The Power of Email Newsletters
- 60-75% of new visitors to your website or blog will visit just once and never again.
- It requires an average of 7 points of contact before someone decides to purchase a product or service.
This puts you in tough spot, because 1) it takes repeated interactions to build enough trust for the person to buy from you, yet; 2) most will never return to your site a second time, let alone a seventh one.
On the other hand, everybody checks their email at least once a day. That doesn’t mean that they’ll read every email that you send them, but at least they’ll see it in their inbox. This is a great opportunity to deliver your best content directly to your audience in order to slowly build their trust and confidence.
Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways to leverage your email list. When done right, a newsletter can generate new leads, convert existing contacts, and increase traffic to your website or blog. Perhaps most importantly, it keeps the communication channel open.
Pick a goal for each newsletter you send out, and shape content around that specific goal. This is important for creating content that will achieve results that benefit both you and your readers.
Why Email Newsletters Are Worth Your Time
- Targeted marketing: Everyone who signs up for your email newsletter have given you permission to connect with them. You have immediate and direct access to your list anytime you want it. This is one of the most powerful realities about email marketing.
- Increased Website traffic: Use your newsletter to drive traffic to your website, blog or product promotions by including a snippet of text with a link to a web page where readers can get more information. In addition to teaser text, you can also include social media buttons, making your content easily sharable right from the newsletter.
- Cost Effective: Compared to traditional print marketing, email newsletters are more efficient and cost effective. Autoresponders like AWeber charge a nominal fee for their services, but it’s pennies compared to the thousands of dollars print media would cost.
- Easy to Analyze: It’s simple to determine what content is working and what isn’t. You can quickly see what customers are interested in, what topics get the most views, and which headlines and links convert to sales.
- High Response Rate: Because the people who signed up are already interested in what you offer, the response to your email newsletter will be high. You aren’t marketing to a stranger; your leads are already “pre-heated” to your message.
Using an Autoresponder
An autoresponder series is essential to making email marketing work for you. The basic principle is that you pre-write a series of emails, which are sent when specific action is taken.
Let’s say a user uses the opt-in form on your website to sign up. The autoresponder service will save their email (growing your email list), and automatically send a welcome email that lets them know when they can expect to hear from you, what information you’ll be sharing with them, and that you’re happy they’ve subscribed.
Then they’ll be in queue to receive each new email in the sequence that you’ve set up. This means that everybody on your list will be at a different point in your series on any given day. The beauty is that this provides a steady, constant stream of readers who are interacting with you and your brand at different times and in different ways.
Weekly emails in the most common frequency, but this can be adjusted according to the norms of your industry and the nature of your business specifically.
When formatting your newsletter, be frugal with colors and images. Indeed, one school of thought suggests that autoresponder emails should look like “real” emails sent between friends or colleagues. Perhaps just a bit of bold type here and there, and maybe some bullet points. But don’t crowd the page with a lot of distracting nonsense. Less is more. If it’s too slick, it will smack of an aggressive sales pitch.
Aim for content that is 90 percent educational or informational, and just 10 percent promotional.
Here are some tips for email newsletter best practices:
- Make your content scannable
- Put your most important information at the top of the newsletter
- Share industry news
- Introduce new products or services
- Share company news
- Provide tips, instructions or ideas about using your product
- Include Social Media buttons and links to your website
Try to keep each newsletter 300-400 words in length. If you have a lot to share, try increasing your newsletter frequency. Doing this means you can still share everything you want, but in smaller chunks.
Always include a call to action. Whether you want readers to purchase a product, read a blog post, or share your newsletter with their friends, let them know, and make it easy for them to do so by telling them exactly how to accomplish it and providing direct links. If they have to think about it, most will simply give up.
When you use newsletters wisely, they will be the most powerful tools in your marketing strategy.