Sending Email Newsletters – points to consider…
How many emails do you get pinging into your inbox each week?
Which do you read, and which do you zap away?
What makes you decide?
Think about that for a minute if you will… If you are sending email news letters, have you identified why, and what ‘success’ will look like for you?
Here’s a few pointers…
What are your objectives from sending your newsletter?
- to maintain communication with your clients and prospects?
- to generate sales?
- to help build your brand?
- to promote special offers?
- to generate feedback?
Maybe it’s all of the above?
Ask yourself 3 key questions
- what am I selling?
- to whom and why now?
- what do I want my reader to do – what’s my call to action?
It’s all about permission You need to have permission to add someone to your data base to receive your newsletter. Meeting them over breakfast and having a chat doesn’t count! I normally follow up people I’ve met individually by email, forwarding my latest newsletter, and asking if I may include them on my marketing info emails which are normally fortnightly. I then invite those I want to keep in contact with to connect on LinkedIn. Don’t be too prescriptive of exactly when your email will be sent, or you may find you need to be seeking additional permission if you want to vary this. Your email must also have an unsubscribe option and you MUST adhere to requests to opt out.
My article on networking may be of interest to you…
Why should anyone sign up to receive your newsletter – what’s in it for them?
People love exclusivity, be the first to see something (several of the stores invite their data base to be the first to see their newest advert) have special status, be able to visit certain parts of your website for information, have special discounts etc. And you need to remind your readers every time you mail them that they are your exclusive readers etc, lest they should forget.
Planning: Have you completed your marketing calendar for the remainder of the year? I’ve got a ‘template’ here for you if it helps. Mark in important national days, important days for your industry, important days for your specific business and important days for you personally. Build content and timing around these dates.
Content: If you’re B2B get your team involved – give examples of great expert advice, events and case studies. And of course industry news. Remember you want to be the ‘ology’, but make it human as well. People ‘buy’ people and will read emails from those they know and trust.
– give some information about your business and offers; – some about industry news updates; – and some about you/family/something random and/or fun. Don’t just send a “broadcasting newsletter” about your business and its offerings…People will switch off and zap you away!
Use lots of links back to your website. Research shows that the more links the lower the unsubscribe rate and the higher the click through rate (CTR). Also a lot of people use their inbox as their archive box and it would be good if your email were so valued that it was kept. What can you do to make it so? Include reference and data info that people will want to keep and refer back to.
Style: Keep it friendly and professional
· review and cut unnecessary words
· write in the second person, ie you. Write as though you’re talking to your client/prospect and read it out aloud when proofing it
· vary sentence length and keep paragraphs short
· use ‘keep reading” words and phrases, such as “and, but, consider, however, for example, listen, it’s a fact, what’s more, “
· put your most important points at the beginning of paragraphs and lists
· can your copy answer the two questions “What’s in it for me” and “So What”? Have you highlighted the benefits over the features?
· list your examples in ‘threes’ – it gives a good movement
· less rather than more is a good maxim for copy length!
What order are emails read? Well, research shows: · From · Subject Line · Email header and Sub header · Linked Text · Bold Text · Bullets · The PS at the end
Which font to use? Sans-serif fonts such as Arial, Verdana and Helvetica are easier to read on line than serif. This email is in Verdana 10 point
Create a check list: Send your email to yourself before sending out and ask trusted colleagues to proof read for you; it’s so easy to miss something. Apart from typos, check also that all links are working. You want lots of links going back to your website.
Sending through your own email system or using an email provider? Personally I don’t see it makes a lot of sense to spend the time and effort in sending a newsletter if you don’t have a clue how many are opening it, who is reading it, which articles are being clicked through to, etc. etc. Why would you want to ‘broadcast’ to an unknown data base in the hope that someone somewhere will find something of interest? Really easy to use email providers. Ask me for a recommendation (and we both get a discount off next newsletter!)
Part 2, covering when to send, subject words to avoid, how often to send, open stats, what makes an email show as ‘read’ and lots more in the next edition…
Research is from several sources including a Hubspot webinar which used data from Mailchimp and focus groups.