Well the short answer is yes, absolutely! Email newsletters are one of the easiest marketing tools to use, however they can be one of the toughest to do correctly.
Let’s begin with a short definition so we are all on the same page regarding what we are talking about. An email newsletter is used to inform people who subscribe to it about announcements, new products & services and promotions (some promotions can be specific to newsletter subscribers only).
Email newsletters are very effective tools for keeping subscribers “in the know”, offering specific deals, promotions etc. and keeping your brand name fresh in people’s minds. I have had more than one client mention that they chose to work with me because I was persistent (in a good way!) and kept in touch with them until they were ready to pull the trigger on their project.
Here are some quick tips to help you navigate the world of email marketing more effectively.
- Choose a focus for your newsletter. For example, my fiance’ Sandy has a jewelry design business called Dancing Goddess Designs. Her newsletters typically focus on either a specific type of jewelry or specific sets for special occasions, holidays, seasons etc. Try to focus on one aspect of your business in each newsletter or, better yet, most email newsletter providers will let you segment your contacts into different subject specific lists so that you can target specific newsletters to specific audiences. Also, keep in mind that your newsletter content should be approximately 80-90% educational (to engage your audience) and 10-20% promotional (hard selling). People will get turned off quickly if all you do is send out emails trying to get people to buy things.
- Your subject lines are a valuable tool! Receiving an email with the subject line “Our Email Newsletter” is not really going to entice anyone to open it. On the other hand, a subject line that reads “5 Sure Fire Tips To Grow Your Social Media Audience” is a much more effective and immediate call to action. Don’t be afraid to keep your subject lines fresh and exciting and don’t fall into the trap of assuming people will open every email just because the subscribed to you.
- Prioritize your CTAs! (bet that got your attention!). A CTA is a “Call To Action” and it’s nothing more then asking your readers to do something specific: “Click Here Now!”, “Read Our Reviews”, “Purchase Today!” etc. Now odds are you are going to have multiple CTAs on any given newsletter, but you would do well to pick one of them and give it priority over the rest. Pick the CTA you want most people to act on and put it high up on the page, bold, colorful and attention getting. Make SURE everyone who opens that email sees it first! Sure they may see the other CTAs as well but you want to make sure as many people as possible act on the primary. This focuses people’s attention and keeps them from seeing a list of equally weighted CTAs which may turn them off by presenting too many at a time.
- Minimal is GOOD. Oh did it take me awhile to learn this! As a creative, I want things to be eye catching, colorful, over-the-top, FABULOUS!!! In the world of email newsletters however, restraint is king! Keep your designs simple but effective. Keep your content to blurbs and excerpts with external links to “read the full story” if necessary. People have to wade through mountains of emails every day and they are going to want their information to be presented in neat, digestible, easy to navigate chunks. Small portion enticement is far more effective than a full course meal WITH dessert! (how did I get off on a food tangent there??)
There are, of course, many other tips, tricks and strategies that can be leveraged when thinking about email newsletters. This however, is a great place to start.
As always, if you have any questions about what you’ve read in our blog posts, please feel free to contact us so we can discuss it with you and find out how Shadowbend Studios can be of service!
Skip & Sandy