Wait, no...just one really good reason, and 4 Tips on How to Get Started!
If you are responsible for sales or marketing efforts for your business, then you understand the need to communicate effectively and efficiently with both your customer base, and your prospects. With the onset of social media and the massive volume of emails that we all currently receive in our multiple email accounts, many are inclined to let email marketing go away. Who opens the emails anyway? Have you heard…
“I always delete email newsletters”
“I cannot stand it when I get on yet another email list - I just unsubscribe.”
“I have a fake email account that I use for all those registrations and lists”
The One Good Reason:
I have heard all of these comments and more from friends, peers, and clients. But here’s the thing, and it is a THING. Email newsletters, email marketing, works to drive sales leads. I know this is true. People DO open those emails and they DO respond.
We send out monthly newsletters to our own marketing clients and prospects and the response is great, and has generated new accounts for us. Take a look at this report for the 2018 stats on email opens by industry; numbers range from about 12-25%.
This might seem low at first glance, but when you think about the cost of sending emails (not much) and the fact that you can get your unique and/or timely message in front of 12-25% of your audience just by clicking send, it becomes a great option with the potential for a fantastic ROI.
So how do you create email newsletters in a way that has the best chance to work for your audience? Start with the basics…here are my top four tips on what to do, with links for extra help:
1) Create a list - or lists
You have a contact database - use it! Anyone who has signed up through your website, either with a registration form or an inquiry, is someone who has shown an interest in your product or service. They have opted in - this is a great audience with which to connect!
You can create one list, or depending on your target audiences, you may want to segment your list and send out different newsletters depending on your buyers. According to a 2017 report , recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. People are much more likely to open an email that interests or pertains to them than one that doesn't!
Why and how should you segment a list?
Start by creating buyer personas, these are fictional representations of your customers. Some businesses will have one, but others may have several. When you have determined your buyer personas, figure out what they would like to receive. What sort of information can you include that will be helpful and provide value?
As an example, one of our own target audiences are Realtors. We have a lot of experience building websites, creating content, and managing social media accounts for real estate professionals. We have created a newsletter that is focused on the real estate industry, with pertinent information and offers that we think would be helpful to Realtors and we send it out only to our current and potential real estate clients.
2) Choose a service provider
Constant Contact is another industry standard that is easy to use and performs well. If you have fewer than 2000 subscribers to start, then MailChimp is a lovely, user-friendly tool that has no fee attached until you reach 2,000 subscribers.
If you use a CRM like Hubspot you can easily create, segment, send, and track email newsletters within the platform, making it very easy to provide curated and valuable content to your target audiences.
3) Create a visually pleasing design
This is both easier than it sounds, and sometimes harder. It’s easier, because there are great templates already established in all of these tools, and you can just alter color schemes, add logos, and boom, you have a visually appealing newsletter.
It’s harder, because we all want to put our unique stamp on it. So, we can clutter up a visual without meaning to, and create something that has decent bones but turns out to be visually NOT engaging. Caution weary traveler; use color, font, and images carefully and with restraint.
Whatever your design, make sure it displays well and is easily readable on a mobile device! Reports from 2018 tell us that at least 50% of emails are opened using mobile devices.
*If you would like more ideas on how to increase the visual appeal of your content, we recommend PicMonkey and Canva to create visually appealing content for your newsletter and social media. Or take a look at this post from Hubspot with several examples of great newsletters.
4) Provide value
This is the most important piece. Give something in your newsletter. The way you begin to surf above the other email clutter is by providing something of value. What do you have to give? Here are a few possibilities:
- Insight and tips that you do not share anywhere else
- Links to private content that your users would appreciate (document templates, presentations, white papers, etc.)
- Invitations to free webinars
- Offers for services or products
The truth is, email newsletters and email marketing are more valuable than just the leads they generate. They create a way for you to consistently and respectfully reach out to your clients and prospects to share your latest news, and remind them that you are there and that you have something of value that they might be interested in.
Whether or not the newsletter generates a direct lead from your audience, it certainly can be a positive contributing factor that helps your audience understand your value and think of you when their need arises.
So, are you going to give it try? Do you have any questions on how to be successful?
Let us know!
Editor's note: Originally published in 2015, this blog has been edited and updated in November 2018