How to write newsletters for your success. They continue to work for your business when the rules are followed so will the customers.
Does anyone care anymore?
The answer is a big fat yes because consistent contact really is important. I do a weekly newsletter and most of my top customers are also following along.
In many businesses customer purchasing is irregular in time and may be weeks or months.
For example a set of tyres maybe every couple of years and a car service once a year.
A Physio appointment every six months and a hair cut every 6-8 weeks.
If your customer is bombarded with a competitor advertising in the time between sales they may be tempted to stray. The bright shiny offer often looks tempting and we may go for a change. That is a change you don't want.
What does a newsletter do?
This is an often misunderstood document whose sole purpose is to entertain and not to sell.
Many businesses confuse this option and play hard ball on the content. The businesses will soon notice opt out requests because the customer interest in your product is not top of mind.
The rule of touch is a marketing truth that states that someone will only buy after seeing your information at least 7 times. Newsletters are a great accompaniment to other marketing methods and complete the circle of trust.
My local Tyre service operates three stores and provides a monthly newsletter. Most of the clients are male and have an interest in cars. The newsletter provides interesting articles on things like tyre wear, old cars, fast cars and everything other than trying to put rubber on your wheels.
They know the buying cycle is long so they just need to stay in your face and as a destination of choice.
Another does Curtains and window treatments. Now we don't do this every day but we like to know what is trending, who is doing what and what looks great. In many cases this will invoke an upgrade urge probably more from the large female audience. They don't sell they market.
I do a weekly newsletter to a mixed small business client base that need my product but my job is convincing them. I write on new trends in business and what is generally happening. I mostly use a link to a website that has a more upfront selling structure.
A recent post was all about Parler a social media platform that is new to the market, My open rate was really high and the click rate was the best I have had.
Wanting some new sales I then tried a heavy pitch in my latest post, not taking my own advise I tried more hard hitting structure to see what I could solicit. The result was very ordinary with no clicks.
Always have a close in your media
I know your newsletter is not a selling tool however some readers may be ready to buy now. They need contact access and even an incentive to act. Including a badge that takes them to a selling page is always necessary.
Remember we are marketing, if not by stealth, so always have a close in mind and probably a small offer.
Content is critical to the reader
Marketing is all about content and directed at the reader. How you do that is critical to your analytics.
It must be of interest and aimed at answering a question or providing information which may intrigue them.
Your carrier will give you a full range of statistics, how many sent, opened and clicked as well as bounces and cancels.
Your aim is to get as many opens and clicks as you can and no bounces and just a few opt outs.
By the way Opt outs are not bad, they keep your list current and it is not personal. Their need may no longer be in what you promote so wave goodbye and move on.
How to write newsletters for your success using the important elements.
The most important element in email
What is the most important element in your e.Mail or newsletters. The answer is in fact you.
Do they know you and recognize the brand. I have prattled on about the Know, Like and Trust in marketing. The three elements that you must fulfill before the people will buy.
We like to deal with companies that we understand are legitimate and customer focused. That is one reason people like Apple, Nike, Google spend billions on marketing the brand. Everyone is happy walking into an Apple store, they deliver exactly what they promise every time. Not like walking into Dodgy Dan the mobile man where you cross your fingers when you leave.
Your brand can be just as recognized and trusted when they see it appear regularly in your communications. Repetition will build trust and include the realization that they like you. Then the buying experience will complete the trio.
That is one of the reasons that newsletters work so well, That is repetition of the brand and your abilities to obtain a front of mind presence in the customers mind.
What comes next in importance when emailing?
The answer is the subject line. The call to action, the simple words that jump out of the page and get attention. Writing headlines is an art that really takes some thinking to make sure someone reads your stuff.
I like to use about six words and less than fifty five characters as a basis for my approach.
Then the use of power words helps gather attention with a mix of emotion and a common approach. One approach is to use A/B testing to see which one work the best. Your readers will tell you what turns them on with an open rate that is high.
Nobody is perfect, and neither are open rates. Receiving a 100% open rate from an email campaign is virtually unheard of. That would mean that every single person you sent an email to clicked on it in their inbox. An open rate of 30% is, in practice, a top-tier score. Most people average 10-15% per campaign
Why is this so low? You are dealing with people that have different agendas to you and that is why Know and like are so important.
How to write newsletters for your success and the click through rate.
The click through rate?
This is the number of people that clicked through to another page. It is taken as a percentage of the opened mail not the sent mail as often thought.
200 sent 70 opened 7 clicked ( 10%)
To increase this rate the use of words in your link maybe helpful. Constant Contact says to use:
- Visit our website
- Order online
- Register by April 1st
- Request a copy
- Download our guide
This is content dependent so trial and error will help.
The use of pictures helps the readers take notice
A picture tells a thousand words however it also grabs the attention of the deficit readers. Some of us don't like detail and lots of words so a picture will bring our minds into focus.
This is a very effective way to grab some donations by appealing to the heart.
One I often use is the Read more tab. The email is but a summary of a long document that includes lots of buy now tabs.
You will note the use of a background to bring the picture forward and the writing is plain on a white sheet so it is easy to read. Constant Contact advise using no more than four colours for best effect.
Where to place your link
This really depends on the content and your preference. I started to say I like it high on the page however I think the reader should travel the article before making a decision. I have done it twice at times with no big difference in results. What is important is that the button is clear and tells the reader where they are going.
How to write newsletters for your success and the timing of sending.
The best time to email
There are many theories on this and I include a scribble below from Constant contact.
I like early mornings or late afternoon when readers want a bit of entertainment. It fact Friday afternoon would seem an ideal choice as they waste away a bit of time before bolting for the door.
Naturally industries will vary so by trial and error you will find a time to suit you.
Find the Best Time to Send an Email
The best time to send an email varies by demographic. Contacts in one industry can have different email behaviors than those in another, so getting your email in front of them when they're most likely to see it will help you improve your open rates. No matter what time you send, always set and maintain your contacts' expectations. Let them know how often you will be sending and stick to the schedule.Constant Contact
Set an expectation in your footer
Next week we will tell you how to get Constant Contact for free.
Our summer 30% specials start next week you need to check them out.
Naked pictures of our editor coming up. (joking)
This starts the thought process that they look forward to your next mail.
The share button
Most carriers will provide a share button for articles that may interest other people. This is great for increasing your exposure and gaining new subscribers. It is a must do button so check yours to make sure it is in the footer.
How to write newsletters for your success and avoid Spam.
How long should a newsletter be for best results?
Personally I like to keep them short however my tyre service mate writes about 1500 words
and that works for him. It is all about attention span and interest groups so you choose to suit your audience. One group that I follow is about car antiques and they write a long mail because the petrol heads want information.
I prefer to send them off to an article where I can include more sales activity with better links
Split your list for better results
My list is split into a dozen different categories starting with my actual base and then splitting into interest areas. If I am trying to flog a service I don't do it to my base and if I am upgrading the base I don't send it to the general group.
I then split everyone into industries so that I can present information more directly interesting to them. For example if I was selling window treatments and flooring they are completely different subjects that require a special approach, They may however all receive a general mail.
How to write newsletters for your success. Remember the Mobile devise.
The Mobile focus
This is becoming more important as the use of mobile phones chases the volume of the fixed computer.
I run a purely B-2-B newsletter however nearly a quarter of respondents read it on a mobile devise.
Your carrier should structure this for you however it is worth a check. Send a sample to both devises and particularly make sure your links work.
The spam complaint
When you get your email addresses from a good source and don't bend the rules the complaints will be few and far between. However you will get one occasionally.
I recently had a customer report me for spam. When i looked at his record he had been getting weekly mail from me for over twelve months and opened many of them. What can you do.
I also decided to change my carrier that you will be told is easy and you can do it at any time but be warned it is hard work.
I took a chunk of my customers and I trialed a monkey site. On the second email someone said it was Spam. The carrier immediately banned me without explanation and stopped my account. No correspondence entered into.
So I went to another carrier where I had had an account for many years and loaded a 100 or so emails that were old and working.
The answer was that I should provide the exact way and time I get the emails. A job that I could not accurately answer.
My association with Constant Contact has not delivered me a problem at anytime so I shall continue to hang around with them.
My newsletter example
My conclusion on Newsletters
I am an avid sender and firmly believe in the value behind a constant contract with your customer base. We wont get them all right however as we learn we will get better.
They are a great source of communications and several times I have used them for dispatching critical information on an impending situation. It could be a price increase, a power out or a change of header.
The main issue is consistency. They are not a hit or miss they are a constant document that is sent at a regular time.
How to write newsletters for your success by Peter Hanley