Email marketing is a unique opportunity to speak directly to your audience. This outreach can help build upon your relationship with your readers while further establishing your brand as an industry leader. The ultimate goal of email marketing is to close sales, but if you are just starting out, it can be hard to know where to start. Check out these 7 tips to help you get started with email marketing.
Email Marketing Versus Blogging
Email marketing or newsletters are part of a content marketing strategy. They are carefully crafted pieces of content designed to inform your audience about your products and services. The structure and goals are similar to blog posts, but there are some differences.
People who read your blog are interested in what you have to say. Blog posts are more general pieces of content but still targeted to reach and appeal to your audience. However, readers who sign up for your newsletter are much more serious about what you have to say. These individuals are likely existing customers or they are very close to making a purchase. Email marketing can be used to help convert sales with this established group of loyal and engaged users.
Email Marketing Tips
Throwing together a newsletter seems easy enough, and it sort of is easy. However, if you want your readers to open and engage with your newsletter and take action then you need to focus on the details. Here are those details.
1. Look Like a Pro
When it comes to sending newsletters you should consider using an email newsletter service. You could write a regular email and copy and paste all of your subscribers’ addresses into the BCC line, but the end result won’t look very professional and this could end up costing you subscribers. There are a variety of free and paid email newsletter options. Opting for a service enables you to use professional looking templates for a more serious appearance. Perhaps most importantly, a newsletter service will track analytics.
Constant Contact is an affordable newsletter service option that (at least at the time this was published) offers a free 60-day trial. ConvertKit offers a variety of automated services and content upgrades and in terms of price is a mid-level option. Drip makes easy work of targeting specific segments of your audience, enabling you to reach people at specific junctures in the sales journey. Drip also comes in as one of the more expensive options. There are a lot more services available. You need to balance the potential for growth against ease of use and what you can afford.
2. Start Strong
The first thing your recipients will notice about your newsletter is the subject line. Basically, everything that is so important about a headline in a blog post or article is true for the subject line of a newsletter. The subject line needs to lead strong by grabbing your reader’s attention and enticing them to open the email. The right subject line will be interesting and to the point since you have a limited character count.
Customize the Content
Some email marketing services make it possible to customize the subject line to include the recipient’s name or business name. For instance, instead of sending a newsletter with the subject line: Check Out Our Seasonal Sale, you can send the subject, Check Out Our Seasonal Sale, So-and-So. This personalized touch can help increase the odds of users opening the email. In order for this to work, you need to have a corresponding name or business name for each email. You can collect these specifics when users sign up for your newsletter.
3. Be Clear It’s You
Most readers immediately check to see who the message is from before opening an email. The email address that appears in the from line should be recognizable. If the sender is not clear or does not sound reputable, most people will not open the message. Make sure the from line clearly indicates the message is from you as an individual or better yet, your brand.
4. Get to the Point
A newsletter should quickly and effectively relay information. High-quality content will help achieve this purpose. Users should be able to easily read the email and understand what you are conveying. If users need to read the message again or if you go off on a tangent and stray from the info promised in the subject line, users may lose interest and bail.
The structure of the message can impact effectiveness. Use bullet points when possible, so readers can quickly scan and absorb the information. When writing in paragraphs aim to keep the length short. A great way to keep the length manageable, but still informative, is to include links to your site. This strategy provides information without going into too much detail while also driving traffic to your site.
5. Be Visual
Images, videos, and infographics pull people in and get them reading. A newsletter that is just text is boring. Your content can be amazing and witty and informative and provide everything your readers could possibly want and need, and they will very likely close your newsletter out before reaching the end and delete it if it’s just text.
Include photos and graphics, link a still image to a relevant video and include any other types of visuals that tie in and make sense. Imagery gives your readers a visual break and increases the odds of them sticking it out and getting to the end of the newsletter.
Mind your grammar and spelling. Mistakes happen, and everyone knows that. However, typos can impact meaning. Best case, a typo or grammar error just makes you look like a dope who rushed through the process and didn’t proofread. Worse case, an honest mistake changes the meaning of the text and leads to customer confusion or hard feelings or gets included in a roundup of funny typos in a Buzzfeed post, making your brand notorious for all the wrong reasons.
As soon as you put the finishing touches on your newsletter, it can be really tempting to hit send but wait. If you time your newsletter to land in your recipient’s inbox at specific times the odds of users opening your message increases. Lots of factors, like your demographic and the industry, influence the ideal time for an email to hit an inbox.
You can find lots of research about the best times to send an email or newsletter. Take this research into consideration, but give it some trial and error. Track when your newsletters are sent, the corresponding open rates and find what works best for your email marketing campaigns.
Let’s Make Your Email Marketing Happen
Email marketing is a way to provide more curated content to very specific members of your audience. This communication can further help to build rapport, establish your brand as an industry expert and close sales, or at least move customers further along the sales journey. These email marketing tips are a great start if you plan to add newsletters to your content marketing strategy. Check back for more email marketing tips to help elevate your efforts.
Do you have great ideas about the sort of things you would include in your newsletters, but you’re having trouble writing it all out? Or maybe you don’t have time to write your newsletters. I can help with that. Get in touch. We’ll go over your ideas, talk it all through and I can write your newsletters for you.