7 Easy Steps to E-Newsletters
by Lindsey Weinig
Strengthen your customer retention and conversion rates through the use of E-newsletters. Get started today with these strategic tips for a year of
1. Scheduling Shmeduling
First, consider your audience and their schedule. Based off of the information you know about them, you can determine the dates to avoid, including national holidays, common vacation times and industry-related events. When your contacts are out of the office and their inbox gets packed full, the likelihood of them opening your email is greatly decreased. For example, if you are sending to government employees or financial professionals, you should avoid holidays they have off, (even if you do not), such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Then re-evaluate this schedule to consider when you might get their attention and therefore center promotions and other events around those motivating dates or seasons. You don’t have to set anything in stone just yet, but get an idea of how many promotions or events you will want to have and space them out as needed. Some of these could include: Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Spring Cleaning, Graduation, and will depend on your offering and industry. Print out our free Email Schedule PDF >
Add dates and seasons that apply to your audience to your calendar. Then make it a habit to review your calendar for your audience’s potential conflicts and motivators when sending out your email campaigns.
2. Squeaky Clean
We take pride in increasing our subscribership and keeping our database free of errors, dormant contacts, or any non-permission based email addresses. Any contacts you have not been in touch with in the last year should be omitted from future sends. If they can’t remember you they probably will not open your email and could even mismark your message as spam. To avoid this, it’s important to stay consistent with your communications and maintain the trust and expectations of your audience. The cleaner your database, the better your open and click rates will become over time as a result of your increasingly trusting audience.
3. Dress to Impress
As you may have noticed, we’ve been vamping up our newsletter design over the last couple issues and we suggest you do the same. Create a design for your templates that you can be proud of. If you’re new to email, utilize our Basic Editor to create a simple and easy to edit template that defines your business. If you have HTML experience or a template to import and edit, then learn more about the power and flexibility of our Advanced Editor.
Some of you might not have time to build your template, if so, consider our creative service division, Bright Peak. They will give a fresh face to your communications. Custom templates start at just $99 for a basic template. Once it is finished, you can access it in our editor to edit for repeat future use (perfect for newsletters).
4. But Why?
Considering your audience is a big deal. Why should they open your email? Give them a good reason! Use your subject line and a consistent ‘from’ address to convince them that it’s worthwhile to open. Then continue to impress with your header and headlines as well as the actual content. Make sure your content is accurate, timely and relevant to your audience. Even if you get their attention on every aspect except actual content of your email, they are not likely to open your next send if you didn’t deliver on the promises you made. Content Tips >
5. Define ‘Better’
As you read earlier, goals can be as simple as consistently sending out your newsletter, (like us), but you should include some metrics to benchmark as well. If you have data from a previous related email send, start there. Then shoot for improvement, perhaps a 10% increase in list size, 5% open rate increase, and 3% click rate increase. If you don’t have data to start from, simply create goals a little above average. The average newsletter open rate generally stays around 20% (but will depend greatly on your following and industry), so shoot for 25% and revisit your goals as the year progresses.
6. Learn What Doesn’t Work
Everyone can say they are successful with their e-marketing campaign simply by sending it, however what have you learned from that? Split your send into two groups and use your open and click reports to determine what your audience responds to best. Test different subject lines, template design layouts, text vs. image link ratios, and more! Create non-biased groups and test, test, test. Your contacts will thank you in the form of higher open rates and higher conversions. Learn more about A/B Split testing>
7. You Might Want to Stretch First
While plans are important, you can’t predict what will happen in the months to come, therefore you must be willing and able to bend. You will need to be flexible to your target market and the curve balls you will surely be thrown along the way. Don’t duck and cover when things get complicated, just stay tuned to your audience and your goals and do your best to keep on keeping on.
Your email might not always go out on the date you intended, or have the data you had hoped to research, but if you give yourself some flexibility and make e-marketing a priority for your business, you will see improvement in the upcoming year.