There is a lot to be said for the Email marketing newsletter, and a lot of fables that surround its existence. Some quickly categorize the email newsletter as a tool that only reaches consumers who are already buying the product but this is not the case.
Once you have a great content writer and designer who can work up the copy, don’t pretend that it is blasting out to deaf ears. It is hard to pinpoint sometimes who is reading it and what response it is generating, but as long as you are covered in other areas like YouTube videos and social media, it can generally be a good idea to send out newsletters. Stores like Guitar Center and Musician’s Friend claim good response from the tool; and use it to attach special promotions as well. Here are quick pointers to keep a newsletter fresh and relevant.
Do not make unsubscribing difficult
Many designers are tempted to put unsubscribe buttons and info way at the bottom of the page; all this does is keep people on the list who don’t want to be. It is ok to lose a few casualties in the trenches of the marketing war, and yes, the folks you do lose sometimes come back. The number one reason is if your product or service is irrelevant at the moment, and then someone comes into their life that needs it. Definitely make unsubscribing as painless as possible.
Study and follow the laws
Depending on where you are, you may have to put “advertisement” in your title line, even though some of this has changed. The CAN-SPAM laws are the most widely known to research off the bat; it is a true nightmare to get your company blocked off of providers and blacklisted in other ways. It usually has to start with a customer making a lot of noise, but there definitely are risks involved. It is much better to do just a bit of research before hurriedly sending out your next batch, the laws can change frequently regarding the basics of “what you send and who you send it to”.
Gauging how well you are reaching out
There are some good metrics out there to measure exactly what happened on the last batch of emails or newsletters, and they can really pay off so you fine tune your craft. A service known as Campaign Monitor helps you sort out the response rates among other stats once you are done sending for the week or month. Some of the important things to track on an email campaign are:
Forwards: see if anyone sent your content to their friends
Actual conversion: those who followed through, went to your website or offering and somehow took you up on what you are selling or providing
Click rates: shows curiosity level aroused, the recipient opened the email and at least clicked a link, and have been steered in the right direction
Open rates: how many people opened the email and scanned quickly or read it
Tweaking the appearance of the letter
Many letters look very intimidating to create even for the best designer. They almost literally jump, dance and sing right on the page! There are colors and designs that are safe for certain kind of niches, but this is where you really need to have an extensive meeting with the team before you get started. If you look at a newsletter for a steakhouse, it is very robust, brown and red, and may have close-up photos of new meal offerings. If you are doing a clothing, crafts or boutique store you can achieve a kind of “sensible Sally” feel by just using circles and bright lollipop themed colors. Placement is key, however, and you really need to tweak the copy before it is ready.
Blue and black colors work well for dsl and cable tv themed offerings, as blue fonts are a good choice for technology and IT fields. Many newsletters are successful because a company that you would not picture being animated in the least creates a cartoon character and involves them in the newsletter/update emails. If really done right, this can generate a lot more curiosity clicks then just a hard copy with dull information.
Remember Domino’s Pizza’s “Avoid the Noid” character? There are many reincarnations of this type of lovable icon, and customers sometimes cannot resist their appeal. The things that can be done with newsletters now are so modern, so deep and enriched, that when you reach a customer’s smartphone with your email they will also tinker, scroll and click. That is exactly what your company wants, and with a little preparation, you can jazz up a newsletter to be anticipated, instead of: well, you know…. Put in a not so useful place.