Does your business currently have an email newsletter? If you answered NO, this is your sign to create one! Backed by a strong strategy, email marketing campaigns can deliver stable return on investment (ROI) as well as other benefits.
The importance of creating newsletters for your business is sometimes overlooked and seen as outdated. However newsletters continue to be a reliable form of promoting content and keep customers informed about everything that is happening in your business.
Newsletters shine light on better understanding your business and the services or products you have to offer. Through newsletters you reach more customers and potential customers while at the same time giving them more insight into your business and who you are.
What is a newsletter & what is its purpose?
A newsletter is a tool used by businesses as a way to share relevant as well as valuable information with their customers and or subscribers. With a newsletter you have direct access to the inbox of your audience. There you can share engaging content, promote any sales your business has going on and also help drive traffic to your website. Email campaigns are easy to measure, meaning you can track progress and make adjustments that in the end will lead to more success for your business.
Main purposes to having a newsletter for your business:
- Helps maintain regular contact with your customers
- Increases traffic to your website / Encourages people to visit
- Sends relevant content
Newsletters can also lead to endless growth for your business. Most people spend at least 2.5 hours on their email per week. So by sending out a weekly newsletter you can be part of the many hours they spend on their emails. Not only can newsletters lead to growth they are also a way to increase brand awareness. Newsletters make it possible for you to share everything you want customers to know about your business, gaining their trust every step of the way. Keep in mind that products or services are not the only things that matter to customers. They want a business that they can trust and believe in as well.
Although newsletters are great they do have their limitations. It is said that people usually only scan through newsletters for bits of information or news and most of the time do not read them and their entirety. While they are great at relaying general information or updates for a business, they are probably not the best move for very detailed information. Try to keep newsletters simple and to the point. Put as much information as you can while not making it too long and still keeping it fun to read.
Layout of a great newsletter: Design, Content and Value
All great newsletters will start with a great design. Without a great and responsive design the content of the newsletter will be nonexistent. When creating a newsletter you must make sure it is easy to navigate through and has clear calls to action that will have the reader checking out your website.
Some key elements of newsletters will include:
Headers– Like the front page of a magazine, your newsletter should be complete with a masthead, the title of a newspaper or magazine at the head of the front or editorial page, that reflects your business. As well as encourages the reader to continue reading
Logos- The color scheme that you use, should be related to your businesses logo in order to remind the reader who is responsible for the content in their inbox
Imagery– In relation to your business/brand your newsletter should include either photos or illustrations or both
Content layout- By using headers and subheadings you will make it easy for the reader to navigate through the newsletter. As well as get a better understanding of what is going on at a simple glance
Personalized content- If possible include elements of personalization, such as addressing each subscriber by name when you send out the newsletter
The content that you provide in your newsletter must be relevant to your audience and should also provide some type of value. Meaning that the content you send out to your subscribers needs to benefit them in some way. Which could be by keeping them up to date on all things happening within your business or giving them tips on specific topics relevant to them and your business.
Building a subscriber list
For every reader you add to your subscriber list, there is an opportunity to obtain a paying customer. After you have created the newsletter the next step is to come up with a strategy to gain subscribers.
A few helpful tips for gaining subscribers:
- Develop a gated landing page- Gated content is an awesome way to obtain new subscribers. Create a landing page that will give them a preview but to access the content in full they must share their email address
- Image based Calls to Action- By adding CTA’s that catch the eyes of your visitors you are encouraging them to sign up to be part of your email list
- Ask for email addresses at checkout- People who buy from you today are more likely to remain loyal and keep buying from you, despite upcoming businesses selling the same thing. At checkout have a place for them to put their email address as a way for you to send receipts and newsletters
- Covert social media followers- The followers you have on social media are more likely to be interested in signing up for your email list. They want to stay connected with you and your business. Every few weeks on all your social media platforms share the benefits of signing up for your weekly newsletter
- Host an event- Different workshops as well as networking events are great ways to build up your subscriber list. Offer people a freebie as a way of encouraging them to sign up
Are your newsletters working?
One of the best things about email marketing is that you can see whether they are functional in their job role with concrete data. To measure the success of your newsletter you must look at two different categories: KPIs and Email Performance …
- Open rate: This relates to the percentage of people who have opened your email. This is a key metric to show engagement. Having a low open rate means one of two things
1. It could be that your emails are not getting delivered to subscribers inboxes instead that are going to the spam/junk folders
2. The subject lines you are using are not interesting enough for people to open up the email
- Click to open rate: The percentage of people who clicked on the CTA (call to action) within the email. This will show the effectiveness of your newsletters content as well as CTA. To increase the click to open rate it is a good idea to make your CTA very clear and repeat it more than once
- List rate growth: The rate in which the total number of subscribers in your email list increases. This number is calculated after taking into account all the new subscribers as well as the people who have unsubscribed
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of people who have opted out of your email list. If you notice you have a high unsubscribe rate it generally means that your content is interesting enough to open up, but might not contain any value
How often should you send newsletters
The rate at which you send newsletters is ultimately up to you. However keep in mind that you do not want to annoy your subscribers with unnecessary newsletters. One of the purposes of sending newsletters is to keep them informed in all things happening within your business, it is not a daily chat. Weekly or monthly newsletters are the most common in terms of frequency. Both of those options provide you with ample time to get new and interesting content together for your subscribers while at the same time not bothering them too much. If you are not sure which option to choose, when readers sign up give them the option to pick either a weekly or a monthly subscription. By doing this you are allowing your audience to give input on what would suit them best and what they would be more interested in.
Although some may think having a newsletter is a thing of the past, it is most certainly still beneficial for your business. Sending out email newsletters makes for an excellent opportunity to communicate with your audience on a regular basis. It helps promote brand awareness and gives your subscribers something to look forward to. By having a newsletter you are also providing them with valuable and engaging information. Newsletters should attract the subscribers attention with eye catching subject lines as well as clean designs and images that align with your business. Keep track of how well your newsletter is doing with open rate and click open rate. If you see that you are having a high number of people who unsubscribe, try and add more value to what you are sending out. Remember how often you send them out to your subscribers is up to you, just make sure there is also new content within the newsletters.