Newsletter marketing is the most effective way for businesses to stay on ‘top-of-the-minds’ of customers. Companies send informative and product-focused content through an email newsletter to a list of subscribers who could be prospects or existing customers.
In today’s world of cut-throat competition, there is the need to find unique ways to be in constant touch with customers, establish authority over competition and grab the attention. Newsletters help you achieve the same.
There are many ways or mechanisms by which you gauge the “effectiveness” of your newsletter like
- Increased rate of subscribers – measures your reach
- The open ratio of the newsletter – measures the performance of the newsletter content
- Click-through rate – measures the activity of readers – whether they have performed the desired action
- Revenue – If the readers purchase by clicking through the email newsletter
How do you enhance each of these metrics or make your newsletter more effective? This article explores ways to make the newsletter more effective. Please read further to understand how to create one.
If you are in the business of email marketing for a while, the chances are that you have created quite many newsletters by now. But have you seen an increase in the subscribers’ list? If no, it is time to take a call and evaluate each of them’s performance – the content vs. performance metrics. This will give you an understanding of the type of content that is resonating well with your audience.
You can assess the following metrics:
- Email newsletters that people are subscribing to
- What content they are interested in
- What resources are available
- What is your goal – do you want to increase the number of leads, increase website visitors, better qualify leads, close more deals, retain customers, etc.
Include Tracking Elements
It is necessary to incorporate tracking elements in the newsletter if you want to assess its performance. One way is to note every time a customer opts-in for the promotional item or offer from the newsletter. Your team can then calculate the return on investment on each such offer. It helps in evaluating how each newsletter is performing, and you can accordingly make the required changes.
Since you will be sending emails to a vast number of prospects or customers, it will be a bad idea to send it through your email account, and it could get blacklisted. So, it i’s suggested that you use an emailing software available on the market, which is built after thorough research and implementation of whitelisting tactics.
Newsletters usually include a lot of information, which could be product news, product features, PR stories, blog posts, or even an upcoming event. Sometimes, including all information in a single newsletter could tantamount to dumping or information overload.
What you can do otherwise is you can reduce the randomness in your email newsletters and stick to a single topic that you want to get across. This helps to evaluate the newsletter and avoid overload your customers. You may freeze your goal while setting up the newsletter. If your goal is to increase the audience for the upcoming webinar, you might not want to add staff news. Instead, if you send a link to the registration form, it can increase attendance.
Decrease Promotional Factor
This might sound ironic because the whole intent of sending a newsletter is to promote your brand, but if that becomes too obvious, you may lose customer interest. HubSpot suggests that the newsletter content should be 90% educational and 10% promotional.
Here’s one of my experiences with newsletters. I recently subscribed to one of the content websites because I was interested in their published content and was hoping to see an email a week. But I began receiving more than 3 emails a week. Because of the overwhelming frequency, I had to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Had they sent an email every week on marketing content (which is the topic I was interested in), I would have stayed in.
Let newsletters be more informative – tell subscribers why certain materials are better, some popular styles, or a story about your brand. These give readers a reason to trust you and tell a story that brings more personality to your brand.
Set Expectations for your Subscribers
Like in my earlier example, I opted out because I was not prepared to receive 3 emails a week. If they had set my expectations in the first place, making me aware that I would receive 3 emails a week, I would have either opted in or would have chosen a single email option.
Please make sure you properly communicate to your customers while they are subscribing to the newsletter. Notify them of what kind of information will be included in the newsletter (or provide them alternatives to choose their topic of interest) and how often they should expect it. You can also list the topics from which a subscriber can choose topics of his interest. Based on this information, you can create various newsletters (based on interest) and send them accordingly. Customers with a strong attachment to a particular company spend 23% more than average consumers, and the newsletter is a prime solution to distinguish a brand from its competition.
Make it Easy for People to Unsubscribe
Though your aim is to maintain a long subscriber list, it must include an unsubscribe button. You don’t want to hide it behind an image with alt text. Besides, it’s good to have a clear unsubscribe process to know which customers in your subscriber list are interested in your brand. It also ensures you have a lower spam rate. However, if you complicate the unsubscribe process, you increase the chances of spam rate.
Let your readers go easily if they desire to (the bright side is they can always come back!) and make your unsubscribe link easy to find. Uninterested subscribers in the list will only cause delivery, open, and click-through rates to go down.
Test your Content
Newsletters allow online businesses to demonstrate authority and expertise amidst competition. You can test various aspects of your content, like, subject lines, calls-to-action, design, images, or even the content itself. Even if subscribers sign up, it does not guarantee that they will open your emails. The first thing they look at is the subject line. Try different subject lines and change your subject lines every week or month.
When it comes to CTAs, using multiple CTAs can confuse the readers and don’t allow them to perform the desired action. Instead, if you include a single CTA, which leads to that single action from customers you aim at, you can quickly achieve your target without many efforts. Encourage people to your desired action through a single CTA, which can be either signing up for an event or increasing your social network followers.
Keep your email copy concise and increase white space in the design. Concise copy gives subscribers a taste of your content – just enough that they want to click and learn more. It’s good to include alt texts regarding images because most of the customers may disable images in their emails.
Let us know what works for you in sending an email newsletter.