Email marketing is critical to the success of your business. Emails are a great way to promote your brand, build a relationship with your prospects, and turn them into paying customers.
Email newsletters, in particular, are effective because they can help you deliver brand messages in many ways. Some email newsletters merely announce the launch of a product, while others aim to offer relevant tips. Others invite prospects and customers to company events.
Whichever the call to action, though, to reap benefits, you need to know what to do when running an email marketing campaign with the email newsletter taking centerstage. Here are six email newsletter tips for you to follow:
Table of Contents
Make a Strong Impression With a Welcome Email
A welcome email is the first thing you’ll send a potential customer after they subscribe to your mailing list through your opt-in page.
Therefore, it is an important opportunity for you to make the best possible impression.
An effective welcome email should have all these ten characteristics, according to Campaign Monitor:
- It’s timely.
- It has an engaging subject line.
- It has a greeting.
- It tells recipients what they should do next.
- It offers a gift.
- It asks subscribers to follow you on social.
- It asks recipients to add you to their contact list.
- It has an unsubscribe link.
- It urges recipients to refer a friend.
- It aims to find out what recipients want.
It sounds like a lot, but ultimately, the goal is to make your welcome email stand out. That means the main objective of a welcome email isn’t to make a sale. You should focus on creating brand awareness and, subsequently, reinforcing loyalty.
If you can build that trust, your subscribers will continuously be willing to receive your marketing emails and, ultimately, part with their money to avail of your products or services.
Check out this welcome email from Asana, a task management tool:
The email doesn’t attempt to sell. It just welcomes new customers to the Asana team. It also gives them tips on how to get started with the tool, something that new customers will definitely appreciate.
Segment Your Email List
Most of your target audience isn’t cut from the same cloth. The fact is, at a fundamental level, there will be differences that set some contacts in your mailing list apart from others. From product/lifestyle preferences to careers, interests, age, and gender, you name it.
These fundamental differences account for why you have to segment your audience.
Audience segmentation is a core tenet of email marketing after you are done with preparing the mailing list either via an email finder tool or a manual process. It is when you divide your mailing lists into aptly-labeled segments representing core similarities between the members in each. Segmentation allows your targeted communications to be more relevant, informative, and most importantly, relatable. Complement those with email marketing best practices, and you’re good to go!
So what, though, if your communications are more targeted? Well, that’s when you can expect results. Here’s a great illustration of that point:
According to Yieldify, there are four core types of audience segmentation: demographic, psychographic, geographic, and behavioral.
The demographic segmentation is the most straightforward way of delineating groups since it looks at factors such as age, income, level of education, among other things. Psychographic segmentation is based on the interests of the audience, their lifestyles, and hobbies. With geographic segmentation, on the other hand, you’d look at the physical location of customers. In behavioral segmentation, you’d look at the way customers behave–their purchasing habits, spending habits, among other things.
One type of segmentation might be more useful to you than the other.
For example, ecommerce brands swear by the effectiveness of behavioral segmentation for their niche. The data points–spending habits, browsing habits, brand interactions, brand loyalty, previous product experiences–it is said, are best suited to informing an ecommerce brand’s content marketing efforts.
Personalize the Content
After you’re done properly segmenting your email list, it’s time to personalize the content you’ll be sending to members of each segment. At this stage, you’re simply taking the insights you’d gleaned from segmenting your audience and applying them to your email newsletters.
Audience segmentation insights can inform things like content length, tone, voice, visual information (like pictures and videos), and referenced statistics (if any). This is when you seize the opportunity to let potential customers feel like you understand them at a profound level.
This is exactly what Webfit did.
After developing an extension for ecommerce platform Magento, it sent an update via email to only its subscribers who got in touch about them about that extension:
Rather than employing a one-size-fits-all approach, personalizing your email newsletters makes it harder for your communications to be ignored. People, nowadays, favor brands that can correctly identify and quantify their pain points with little effort – and personalized email newsletters are a great way to do that.
Take It Beyond the Hard Sell
Nowadays, people are used to communication media bombarding them with messaging centered around getting them to buy. In order to differentiate your brand, you must market yourself in such a way that goes beyond the immediate.
All of your emails don’t have to focus on selling your product. You can take the occasional break to share things like heartwarming testimonials, corporate social responsibility involvements, and nuggets of related knowledge. Either that or do the selling ever-so-subtly.
That’s exactly what Austin Kleon did using this email newsletter. The email newsletter starts by giving subscribers a list of good books to read:
After enumerating those ten long points, he gives subscribers the option to “support” the newsletter by buying a book. There’s his really subtle way of selling.
Even then, Austin Kleon doesn’t want to assume his subscribers will want to make a purchase after reading the email newsletter. So, he gives them yet another option: to forward the email to a friend instead–again a subtle way of marketing the Austin Kleon brand.
Make Your Content Easy to Share
Social media is something brands can no longer ignore. According to DataReportal, there are 4.2 billion social media users worldwide. Even if you reach only a portion of that figure, that’s still quite a lot of potential customers.
That’s why it’s important for you to take this into account when creating your email newsletters. You can do this by giving your subscribers the option to share the content. Include share-to-social buttons so your subscribers themselves can help you promote your brand.
Check out this email newsletter from Ben Collins. The share-to-social buttons are found at the end of the email. He doesn’t limit himself to one social media platform either. So his email subscribers can share the email newsletter not just on Facebook but on Twitter as well. They can even check out the email newsletter as it appears on his website by clicking the “copy link” icon and then searching for it on their website browser.
You’d be surprised at how effective including those buttons is. According to Marketing Sherpa, Smartbrief marketers found a whopping 25% increase in email newsletter engagement when the buttons were included. That’s not all. Visits from Twitter to the brand website increased 1680%, from LinkedIn 2070%, and from Facebook 1351% only a month after the brand included the social sharing buttons in their email newsletters!
But for the content to be shared, it needs to be shareable in the first place. According to Keap, here’s how to make your email newsletters shareable:
- Target a specific audience.
- Make your subscribers feel a connection with you.
- Tell a story from the subject to the CTA.
- Consider giveaways
The content itself is, of course, still king. Provide value to your subscribers, and you won’t have to force them to share your email newsletters on social media platforms in the first place.
Test and Improve
If you roll out an email strategy in a vacuum without testing it for inefficiencies and improving on them, your email marketing efforts will only be in vain. This is why you should see email marketing as a never-ending process of content creation, testing, and refinement.
Monitor which email newsletters perform better overall in terms of click-through rates, unsubscribes, among others. Take note of each element that performs better, too. For example, which subject line drives higher open rates? Which CTA leads to an increase in conversions?
The areas of improvement you’re going to identify aren’t always going to concern the email content itself. Things like delivery times and formatting also play a huge role in the effectiveness of email content.
A/B testing should be part and parcel of your email newsletter strategy. The idea is to determine which elements of the newsletter work and which don’t. So the next time you send one to your subscribers, you’ll see better results.
Email Newsletter Tips: The Bottomline
Email is still one of the most effective brand marketing channels available. People still access their inbox and read email content. You should capitalize on this fact to build a strong customer base.
Email newsletters can help you here. With email newsletters, you can get different brand messages across. You can give your subscribers updates about company partnerships, upcoming product launches, or even just give them relevant tips about how to use your product. Although a typical email newsletter aims to inform, the ultimate goal is really to build a deeper relationship with your subscribers so they can ultimately become paying customers.
For your email newsletters to be effective, though, you need to create them and run your campaign the right way. In this article, I gave you six tips. Make a strong impression with a welcome email and segment your audience. Personalize your content and take it beyond the hard sell, too. Don’t forget to make your content easy to share. Once done, test your email newsletters so you can improve them.
Follow these tips. Invest the time and the effort. You will surely get the best results. Good luck!