Over half of consumers (61 percent) prefer brands to contact them through email. While their main purpose is to regularly touch base with subscribers, email newsletters have the capability to build brand awareness, engage customers and increase sales all in one.
Anyone can put together a newsletter, but it’s those that have rich content, compelling visuals, and a catchy subject line that will stand out in readers’ inboxes. This next piece in our “Must-Have Email Campaigns” series shows you the benefits of email newsletters, how to know whether your brand warrants a newsletter, and best practices for ensuring your newsletters bring continued value to subscribers.
What are the benefits of having a email newsletter?
Although ongoing and not necessarily a super-targeted campaign, a newsletter is a smart and simple way to maintain regular communication with your audience. Rather than tiring them with sales-focused messaging, a newsletter can become valuable to customers who want to be in the loop on product updates, stay educated on various topics related to your brand or even just entertained. When done right, they can turn subscribers into customers.
Newsletters benefit you by:
- Keeping your brand top of mind
- Building brand loyalty
- Providing share-worthy content that grows your audience
- Motivating customers to purchase
So how can you ensure your newsletters achieve these goals?
Tips for a proper email newsletter
Don’t force it
While newsletters can be useful for keeping potential customers engaged, they won’t serve you if they aren’t providing any value for subscribers. Before launching a newsletter, consider if you have sufficient content, both in volume and appeal, that lends itself to a regular newsletter. If you aren’t creating shareable content regularly enough to sustain a newsletter, don’t do it; subscribers will either become inactive or opt out of your email altogether.
Perhaps you have good content, but not in large quantities. Consider a less frequent newsletter, like quarterly rather than weekly or monthly. Just be sure to communicate that to subscribers so they aren’t anticipating to hear from you more often.
Target and personalize
A single newsletter isn’t enough to captivate your entire email audience. Develop multiple variations that appeal to different segments of your list, and let subscribers self-select which they want to receive. Personalize these newsletters even further with dynamic elements－images, offers, product recommendations, etc.－that change depending on a customer’s preferences, demographic information and other data you have on their activity. The more tailored you can make newsletter content to each individual recipient, the better engagement you’ll get.
When people first subscribe to your newsletter and start getting emails, they will build a set of expectations for what they are going to get from you. Don’t throw them off with something way off base; keep the look, tone, and goal of each newsletter similar to the one previous. Doing so is far easier when you start newsletters with an objective in mind. For instance, if your goal is to provide educational tips and tricks for your audience, each newsletter should contain content that helps to achieve that goal. When a recipient goes to open your next email, they know they are going to read something of value.
Be consistent in the timing as well; set a schedule and stick to it.
Provide exclusive offers
People who’ve subscribed to your newsletter have opted to stay in touch with you, and are likely more engaged with your brand than anyone else. They are also hoping to get something out of it. According to a survey from Adestra, 85 percent of consumers said they signed up for marketing emails in hopes of receiving a discount or promotion.
Sure, you may be providing helpful information, but reward them with discounts and promotions not available to the general public to encourage them to not only stay subscribed, but continue opening your emails.
Track, test, optimize
You won’t know right away what types of content will resonate most with your audience right away, which is why testing can be so advantageous. Try A/B testing different variables between two emails, such as subject lines, images, CTAs, and even tone of voice－but only test one variable at a time. From there, look for trends in open and click rates to determine what gets the most engagement. Make changes where appropriate and keep testing and optimizing.
By establishing a strategic newsletter approach, you’ll ensure your audience gets relevant messaging that gets them engaged and keeps them loyal brand followers.