of adding value to your customers and broadening your customer base simultaneously. Newsletters are sent to customers who have intentionally shared their contact information with your business and are used to casually keep customers in sync with your business while providing them with information catered to their interests.
The goal is to provide the customer with information so valuable that they must share it with others who hold similar interests, thus increasing your business’s customer base. A focused approach can lead to a win-win online marketing strategy.
The 7 steps listed below will help your business get the most out of its newsletters, no matter the frequency.
1. Develop a Permission-Based Customer List For Your Email Newsletter
In order to send out newsletters without being considered a spammer, you must first build a permission-based list of customers who opted-in. There are a variety of means of obtaining this information via a storefront or the web.
If you have a brick & mortar location, you can keep a list of customer email addresses at the register and ask each customer if they would like to receive the newsletter while they check out. But, as we all know, most people won’t even bother going into a store that they can already access online. There’s no need to worry though, there are still many ways to prompt online customers to sign up for your newsletter.
Some online methods include:
- Promoting your newsletter on your webpages and within any emails with customers
- Install a pop-up on your webpage prompting users to sign up
- Asking customers and prospective customers if they would like to sign-up for your newsletters during any social interaction
- Using social media pages to collect the contact information of users interested in your newsletters
- Working with third-party newsletters which target your customers and prospective customer to promote your newsletter
- Give customers a reward for signing up for your newsletter ex. discounts
- Create a valuable offer that would compel people to leave their email
Some businesses also use rented lists from third parties, however, I do not recommend using them. The main reason being, you don’t know how targeted or updated the lists are. If your email newsletters are sent to people who are not interested in your business, you may even land yourself in some trouble in the future.
2. Generate Relevant and Valuable Content
The newsletter is not so much a means to sell products or services to customers, but a way to add value to the customers’ lives, nurturing relationships for your business. Provided that you make sure your newsletter is issued consistently with up to date and relevant information, gaining a loyal fan base won’t prove to be impossible.
Extensively researching your article topics are a good way to ensure that you provide quality information for your prospects and customers. Do you have buyer personas? Understanding the challenges of your potential customers is the easiest way to make sure you are giving them what they need.
3. Use Right Tone
Your email newsletters are for the benefit of your customers and thus should be written casually. No one wants to spend time making sense of what you wrote in their free time. However, while the language should be simple enough, it should also remain concise. We recommend writing casually while still trying to explain and engage with your audience on a high level.
Make sure your headlines catch the reader’s attention. Dynamic newsletter headlines which incorporate action verbs to capture the reader’s curiosity are common practice.
4. Think About Factors Affecting Readability
Most readers prefer to read emails that include pictures and text, so it is crucial to create your emails as HTML versions which include vivid relevant pictures.
Adding a hyperlinked table to the top of your email newsletter will make it convenient for viewers to read the sections they want to. Think of it as an electronic table of contents.
Think about your brand’s image when considering the design. It’s important to think about the colors you are choosing, you don’t want colors detracting from your content. Color Schemer is a great tool for creating color combinations that work well together.
Make sure that the top couple inches of your newsletter are not solely border or pictures since the recipients will only see the preview plane before opening the newsletter. In this preview plane, the newsletter should provide a brief overview of what the newsletter is about or stimulate the reader’s interest in the newsletter.
5. The Almighty Subject Line
Subject lines are your five to seven word ( 50-60 characters) elevator speech to get the recipient to open your newsletter. Subject lines should be attention-grabbing and interest-provoking.
Don’t try to sell the customer or use the same subject line multiple times, as these practices can lead prospective customers to delete your newsletter or worse, label it as spam and send it to the aut0-delete folder.
Read your subject line to yourself, would you open the email if you saw it?
Proofreading is not just for correcting typos and grammatical errors but checking consistency in tone and voice. You want to give the customer a solid professional image; an inconsistent tone can diminish your reader’s perception of your newsletters’ value. Not proofreading, and leaving grammatical errors in your newsletter will not only make you and your service look unprofessional, but it will also tarnish any reputation you have. Even if you are not great with grammar and editing, there are many free proofreading tools online to take advantage of. We recommend using sites such as GrammarChecker or Grammarly to get started.
7. Make It Easier With Email Service Providers
Email service providers are a prime resource when creating a newsletter. They take care of all the logistics involving your email newsletter, some even help with the design. Mailchimp and Aweber are some great places to start off.
Now that you know what it takes to create a kickass newsletter, what are you waiting for? The entirety of your success is dependent upon the level of value you create for your customer. What would make someone look forward to your newsletter?
Good luck and happy trails!