It’s crucial to make sure your customers stay up to date with what’s going on at your company, and through an automated newsletter campaign, you can make sure they’re getting the information they want.
With email, we’re capable of filtering through hundreds in a single day. It’s easy to discern what it is we do and don’t want to read. So how can you increase the likelihood of your email newsletter making it through the filter? Follow these tips.
What makes an effective marketing email?
When it comes to marketing, the process becomes a bit more complicated. Email functions a lot like normal “snail” mail in this case. Though you may receive as many as 10 promotional materials in your mailbox in a single day, you’ll quickly move through them to find the ones that are most closely aligned with your interests.
The materials you actually look at compared to the overall number sent your way are usually much fewer. Just because you bought a dining set from a company a few months ago, it doesn’t mean you want to again.
An effective marketing email works the same way. Chances are, your clients are only going to open the ones they’re interested in. When it comes to offering certain deals, this general policy can apply across different forms of marketing materials. Ultimately, your customers want to learn about what’s most relevant to them.
The dangers of the generic newsletter
Most email newsletters simply don’t do the trick for customers. While your clients may be interested in the news you have to provide them, this may only be a select few stories in each email. This means that there could be a lot of wasted content, so much so that they avoid opening the email all together.
Entrepreneur Magazine recounts the story of Ray Tomlinson, who received the first email ever sent in 1971. Given how much email has changed the world, you would think this would be an important message – up there with the words of Neil Armstrong. However, this was simply not the case. The news source noted that Tomlinson doesn’t even remember what the first message ever sent was.
“They were entirely forgettable and I therefore deleted them,” he reportedly said.
This reveals one of the major flaws of a mass email newsletter. Unless it can grab an individual’s attention, the person will most likely delete it before even giving it a chance – even if there is information relevant included. The same logic applies to your normal mail – you immediately throw out the catalogs of least relevance to you, even if there might be a deal you would actually purchase.
Knowing your customer
While all your customers have done business with you, this may be one of the few commonalities they have between them. If you’re sending the same newsletter to each of your different clients, there may only be a select few articles in which they are interested. This means that potential content that could truly stick is being drowned out by the rest of the articles.
When you consider the vast amounts of clients that you email with your newsletter, this means that the success rate could be quite small, especially as you take on more customers. The key to a successful newsletter is being able to provide your clients with content that is relevant to them.
The ideal solution would be to know each of your individual customers. Business 2 Community explains that the consumers of today have grown accustom to some of the capabilities that have come about with Internet giants like Amazon and Netflix. These companies have been able to gain an advantage over their competition by offering recommendations to their customers based on their previous purchases or views.
These companies are able to successfully aggregate previous data from their customers, and use it to inform their recommendations. It seems easy – “if you liked this, try this” – but these algorithms are only the first part of the equation.
Leveraging marketing automation
These capabilities, known as marketing automation, are able to collect data about customers that can then be used to target qualify buyers. This can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to sending out a newsletter.
While it’s important to make sure that your email caters to the proper audience, it can be difficult to find the time, especially as your customer base expands. By using automation, you can track the viewing trends of your customers and cater the content in their newsletter to make sure that it resonates with their interest in your company.
Entrepreneur Magazine noted that many companies are seeing open rates on their newsletters as low as 5 percent. However, if you are able to leverage automation, you can make sure that the content in your newsletter reflects the interests of your customers.
Shaping your newsletter
As you collect information about your customers, take note of the trends that appear. Do they seem to be reading more of a certain kind of article than another? Are there certain stories that are not being read at all? Does the structure of a certain headline seem to bring more readers in?
These are all factors to consider when you’re devising an email newsletter. The next step is then restructuring the newsletter to reflect the trends you notice. Put the ones people seem to like closer to the top and link to the ones that are receiving less reads so as to invite your customers further into the newsletter.
Email newsletter automation is a process, meaning that your customers’ preferences will constantly change. This way you can make sure that you’re email marketing campaigns are meeting the desires of your clients.
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