E-mail marketing is growing in popularity for two main reasons: (1) business owners need affordable opportunities to market their products and services to prospective customers, and (2) prospective customers are more often surfing the Web to find the products and services they want and need. As more and more companies use e-newsletters, or e-zines, to market to their target audience, however, we find our Inboxes filled each morning and we have to sift through those that we want to read now, will read later or will simply delete. To make sure that your e-zine gets opened now and read, follow these newsletter success secrets:
- Keep it short and sweet. Whether you insert outside content or write your own, offer one or two main ideas with each issue. If you offer too much content, it is likely to be ignored.
- Add interesting tidbits, quotes or “how to” tips for the reader who skims.
- If you including lengthy articles in your newsletter, abbreviate them to one or two paragraphs and then link to the full article on your website. This not only keeps your newsletter brief, but it leads the reader to your website…where you can track the pages they visit.
- Tailor your newsletter to your readers by asking them for feedback. What do they like, dislike, want to read about, etc.? What topics are important to them? What problems do they have that you can help solve?
- Create an interactive newsletter that includes questions, polls, surveys or asks for specific feedback. By engaging the reader, you are more likely to turn him or her into a site visitor and possibly a client.
- Your last paragraph should include a call to action or an offer to initiate a call or an e-mail request.
- Brand your newsletter so that it matches your other marketing materials. Include your logo, company colors and perhaps your photo.
- Make it visually appealing. Include photos, clip art, charts, graphs or other visual elements that complement the content.
- Choose an e-mail newsletter service that allows you design flexibility that is easily readable by multiple e-mail programs (Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, etc.).
- Make subscribing to your newsletter easy…and free.
- Provide “jump to” links in the top of the newsletter so readers can go right to the article or idea that most interests them.
- Send your newsletter at regular intervals—weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly— rather than sporadically. This is the best way to ensure that readers (aka prospective clients) remember you and look forward to getting your e-zine.
- Use an e-mail newsletter service that automatically creates an archive for your newsletters. This creates a history for you, but also for website visitors who might want to read past issues.
- Choose an e-mail newsletter service (e.g., Constant Contact, Your Mailing List Provider) that tracks user statistics and tells you who opened your newsletter and which links they clicked on. You can use this information to tailor future newsletters to your readers.
If you're unsure about any of these elements, consider the e-mail newsletters that you enjoy reading. What do you like about them? What makes them stand out? Why are you reading them? Jot down some notes about the elements that impress you and consider borrowing those ideas for your next newsletter!
Copyright © 2008 by Dana E. Blozis. All rights reserved.