Email newsletters and you. A true story.
By Matt Adams on August 8, 2012
So often we all get busy, and our once monthly newsletter goes the way of quarterly, then yearly. It’s okay. Admitting you have done this is the first step to recovery. No judgment from us, we have the same issues. But lets talk about why email newsletters are important, and how you can best manage your newsletters.
So why should you send an email to your customers / supporters / members?
In the world of social media, its easy to see email as outdated or obsolete. Email, especially HTML email, receives a bad rap in general, especially from web designers. For some, it has become a synonym for spam, thanks to the very real problem of mass unsolicited sending. Email done right, on the other hand, is a powerful tool that can produce real value for both the sender and recipient.
- Email is cost-effective. While there are costs involved in email marketing, such as copywriting and design, your production and delivery costs are significantly cheaper than that of direct mail. For the same amount, you can send out around a hundred emails for every direct mail letter.
- Email builds relationships. While email may not be the only method that helps connect you with your audience, it’s the least intrusive—enabling the recipient to respond at their leisure. A well thought-out email plan can create and strengthen customer loyalty.
- Email is active. Email marketing actively sends your message to interested people, rather than relying on them to find you each time.
- Email provides timely results. The time between distribution and delivery of
an email marketing campaign can be measured in minutes rather than days. This allows you to choose the time you deliver your messages with more precision, and also means results will become evident quickly after you start your campaign.
- Email is quick to produce. Once you’re set up to run email campaigns, you can easily launch a major marketing initiative to all your customers in a few hours. There’s no other direct marketing source that could be implemented in this sort of time period.
- Email accommodates hyperlinks. With just a click of the mouse, a customer can go from reading your marketing message to purchasing at your online checkout. This speedy one-step process is what marketing dreams are made of.
- Email provides detailed feedback. Email marketing allows for comprehensive feedback. You can measure how many of your emails were successfully delivered and opened, how many times your links were clicked on, and, importantly, how many sales you made. This also enables thorough campaign analysis.
- Email enables affordable segmentation and targeting. Email marketing is agile, allowing you to vary the content sent to customers on your distribution list. You can segment, that is, split your lists based on market segments such as geographic location, purchase history, gender, and age to send tailored messages, improving your conversion rate.
- Email plays well with others. Email works well when part of an integrated direct marketing campaign. While other methods can come across as disruptive or pushy, email is able to prepare your customers for a sales call—or as a followup to a face-to-face sale—without getting in a customer’s face.
So what should I send in my emails?
Email itself has limitless uses, and email marketing is more than just sending out an email with a special deal on a product.
As a basis for an ongoing relationships, there is nothing better than an email newsletter providing reliable, regularly delivered, quality information on relevant and interesting topics. By their very nature, newsletters are sent regularly. You will usually set a schedule to mail subscribers weekly, every two weeks, or monthly, enabling the company to regularly promote its news and events in a timely way.
Announcement emails are usually commissioned and produced on an ad hoc basis, when you have time-critical information to tell your subscribers. Maybe you have a limited-time offer that you want to promote. You might have been invited at the last minute to speak at a conference or industry event, and want to encourage clients to attend. A host of possibilities can spark the need to send an announcement email.
One-off announcement emails are usually short and contain just one call to action. Often, there’ll be minimal lead time for the announcement, so there’s a need to turn the job around quickly.
Although they sound like announcements, press releases are more public relations than sales. Companies from all industries prepare press releases around corporate and governance developments, product or service launches and upgrades, community contribution and involvement, and so on.
Sales and Sign-up Process Emails
If you sell products or services through a websites, you may need to prepare emails that support or augment the purchase process. If you accept any sort of user sign-up through a website—for a newsletter, for competitions, or even from visitors who want to register their interest in an activity—there’s the potential for you to add value.
So how do you send these great emails?
Easy. You find a great service to manage the lists, send the campaign, and track the results. Never send mass email communications out of outlook or your desktop email app. Its bad form, and is actually illegal. While the act isn’t, It is in fact Illegal to send a bulk message without offering a user the opportunity to “opt out”. This was part of the Can-Spam act in 2004. A proper email service will provide this tool.
What do we suggest?
Well we looooove www.emailbacon.com, and we can design a custom template to match your brand, which is key to the best email experience. There are other great tools out there, but none that we are really in love with here at factor1.