7 Tips for Getting more from Your Customer E-Newsletter
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: July 14, 2011, 11:42 am
- Updated: May 3, 2013, 2:09 pm
Despite the exponential growth of social media as a tool for staying in touch with your customers, permission-based marketing tools such as e-newsletters are still a critical part of any business owner’s marketing toolkit and a vital way for getting new content in front of your audience.
According to the latest data from the Direct Marketing Association*, opt-in email marketing lists managed in-house secure an average open rate of nearly 20%; a 6.64% click-through rate; a conversion rate of almost 2%; and an unsubscribe rate of 0.77%. And, of course the bigger your list, the better your results.
So take the time to invest in your e-newsletter and make it the best it can be. These seven tips can help you get more value from your e-newsletter, as well as more subscribers.
1. Invest in a Professionally Designed Template
Many commercially available email marketing software tools offer hundreds of templates, but it’s really worth making the small investment in a custom design. Not only will it make your newsletter stand out from the crowd, but you’ll also ensure it is consistent with your brand and projects a professional image.
2. Keep your Content Simple and Compelling
Email newsletters only have a finite amount of time to engage the reader – so keep your content simple and compelling.
Your readers don’t want to hear all your news and updates in one blast – spread the word over time and focus on one or two updates per newsletter. For example, you could include a breakdown of your customer’s current top five favorite products coupled with a time-bound special offer. Or even run with one item – like a customer survey, which requires time and engagement from the reader.
Don’t forget to make sure that each newsletter aligns with your marketing goals. Develop a calendar and pick and choose what content to include. For example, if you’ve got a sale coming up or a special customer event, don’t forget to mention it here. And remember to include a call to action that gives your readers a chance to respond.
3. Get More from your Subject Line
Your subject line is your last chance to create a first impression – use it wisely. Instead of using standard wording, like “April Newsletter”, focus on using teasers that relate to your e-mail content, for example “Our Customer Favorites are Back”, or “5 Tips for a Greener Lawn this Summer”.
4. Be Human
In an age of social media, audiences are growing more and more accustomed to being engaged directly in a “social” voice. This doesn’t mean you have to be overly chatty – but stay away from too much “marketing speak”. Talk about “us” and “you”, and avoid going on and on about your company mission, value proposition, and so on. If someone has subscribed to your newsletter, they have either already purchased from you or know enough about your business to be interested in updates.
5. Give Your e-Newsletter a Home on Your Website
Few companies do this, but a great way to generate more sign-ups for your e-newsletter is to dedicate a page on your website to your current and archived newsletters. This gives customers a sneak peek at what they can expect if they subscribe, and what they’re missing if they don’t.
It’s also a great way of keeping your website content fresh and updated -- search engines love new content. And remember to keep the URL simple so that you can use it in your marketing.
As you promote and manage your e-newsletter program don’t forget to observe CAN-SPAM laws.
6. Promote Your e-Newsletter
In addition to a landing page for your newsletter on your website, take the following steps to drive more subscriptions:
- Add a subscription button or banner on your website homepage that links to your current and archived e-newsletter web hub and sign-up page.
- Add social-share and other sharing options on your newsletter template such as “Forward to a Friend”
- Include a subscription link on your social media – Facebook page, blog, etc.
- Don’t forget your print collateral – if you don’t have a nice clean URL for your sign-up page, point your readers to your home page instead (where hopefully you have a sign-up button)!
7. Track your Progress
Don’t ignore the metrics when it comes to managing your email program. Track your open-rates, click through rates, and so on. Are there days of the week or times of day that are generating higher response rates? Are particular subject lines resonating? Adjust your schedule and content as needed based on what you are seeing.
- Small Business Marketing Guide – Tips and resources to make your small business marketing more effective.
- Small Business Email Marketing Guide
- Google / SBA - Tools for Online Success* - Google and the SBA have partnered to educate local businesses about how to succeed online. Each video describes how a small business owner successfully uses the internet to grow his or her business.
- Strategies for Growth Video Series - Marketing - These entrepreneurs listened to their customers and critics to learn how to better market their products and services. They use technology to reach new customers. Learn their secrets to increasing market share.
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government website.
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General small business tips and tricks.