A lot of businesses seem to knock up an email newsletter and push it out to their entire mailing list without a great deal of thought going into the actual message.
From my experience, if you send the wrong message to the wrong audience then your email will be deleted in a flash and your time and effort will be wasted.
Here are my golden rules on ways to make your campaigns more effective:
Decide what kind of newsletter you want to send
A big problem is that many newsletters are often cluttered and unfocused because they’re trying to cover every aspect of your business. Decide on one common thread to hold it all together, perhaps a particular topic such as a new product line or changes to your industry that could impact upon your customers. Whatever you choose, aim reduce the randomness.
Balance your content
Make sure that your content is not just about your products or services all of the time. Focus on sending educational, timely and relevant information, for instance a garden centre may include seasonal advice on lawn care in time for the Spring, knowing that their audience will be thinking about preparing their lawns for the Summer. They may then offer discounts on lawn care products. Try to roughly aim for 80% educational and 20% promotional.
Don’t complicate the layout
Think of the front page as the headlines or content page, with good images and powerful headings that will entice the reader to find out more. For recipients to read more, provide a link to the relevant page on your website or you could use mailing software so that readers can link to a separate document. Using a specialist software is very good for analysing the activity so you can see how many delete, read, follow links etc. This allows you to make constant improvements to ensure that content is relevant for the majority of your mailing list. Ensure that you include an ‘unsubscribe’ option to avoid falling foul of the Data Protection Act.
Time your messages
How often would your customers want to hear from you? The last thing you want to do is annoy them but whatever the frequency, it’s vital to keep in regular touch, be it weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Be creative with your subject line
A subject line is the hook that makes people open your email. They must be clear and recipients should be able to see who the message is form at a glance.
Choose a clear call to action
If you want recipients to respond, then have a clear call to action. This could be clicking through to a blog post on your website, a special offer or a ‘forward to friend’ option. Whatever you choose ensure that it is highly visible and simple to do.
If you need help with your newsletters – digital or traditional then don’t hesitate to get in touch.