Keeping your customers up to speed with email newsletters is an excellent way of keeping your business in your customers’ minds. If they have a regular prompt from you they are more likely to buy from you. You can even sweeten the deal by informing them of offers or incentives that are available to them.
However there are a number of important rules to running an effective email newsletter campaign and these are as follows:
- Don’t Start If You Can’t Finish!
The most important question you need to ask yourself is ‘do you actually have the time to run a newsletter campaign’? If your time is limited then you need to reduce the frequency of newsletters to once every two or 3 months rather than monthly. However, you shouldn’t even begin an email newsletter program if you can’t guarantee that you’ll stick to your schedule.
- Content Is King!
In most cases, the reason why newsletter campaigns fail is because of a lack of content. So before you begin, plan out at least 6 months worth of editorial content. If it’s applicable, try to make the content seasonal, which makes it fresh.
- Inform, Inform, Inform!
In business we are all programmed to sell, sell, sell; but when it comes to email newsletters you need to follow the 80:20 rule. 80% of the content should be informational and only a maximum of 20% should be sales based (offers, etc). If your newsletter is perceived as a hard-sell, your recipients will quickly get bored and ignore your emails or unsubscribe.
- It’s All About Who You Know!
There is a temptation to buy email address lists or provide your email to companies that will send out your content to their list of subscribers. This will definitely get your email to a lot of people, but is it worthwhile? How many times have you bought something via an unsolicited email? In 95% of the cases people won’t buy from a company they have never heard of and more to the point, you risk ending up in their spam list!Where you do decide to email and unknown list, make the first email purely informational and invite the reader to join your address list.For your regular list of recipients it is a good idea to remind them why they are receiving the email, i.e. “You are receiving this email because you signed up for our Marketing Update Newsletter at www.thedggroup.eu”
- Follow The Rules!
There are specific legal requirements for sending email newsletters and the main one is that you MUST allow people to unsubscribe. The mechanism for this can be automated or completely manual, but you must include information at the end of the email telling the reader how they can unsubscribe if they wish.
- Gauging Success!
You cannot expect to achieve a massive response, in percentage terms, from an email newsletter. You should be happy if you see a 1% response rate; very happy to get 2% – 3% and anything above that is outstanding. This means that volume is paramount. If you send out 100 emails a month then you can expect anything from 1 to 5 enquiries. So send out 1,000 emails and you’ll receive 10 to 50 enquiries.The other important factor, which will tell you if you have your content balance right is the unsubscribe rate. Typically you will see unsubscribe rates of between 0.2% and 0.75%. If your content is too sales heavy or you are not sticking to your schedule then your unsubscribe rate can increase to 5%!
- Refresh your list!
Because you will constantly lose recipients because they unsubscribe, you need to make sure you are adding new addresses to your list all the time. Make sure that you have a subscribe option of your homepage, ask people to subscribe in-store if applicable. Basically take every opportunity to get them to subscribe.
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