The Value of Email Newsletter Campaigns
Email newsletters are most likely a portion of your communication strategy. Many clients of ours — and small businesses — view email newsletters as 1) a way to connect with committed customers who have already purchased products/services, 2) a way to reinforce their brand and educate prospective customers, and 3) an exercise in frustration. Email newsletters — whether you send them out daily, weekly, monthly, or sporadically — can be a very helpful way to remind people that you exist and want to continue doing business with interested parties. They can also be frustrating — frustrating for your staff to manage, and frustrating because of the feedback you receive from vocal and harried consumers who hate having their email inbox cluttered with soft and hard sells.
What are some best practices for email newsletter campaigns? Fortunately, email newsletters (should) go out with such regularity that it is possible to figure out what works and what does not. Here are a list of our suggestions:
- Send out email newsletters with regular frequency. We typically suggest once per week on an assigned day. Typically, we think Mondays are the worst. Everyone hates a full inbox on a Monday morning. They are not quite so disagreeable towards the middle-to-end of the week. A shotgun approach (twice a month, then six times a month, then not until after Christmas) just won’t work. Take the time to schedule, design, and write regular emails, if you plan on incorporating emails into your marketing/communications plan.
- Construct inspiring subject lines. Refrain from using the same subject line for every email. Use subject lines with punch and pizazz in order to get readers to actually open the email. The “from” field should always read your exact brand. For example, I get regular emails Bass Pro Shop. It always says the email is from “Bass Pro Shop,” so even if I never open the email, I am constantly thinking about “Bass Pro Shop.” I do read their emails, though, because the subject lines are fraught with the promise of a new piece of sporting goods equipment I can’t live without.
- Incentive-ize your opt-in. Don’t just ask people to sign up for your email newsletter. Create incentives and use enticing language to entice people to opt-in to your email list.
- Use best practices and behave ethically. Refrain from automatically signing people up for emails simply because they gave you their email for a contest — rather, send an email asking for a confirmation opt-in. Make sure to entice with interesting language and the promise of important information and pre-notification of sales.
Email newsletters can be very valuable in terms of brand awareness and customer commitment. However, utilizing best practices is also important if you want continued commitment and bolstered sales.