Create An Enewsletter That Your Subscriber Wants To Open!
We are all surrounded by digital marketing. From social media to ads on websites, it is every where! And one form of digital marketing is the enewsletter.
According to the Radicati Group, 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent every day. These are emails/enewsletters which you have signed up or are being sent to you because you gave permission for it to be sent to you.
When done well, the enewsletter can be a marketing bonus. And while not everyone is a supporter of the enewsletter and it’s benefits, it is definitely a marketing tool to be explored for your business.
Why Do You Need an eNewsletter?
One of the main reasons in today’s very crowded digital marketing space is that it is the one item you really have control over. With an enewsletter, you manage your distribution list. You choose when those newsletters go out. And you know it is going directly to your target audience.
With social media, you really don’t have a lot of control. With the constant changing algorithms, you are at the whim of Mark Zuckerberg and others as to who and when your posts are being seen. Which is okay. It is making us all work harder to have engaging content on our social media platforms. But it still takes away our ability to ensure that our message is being seen by our target audience.
At 365 Day Media Group, we manage a number of enewsletter accounts for our clients. Some have very small lists while others are quite large. But all have the same goal – to be opened and read by their target audience!
There are a number of marketing automation systems around. There are industry specific systems but for the most part, many of these systems are generic and can be adapted for use by any business (MailChimp, Constant Contact, MadMimi are just a few). We tend to use MailChimp for most of our clients as it is user friendly and is easy to manage lists (especially with the rules that started here in Canada and are now being imposed in the UK with the double opt-in and unsubscribe options).
Once you have researched and decided on the system you will use, the key is then to develop a great enewsletter. These are some of our rules for developing enewsletters that get opened and read so the readers respond to your calls to action!
Have a Captivating Subject Line
When people are receiving numerous emails in their inbox, what are you doing to make sure they open up yours? The subject line is key to your success! Come up with a different, creative, engaging subject lines for each newsletter you send. A good rule of thumb is 50 characters or fewer, and make sure the first few words are enticing! Your email subject line should reflect that you’re sending something that your subscriber wants. Start looking at the emails you receive and see what makes you want to open them.
Also, make sure that your subject line is not mis-leading. Do not bait people to open your enewsletter only to find that it has nothing to do with what you were teasing them with.
Make Sure Your Copy is Well-Written
There is nothing worse than reading a poorly written newsletter. Being well-written does not mean you are writing the perfect English school essay! Your writing needs to match the tone of your content. If you are writing content for accounting or law clients, then your content may be completely different in subject and style than that of a give-away for a fun event. But regardless, the writing needs to be free of grammar and spelling errors. So proof-read, and get someone else to read it with a keen eye too!
Leave Lots of White Space
When the term white space is used, it is meant that not every line and space is taken up with words and pictures. Make your layout clean. We think of it like a breath between content. So keep it clean and simple.
Have Clear Messaging
Before writing your enewsletter, take the time to map out what the messaging will be. Don’t feel you have to force a lot of content into an enewsletter to be worthy. You may just have something short and sweet to tell your clients. That is okay! Keep your tone similar throughout and always remember what your target audience is looking for. Putting a cat video in your enewsletter that has nothing to do with your messaging or brand is perhaps not the best place content. Unless of course it does fit with your message. Anything can work as long as it is part of your overall messaging!
Don’t be a Spammy Salesperson
Just like we talked about in our previous blog on social media, do not make your enewsletter all about the sale. The same rule applies where 80% of your enewsletter should be about engaging content, behind the scenes of your business, content about your industry, etc. Only 20% should be actual sales. The sale comes from the content being great in a well thought out enewsletter.
Make Sure There is a Call to Action
Not only do you need a call to action, but you need one that is clear to the reader. In systems like MailChimp, you can make buttons that read “Register Now” or “Watch Now” or any other type of call to action you would like. We recently sent out an enewsletter for a client that had a “Send us your inspirational quote” with a button that went to an auto-email address. Our client has seen great uptake on this call to action, and while it wasn’t a direct sale of the client’s product, it engaged people much more than just a regular “Buy now” button did.
Set the Style of Your eNewsletter
Very important through all your marketing is to be using your brand colours and fonts. The same holds true for your enewsletter. Make sure the style, the fonts, the content, the colours and more all relate to your overall business brand.
Remember that Visual Content Sells
You may choose to have an enewsletter that is more like an email with text and not a lot of images. But if you do decide to use a more traditional enewsletter format, make sure you have lots of high quality visuals that lead people to want to read more.
Learn How to Use the Mailing List Feature Correctly
Managing your mailing lists in systems like MailChimp are easy and there are some great tricks to keep them organized. They have some excellent tutorials on making segments and groups within your lists, which help when you want to send out your enewsletter to specific groups. For instance, for our event clients, we have the list segmented into current registered members, past members and people who just subscribed to the enewsletter. We can send out to all of them, or target an enewsletter to just those who have already registered, etc.
Figure out the Best Time for Sending
Deciding on when and how often to send your enewsletter really depends on your client base as well as what content you have available. Look at your analytics from any enewsletters you have sent and see when your best open rates were. But do decide on a regular schedule and try to stick to it. Get it to the point that your subscribers are looking forward to your enewsletter coming into their inbox. And know your market. Daily, weekly, monthly? It is what works best for your industry. You just don’t want to get to the point of annoying and thus people unsubscribe from your list!
Send Practice Emails
Test your enewsletters first before sending. Check for spelling, layout, does it open well on desktop and mobile, and most importantly, do all your links point to where they are supposed to!
Track your Clicks and Open Rates
Review your analytics with every enewsletter. See what grabbed your subscribers attention, who opened, when they opened, where they clicked through to, how many unsubscribed, etc. And then use these analytics when planning your next enewsletter.
In this digital world where the competition is extensive, you need to make sure you are sending campaigns that entice subscribers to engage with your brand. Doing so will keep them loyal and encouraged to buy your product or service. Following some of these rules should help you succeed!
This week’s blog was written by our CEO Tami Tate. A small business owner since 1998, she loves working with entrepreneurs, events and businesses of all sizes on their marketing.