Creating Successful E-Newsletters
Successful E-Mail Newsletter
Creating Successful E-Newsletters
By: Steven Rich, MBA
Creating successful E-Newsletters is not difficult if you follow my suggestions.
I have been the Editor of a monthly E-Newsletter for the past 10 years. What began with less than 100 subscribers now boasts over 10,000 subscribers.
Consumers tend to buy from people and companies they trust. Building consistent trust by providing value and being a dependable source for solutions builds consumer trust. You can create trust with a well-planned, data-driven e-newsletter. You can strengthen your connection with your subscribers by regularly sharing valuable content that resonates with them.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, 68% of marketers say newsletters are the #1 e-mail marketing tool for achieving their business goals.
The Nielsen Norman Group reports that while only 10% of Facebook users choose to receive company updates while 90% choose to receive email newsletters.
Allow me to explain the fundamentals for creating a successful E-Newsletter:
Building the Foundation
E-Newsletters are a great way to promote your business without having to spend a lot of money and they can take less time by using innovations in automation and web cropping technologies making it even easier.
While it is easy to produce an E-Newsletter, how do you get people to read it? How will your newsletter stand out against your competitors? Consistent quality relevant content to your readers on a personal level to wherever they are located on any device they use will make them depend on your newsletter as a must-read.
Decide upon the type of content you will offer and the focus of your newsletter. Know your audience. Know the type of viewers you are trying to reaching. Your newsletter's content must align with the things your readers care about. Progressive polling is one method to gradually build a consumer profile of content preferences. Progressive polling allows marketers to collect consumer data over time.
Keep subscribers interested by offering relevant quality content. According to Experian, e-mails offering special deals result in up to 48% higher revenue than all other promotional e-mails.
Develop a plan for building and managing your subscriber list. Make your initial subscription page user-friendly and limit the sign-up process to only a few steps. Too many questions or too much time to subscribe will turn potential subscribers off. Promote your newsletter on social media platforms that link to your subscription page.
Creating your Newsletter
The first thing your E-Newsletter needs is a good reliable E-Mail Service Provider (ESP), which is user-friendly for easy streamlining content and its management. Investigate the different ESP options regarding pricing, user interfacing, available data reports, analytical tools, and e-mailing capacities. Make sure the one you pick offers a double opt-in process, which makes it easier to bypass spam filters.
Many ESP's provide pre-built templates for newsletters. Choose one that is mobile device friendly. According to Apsis, 46% report that if an E-Newsletter is not Smartphone friendly, they are less likely to buy from the sender.
Keep it fresh by constantly offering new information, latest trends, recent news stories, etc.
Optimizing for mobile devices: Create a worthwhile mobile experience with using a responsive design and device detection features.
Set the newsletter's maximum size to 550 – 650 pixels that web developers prefer. The template you choose to use from your ESP needs to be responsive meaning that it has importing HTML coding allowing the e-mail to adjust once it detects a mobile device. Device detection allows your e-mail to use the appropriate app from Google Play to iTunes or whatever device your subscriber uses with just a click. Less steps and one-click actions increases the chances a subscriber will follow through. According to Unbounce, 75% subscribers may delete a newsletter that is not mobile optimized and 30% will unsubscribe. Device detection makes your e-mail smart by adjusting to whatever mobile device your subscriber uses.
Geo-targeting allows your content tailored for every subscriber. You can target recipients on many levels like location, time zone, weather conditions, and personal preferences. Many consumers unsubscribe from e-mails because the content was not relevant for them. Geo-targeting assures relevance yielding better long-term retention rates because the recipients are satisfied with the content. Geo-targeting also enables you to send subscribers content based on where they are currently located rather than where they live. Geo-target to offer local area events or sales and the nearest locations to visit. According to Search Engine Land, nearly 70% subscribers will be happy to share location information if it results in a reward like coupons, convenience, or loyalty points. Balihoo reports that geo-targeting increases click-through rates from the usual 1.5% - 3% to 13%.
Scrutinize data from your email software or ESP on a regular basis to see where your subscribers come from, what computers or mobile devices they use, who opens the newsletter and who doesn't, etc. This will help you to keep your content relevant for your audience.
If you will be adding new content in your website or blog use web cropping to instantly add new content into your newsletter, which saves production time and resources. Once content is created on your blog or website and instantly used in your E-Newsletter.
Daily automation (or weekly, monthly) with an API as new deals are offered or events occurs to keep your subscribers interested. API (Application Program Interface) is a set of protocols, routines, and tools used to build software applications. API tells how software components interact with each other. Daily newsletters require timely relevant content as its core component. This is especially true for news, live inventory, or a scheduling interface. API integration allows your newsletter to be populated with breaking news and up-to-date offers. API delivers real time information and creates instant automated updates whether the viewer opens the e-newsletter the day it was sent or three weeks later.
Follow U.S. and Canadian laws (and other countries your subscribers reside) regarding Spam e-mailing. Your company's physical address must be clearly present. An unsubscribe option must be clearly visible and honored within 10 business days if not sooner.
An amazing successful newsletter will build trust and a loyal customer base. Doing an E-Newsletter well is critical as they should provide solutions and value with each issue and speaks to every subscriber on an individual level wherever they may be. Relevancy is important, as your story must matter to your subscribers. Follow these suggestions for a successful E-Newsletter for more subscribers, higher sales, and extra profits.
Steven Rich, MBA