Newsletters have emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience, foster engagement and drive audience growth.
Not just relevant for e-commerce business models, nearly all businesses can benefit from creating their own newsletter as part of their email marketing strategy. Successful newsletters aren’t just a weekly digest for the office junior to email clients with, however.
Here are a few tips to ensure your marketing emails help grow your business.
Personal communication via email marketing
Newsletters offer a direct line between businesses and their audience, which makes them a great way to build a personal connection.
By delivering curated content, updates and exclusive offers directly to subscribers’ inboxes, businesses can cultivate a sense of community and strengthen their relationship with their audience.
People buy from people
It often makes sense to have emails come from an individual rather than the business as a whole. Your overall marketing strategy will determine who the right person is – often the business founder or someone with a customer-facing role.
Having a sender name in an email inbox can make it emotionally harder to delete the email without opening it, which can help you achieve your business goals around open rates and click-throughs.
Audience growth and engagement
Newsletters serve as a platform to expand and nurture your audience. By consistently providing valuable content, businesses can attract new clients, retain existing ones and increase engagement through open rates, click-through rates and social sharing.
Consistency is vital if you want to help your newsletter subscribers to know, like and trust you. If your newsletter arrives every other Monday, over time it demonstrates reliability and stability: both are qualities that people look for when deciding to purchase from a business.
There’s nothing worse than a business beginning with a flurry of enthusiasm where newsletters land in a subscriber’s inbox twice a week, then dwindle to weekly, then monthly…
How to grow your contact list
A small email client list of people who value your content is better than a long list who don’t engage. You can grow your list in the right way via:
- Sign-up forms: encourage casual visitors who are already reading your website or blog to subscribe to your newsletter for similar content;
- Social media platforms: posting mobile-friendly ‘teaser content’ with links to the latest newsletter encourages potential customers to see if the content is useful to them before they hand over their email address.
Testing subject lines: Substack and beyond
Email platforms have gained popularity due to their user-friendly interface, marketing automation and simplicity in setting up and managing newsletters.
Email marketing software providers vary in what they offer for free and what you need to pay for, but some to check out include Substack, MailerLite, Mailchimp, ConvertKit and HubSpot.
Benefits of using them can include:
- Email segmentation: e.g. sending some content to your entire audience and some just to existing customers
- Drag and drop editor: making it simple to create an email using a template
- Email personalization: including the name of the recipient
- Email automation: email campaigns can be created in advance and then delivered at a date in the future.
- Test email: so you can see how it appears on both desktop and mobile devices
- Opt-out button: making it simple to unsubscribe.
Be aware, however, that some email service providers block template-based emails or those from an email platform that can spam users. Business email settings sometimes block images and headlines to avoid viruses, turning your carefully-curated newsletter into gobbledygook.
The perfect email subject line
Using an email platform can help you test different subject lines to see which resonates with your subscribers. Something humorous or intriguing is more likely to stand out in a full email inbox than “Newsletter 74”.
By sending one subject line to half of your audience and a different one to the other half, you can see which results in a higher open rate and use this style of subject line for future emails.
What makes a good newsletter
Good email newsletters are ones that people open! Here are a few options to improve your open rate:
- Use click-worthy subject lines: give readers a reason to open the email
- Include a discount code or early access to upcoming sales
- Relevant content: helpful content with a call to action for readers to take the next step to work with you or buy from you.
Consider where in the buyer’s journey your readers are and tailor the newsletter accordingly (perhaps including different types of educational content provided by your sales team depending on whether they’ve bought from you in the past).
Repurposing content: beyond the blog post
While newsletters have numerous benefits, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. A great example is younger audiences: they’re harder to reach by newsletter, mainly use a mobile device, and are more likely to respond to content on video.
Repurposing newsletter content created in your email campaigns for other marketing channels maximises your return on investment in the time spent on it.
Other ways to reuse email marketing content
Long-form content originally published in a newsletter works well for blogs as does ‘ how to’ information – in fact, using long-tail keywords such as questions with answers can be a good way to attract targeted traffic to your website.
Track newsletter performance and repurpose your most interesting content to create a welcome email for new subscribers: if you create a great first impression, they’re more likely to click on future emails from you.
You could even consider user-generated content collated from responses to your newsletters.
Email marketing campaigns are still relevant
Email newsletters are still a good way to connect with audiences and modern tools mean we can monitor analytics to see correlations between an email campaign, its click-through rate and customer purchase history.
Newsletters are a valuable tool for businesses seeking to build audience growth, engagement and brand loyalty. By using newsletters effectively, businesses can establish direct connections with their email subscribers, nurture relationships and reap the rewards of increased website traffic, conversions and long-term success.