Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools continue to dominate the online marketing landscape, but email still remains one of the most effective methods for building customer relationships and should be a cornerstone of any marketing campaign. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where users are bombarded with constant messages and information, most people will look at everything in their email inbox, even if it is just the subject line. This is why email newsletters remain a viable marketing tool. The following steps will help optimise your marketing newsletter to increase subscriptions and, in turn, increase sales.
Make an intriguing offer
The sign-up form is the most important part of the newsletter itself, because most people need a compelling reason to add to their already full inboxes. Describe what benefits subscribers can expect, including discounts and useful industry tips and information. Content is critical to a successful newsletter, but a convincing pitch is essential.
Find balance between too often and not often enough
Constantly spamming the inboxes of your mailing list is the quickest way to get subscribers to unsubscribe. However, if you’re sending messages too infrequently, your subscribers may not remember your company or be as intrigued by your sales pitches. A balance must be maintained between the two extremes, but sending newsletters once or twice per month is typically effective.
Keep the design clean and simple
Keep the design simple to ensure your message is easy to read. Include enough white space that each element of your newsletter is easy to find. Be careful when using large graphics or images. While they can give your newsletter an attractive and professional look, many people block images when reading email, so they will see large white space instead your images.
The subject line is critical
Nobody will open your email if the subject line does not grab their attention. Make your subject line specific, yet short and to the point. Highlight the most important information of the newsletter and describe the exact benefits the readers can gain by opening the email.
Your newsletters should be more than just a relentless sales pitch. Provide useful industry information to prove to your subscribers that your company is an industry expert that can be trusted to offer a premium-quality product. Readers are constantly being sold anything and everything. Offer them something more than a sales pitch.
Useful e-Newsletter services
Many e-newsletter services are available to help you begin your email marketing campaign. Two of the more intuitive services are MailChimp and iContact.
MailChimp lets you create email lists, track who has viewed the messages and integrates with useful third party applications like Google Docs and Zoho. MailChimp can build your email campaign in just three steps
1. Create the email list by adding information including list name, reply-to email and your company description. Then click “Save” and your list is complete.
2. Populate your list with email addressed by importing your contacts or adding them manually.
3. Finally, write your e-newsletter message and have MailChimp send it out to every address in your list.
iContact is also a very user friendly e-newsletter application. Its interface is visually appealing and easy to navigate, and its innumerable features let you customize your email campaigns to your precise needs.
These features include:
1. Survey builder – Create surveys to receive input from the people in your email database to focus your newsletter and promotions to your customers’ precise desires.
2. Message scheduling – Write out all your newsletters in advance and let iContact send the messages to your database on an automated schedule.
3. Open click tracking – Keep track of who is opening your emails and who is putting them in the trash folder.