There are a plethora of buzzwords in marketing and public relations that seem interchangeable. What some companies call a newsletter or digest, others refer to as email marketing or email campaigns. Typically, a marketing newsletter is an email campaign sent out by a company to engage its email subscribers and keep them updated on important happenings within the organization. It could cover a sale, a conference, important industry news, or any topic closely related to the brand. Over time, newsletters have transformed into an excellent tool that drives business and helps communicate your brand to a captive audience.
So how do you properly leverage a marketing newsletter for your business? Take the tips below to elevate your newsletter approach to the next level.
1. Develop a legitimate email marketing strategy
One of the easiest ways to set your marketing newsletter up for success is a strong, thorough strategy. At a minimum, your newsletter campaign should consist of the following strategic elements.
- Actively build an audience
So you have emails you want to send. But who are you sending them to? Create a flow of new leads through content marketing, social media, events or training webinars. If you offer something of value, people will gladly sign up for your email list and maintain a positive impression of your brand.
- Segment your list
So you know who is receiving your emails. But how well do you really know them? Create a framework of characteristics to segment your list. Knowing demographic data, psychographic, lifestyle and purchase data will help immensely as you develop email marketing campaigns in the future.
- Develop a WHY
Why do you send emails to your subscribers? Develop sound reasoning behind your marketing newsletter campaign and let that dictate every move you make. Why are you creating content? What value does the content bring to your subscribers? What value do your subscribers bring back to your business?
- Decide on a Call to Action
You’re on the right track; you have an audience, you know who they are and why your content is important to them. But what’s in it for you? This is the literal money-maker of your campaign. This is where you decide what the most important “action” is that your reader can take.
Do you want your email newsletter to drive the sale of a specific product or service? Are you attempting to recruit event attendees? Choose one call to action for each of your emails and center the email newsletter template around that. Multiple calls to action or lack of a call to action will result in very little engagement on your campaigns, and even less benefit for all the work you put into developing it.
2. Use an email service provider
Really, you should use an email service provider. It may sound intimidating, but ESPs nowadays have become increasingly robust for very reasonable (if not free) prices. You’ll be able to create more customized emails and track how they’re doing.
- Personalize your emails
Remember how we talked about segmenting your email list? That data will come in handy here. You can personalize emails for your subscribers’ name, birthday or any other type of list you’ve built out.
- Customize your “from” name
Your emails are more likely to be opened if they come from a familiar name. Use an email service provider to customize the name or email address that your campaigns come from. Tailor the name for different campaigns or markets — whatever aligns with your strategy and goals.
- Optimize for mobile
Many email service providers have sophisticated template builders that allow you to design exquisite emails. You can often toggle between the desktop and mobile design. If your emails are optimized for mobile viewing, your open and conversion rate will improve.
- Test, test, test
One of the best perks of an email service provider is the data! Most ESPs will give you information on opens, reads, bounces, clicks and conversions. That means that you can test to your heart’s content. Implement some A/B testing and split your list in two to experience a couple of subject lines. Try which graphics convert better. Test the time of day you send your emails. This data will give you the insight you need to run a successful marketing newsletter campaign.
3. Brand It!
Building your newsletter in a wonderful ESP enables you to get somewhat fancy with your email marketing — really showing off your brand. Create a template that will help to convey your brand and try to stick with it. You want your readers to get used to seeing a certain template or branding to build trust in your communications efforts the moment they open the email.
4. Make it skim-friendly
The human brain processes pictures 60,000 times faster than text and the average time spent reading an email is 51 seconds. You need to hook your subscribers quick!
5. Follow the rules!
- Is your organization based in the European Union?
- Does your organization handle data concerning EU-based individuals?
- Does your organization do any kind of business with organizations to which one or two apply?
If your company calls the United States home, you’ll need to follow the CAN-SPAM act. It may seem like a lot of rules for something as simple as an email, but unless your practices are in order, you could be hit with big fines.
Now you’re ready to roll out an excellent marketing newsletter. Reference these steps as you build your email campaigns and you’ll be off to a great start in understanding your audience, honing your messaging and elevating your brand to new heights.