In this article, we'll show you not only how to create your own email newsletter, but also how to build a subscriber base, what to write on a mailing list, and how to not to end up in spam folders. Email newsletters are a versatile marketing tool: they can be used to sell FMCG products and complex high-value services, in an online store and on an information site.
Creating an email newsletter is helpful for any kind of business, but it will be effective only if you know the needs of your target audience well and prepare interesting and necessary content.
What business challenges does an email newsletter solve?
1. Direct sales - people subscribe to the newsletter when they are going to buy a product or service, but cannot do it straight away (they doubt their choice, they do not have enough money or time, etc.). Emails should remove possible objections, answer the subscriber's questions and lead them to the purchase.
2. Reminders and repeat sales - setting up email campaigns to customers who have already made purchases. For example, an online contact lens store will send a reminder to replace your monthly lenses 25 days after purchase.
3. Attention to buyers - emails can educate and entertain the subscriber. You can congratulate him on his birthday or tell about the improvement of a product of his interest. This increases customer loyalty.
4. Feedback - send the customer a questionnaire after the purchase to get feedback on your work and products.
Today, there are many email builders that have made it easy to create newsletters and manage mailing lists by taking over the technical part.
It's easy to adjust an email campaign for your company, and the result can be evaluated immediately after sending.
What do you need to create a newsletter
The list is not so long. You just need to follow these steps:
Collect a subscriber database - through the website, social networks and other sources.
Write engaging content for your email - you can do it yourself or hire a copywriter and editor.
Create an email - you can create beautiful newsletters with widely-available email builders. Such applications store many ready-made templates, including the ones for the mobile devices.
Register an account with an email marketing service - if you have up to 2000 addresses, you can use Mailchimp or other free services.
Email examples for inspiration
There is probably no business that doesn’t need email newsletters. It is important to know and strictly follow your strategy, choose the right content and work with the audience. Web version of the email can be look like that:
Several tips for getting started with email marketing
You can gather subscribers from both online and offline sources. For example, you can invite customers by giving them business cards with an email at the store or point of sale, warning them that they are going to receive newsletters.
How to collect subscribers online:
Make a simple subscription form on the home page of your site. Next to the form, describe briefly what the people will receive in case of subscription.
Use the pop-up or sign-up form located at the bottom of each page.
If e-mail newsletter is an important part of your product or the product itself, create a separate page for that matter on your website. Give your customers all information regarding the letters and put up a subscription form.
Use ready-made lists of warm leads. There are quite a few companies that professionally collect data. However, it is worth noting that such databases can be of different quality and online data brokers rarely care about their reputation. Regarding the companies that care and maintain & clean up their lists, only the one pops up in my memory - US Marketing Management, which conducts its business honestly by verifying and validating every lead.
This method is suitable for brands that want to learn a lot about the user at the subscription stage. For the sake of that, you can place a subscriber questionnaire on the page and justify why it needs to be filled out. It is important to send personalized emails.
How to get people to subscribe
You need to create such emails, that subscribers will be eager to share among their friends and colleagues.
Explain all the benefits customers will receive by signing up to your newsletter. Employ the promotional codes strategy. Good bonuses can attract new users, especially if your promotional program works on the "tell your friends about us and get a discount" principle.
Set up Facebook and Instagram ads. Such banners work faster, because they pull up all the information from the user profile on the network. You can even set up an integration with Mailchimp and data about new subscribers will go directly to the database.
How to create an email with a good open rate?
Think about the sender's name and address to put it up in the subject line and preheader. These are the first things that the subscriber pays attention to in the email. Looking on these parameters, he will decide whether to open the letter or not. Here’s a few tips on that matter:
Send newsletters from email addresses on your domain on behalf of a company or an individual employee. Usually, this is a requirement of any email marketing service since it increases the credibility of messages. An incomprehensible sender name scares away the subscriber, even if the letter is interesting.
Intrigue the subscribers in the heading of the message by briefly revealing what is waiting for them in the email. Don't promise something that isn't in the letter. Also, emojis work well for grabbing attention if it suits your brand and idea of the message.
Use the preheader - the subheading that the recipient can see without opening the email. The preheader is often neglected, missing out on an additional opportunity to convince the addressee to open the message.
Evaluating the effectiveness of email marketing campaign
It is customary to divide email efficiency metrics into internal (percentage of openings, number of visits to the site, etc.) and external (actions - for example, the number of purchases from an email).
Internal metrics of email campaigns reflect:
1. Subscribers engagement (open rate and click-through rates)
The higher your email open rate is, the more loyal your readers are. The higher the click-through rate, the better you managed to make your email interesting.
If the email was opened and there were almost no clicks on the links, analyze why you managed to attract attention with the subject line, but failed to keep that interest.
2. Retention of subscribers (subscriber churn, frequency of interactions)
An increase in the number of unsubscribes indicates that people aren't satisfied with something they see in their emails. You should study all the possible reasons for unsubscribing by correctly configuring the corresponding form.
The frequency of the recipient's interactions with the emails allows you to understand how interesting and useful your newsletter is.
3. Quality of email distribution / deliverability (percentage of delivery errors, spam complaints)
Delivery errors occur if there are any problems - the email is overloaded, it is too large or the address no longer exists. This happens if your database was collected a long time ago. It can be anything from quitting the job or changing the email address to the closure of the entire company.
It is better to remove recipients, who don’t receive letters because of errors, from the distribution list if you want to receive objective statistics of newsletters.
It is useful to see the dynamics of complaints about emails and the reasons why subscribers mark them as spam.
Example. Users may label emails as spam because they are tired of how often they receive them. In this case, you need to add such users to the less intense mailing lists.
Here is some additional questions for you to ask yourself before setting up a campaign:
1. Where to focus - on a mobile or desktop platform?
2. Which services are popular among my subscribers and which are not? The predominance of Gmail suggests that you need to focus on this service.
Based on internal metrics and their dynamics, you can understand what to improve within your email marketing: clean up the subscriber base, work on the relevance of the content or the sender's reputation, adjust the regularity of letters, etc.
The Mailchimp Mailing Report shows how your opening rates compare to your industry average.
How do you know whether your internal metrics are good?
Every year Mailchimp publishes a study of the email campaigns results in their blog. Basically, these data are very approximate, since not only letters are analyzed, but also the email campaigns in total. However, you can still get some useful tips from this data.
External metrics show:
1. Attracting subscribers. The cost of a subscriber and base growth is evaluated. It is reasonable to calculate the subscriber value from different advertising channels, in order to identify the most and least effective ones.
2. Monetization (evaluation of conversion, total newsletter income, ROI, etc.)
The easiest way to determine the effectiveness of an email campaign is to calculate the total revenue per email (RPE). It can be achieved with requests from CRM or via Google Analytics e-commerce report. RPE is calculated as the ratio between the revenue from an email to the total number of emails sent.
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