Should you kill your newsletter?
Email newsletters are the ‘modern’ version of those community newsletters you receive through the door every couple of months that sit on top of the pile of letters you will get round to reading one day. Wow, that doesn’t give an unbiased position on if you should keep your newsletter or not.
Honestly, cards on the table, newsletters are good, in fact they are great. However, it is a little more complicated than just good and bad. We want to give you some reasons why a newsletter is good for your business and how you can use them to your advantage.
At the end of this article you will have a pretty good idea of how you should use your newsletter… and if it’s right for your business.
We are big statistics fans so we wanted to start with some stats that support the argument for having a newsletter.
You are 6x more likely to get a click-through to your website from an email campaign than you are from a tweet. (source)
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. (source)
81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email. (source)
Email marketing has an return of investment of 3800%. (source)
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in return of investment. (source)
All of these statistics read pretty positively. A good return of investment, high performance and strong customer engagement. Email newsletters, statistically, have a strong place in your marketing plan.
Here is another little statistic that we think you will like, 9 out of 10 adults go online to check emails more that they shop online according to a Pew Research Study.
Given this knowledge it is safe to assume that sending out email newsletters are a good way to get in front of your customers.
Before we get any further we just want to point out we are talking about email newsletters, not email marketing! There is a difference here, subtle, maybe but important. Email marketing includes things like drip emails and sales funnels, something we will maybe talk about in the future.
Email newsletters serve the purpose of:
- Reinforce company story and reputation.
- Building a relationship with your readers.
- Increase knowledge and visibility of company products and services.
- Informing people about company updates and industry news.
So we have established what a newsletter is and backed it up with some statistics to show that it is still relevant in today’s social media obsessed world.
Email newsletters are only of value if they are of value to your reader. This is an important point to keep in mind. If you think about the person who is reading your newsletter and think to yourself… how did this person end up receiving this?
The likely answers are:
- You met them personally and added them to your mailing list.
- They bought something on your website and handed over their email address to receive correspondence.
- They were genuinely interested in your business and wanted to be kept in the loop.
The first two groups of people may not be happy to receive your news but you still have the opportunity to keep them. The second group, well they are fans, they are the same as people who liked your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. They are genuinely interested and probably signed up voluntarily. Both these groups are possible future customers, they, regardless of how they got on your newsletter list don’t want to read spam or receive tons of emails that don’t have interesting content.
People at their core want to care, they don’t want to hate something they receive so the most important point of this article is DON’T DISAPPOINT.
To say that email newsletters are like little presents is probably overreaching but everyone knows how it feels when you get a thoughtless gift at Christmas, thoughtless emails give the same feeling.
Simply put, think about the value you are providing when you are sending out a newsletter and set yourself a standard that you will work towards producing.
Now that we have gone through the value a newsletter can have to your business and your customers it’s time to look at how to actually create a good one.
Anyone who emails on a regular basis or has an inbox filled to the brim knows how important the subject line is. If it doesn’t catch you attention they you’re probably going to prioritise other emails or just send it to trash. Make sure it isn’t bland, confusing or irrelevant. Sadly there is no formula we can provide you for this. It is very much trial and error, when you send out your newsletters see which have the most open rate and reformulate successful subject lines in the future. Just make sure that you are writing something that is relevant to the content contained, and, if you can, make it funny (that always helps).
Content + Audience
Chances are you are using content that has been produced elsewhere, blogs, case studies etc. If you are going to use them then make sure the content is good. This is fairly obvious again but as we all know, not all newsletters are created equal. The content should greatly be determined by the audience that you are sending it to. Take your list of subscribers and separate them into lists groups, tailoring the content to them. This will increase click through and keep unsubscribes down. When you think about it this makes sense. If you are a energy company sending your main customer base newsletters talking about profit and loss information better given to shareholders then you will probably lose people.
Avoid overwriting content, newsletters are better as easily digestible with the option to click through to larger articles, don’t present anyone with a wall of text upon opening.
Identifying your key outcome will help you better understand the success of an email newsletter. If you want people to visit a certain part of your website make sure that it is a clear call to action with an interesting reason provided. If you want more followers make sure your social media links are clear, graphical and the obvious action for your reader to take.
Graphics, images, videos! Use them!
Like we mentioned before, wall of text bad, pretty images good. People are visual creatures so make sure that you are capturing their attention with visual content that keeps them interested.
Making your newsletter mobile is an absolute must! Again with the statistics (told you we liked them)
About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. (source)
Though the number of new Internet users is growing at less than 10% per year, the number of new smartphone subscribers is growing at a 20%+ rate. (source)
One out of every three clicks within an email occurs on a mobile device. (source)
Mobile readers who open an email a second time from a computer are 65% more likely to click through. (source)
Newsletters are still relevant in 2017, thats for sure. With the age of social firmly upon us you need to remember that any time you have with your customer is important and to make that content relevant. If you master this, respect your customer you will be in for a winner.
We want to leave you with some questions you should be able to answer to create a successful newsletter.
Why did your customer come to your website in the first place?
What is their biggest problem?
What are their fears and can you help solve them? How can you or your business help solve their problems?
What sort of content interests your audience?
We hope that you enjoyed reading about how beneficial email newsletters can be to your business. If you would like more information please get in touch with us with the contact info below. If you would like more tips like this sign up to our newsletter and get it right to your inbox!