Newsletters remain as one of the most effective and widely used methods of marketing and engaging current and potential customers. Like any marketing tool, email newsletters must be done well to be effective, otherwise the business is simply wasting its own time.
With the potential for tens to hundreds of emails coming in to most email inboxes every day, businesses must compete to get their message seen. Getting email recipients to open an email and actually read and interact with the content is vital—and can be tougher than it sounds.
Email communication should be like social media: engaging. If the message is centered on selling the business, people will disregard the message. Ensuring that recipients are engaged in your message can be done by presenting relevant content, targeting specific audiences and tying everything together with other online media.
A business could be the most capable, award-winning and professional, but loading emails with descriptions of how well the business performs will turn people off. Sure, if the business wins an award or some honor, that information should definitely be shared in an email newsletter. Constantly blasting self-indulgent emails, however, will send the wrong message. Rather than sending emails that are painfully self-focused, messages should be relevant to the recipient but also pertain to the sending company’s industry.
Ideas for relevant content include:
· Articles about industry topics or “how to” articles related to the industry
· Links to recent blog posts from the company (especially those that share valuable, industry-related information)
· Employee highlights
· Customer/client highlights
· Community events
Recipients, whether loyal customers or first-time browsers, want content that will benefit them. A clothing store, for example, could send emails announcing new products or remind customers of seasonal opportunities to save money. The same store could offer content about how to find the right fit of jeans or even accessory tips. This kind of content engages recipients and therefore increases the likelihood that they will open the email. They’re benefiting from what’s being sent out, but are also reminded that these benefits are being provided by a particular business.
To help with relevancy, it’s important for businesses to realize who exactly they’re trying to reach. If a business has a message that is very specific to an older, female demographic, it has no benefit for a teenage male. After receiving a dozen of these emails, the teenage male will be more likely to unsubscribe, delete or junk the company’s emails. This creates a negative view of the company in that person’s eyes and that’s never a good thing, especially in the social media age.
The magic about email communication is that it has the possibility to be targeted. Dividing email lists into particular groups helps messages always stay relevant. The teenage male will only receive emails when it would benefit him, and the same goes for the older female.
Communication is a two-way street. Email communication doesn’t allow for feedback since they are sent with expectations to never receive replies. Inviting recipients to join the conversation in other forms helps keep them engaged. Linking or calls-to-action help recipients know how to stay in touch with the business outside from the one-way email communications. Social media really helps tie everything—email, print, websites, etc.—together.
The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget and any medium. We help companies through the process of evaluating the effectiveness of their branding package. If the branding is no longer working, we can fix it!
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