Sending a company newsletter or starting an email marketing campaign is a fantastic way to bolster your digital-marketing efforts, remain top of mind for your consumers, build trust and credibility for your business, close sales, and so much more.
In fact, email marketing is considered to be 40 percent more effective at converting prospects when compared to Facebook and Twitter (Slideshare). In addition, 37 percent of people said in a survey that email was the most effective channel for customer loyalty and retention — whereas websites were 13 percent and social media only 11 (Dotdigital).
But if you want to achieve all those fantastic outcomes and become part of the statistics yourself, you have to understand what needs to go into an email-marketing campaign to make it the most effective — or else you simply just won’t get the results you’re looking for.
In the remainder of this blog, we’ll outline some major things to know about writing effective newsletters, the science behind it, and some best practices so you can get started on sending your way to greatness.
Of course, if you’re going to start sending out emails, you need someone to send them to.
That’s why you’ll want to start by collecting a list of emails and uploading them into your CRM or email-marketing software so you ensure that all the efforts you make afterwards will actually pay off.
If you don’t already have a large list of emails from previous clients or members of your audience, you can collect them through several different methods. For example, you can simply put a popup window on your website that says something like, “Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest trends, news, and more!” Or if you have a team of great copywriters, you can create an ebook to offer as a free download on your website — all someone would have to do to claim their copy would be to fill out the form and wait for it to roll into their inbox.
You can also create a popup on your website that says, “Receive 5 percent off your next purchase when you sign up for our newsletter!” The big idea here is that no matter what route you decide to take when acquiring emails, you just need to make sure you’re providing people with something of value so they’re more prone to signing up and staying subscribed.
When you send an email, your goal probably isn’t to just click send and move on with your day — it’s to generate leads, drive traffic to your website, get more views on your YouTube page, sell your products and services, provide information and value to your viewers, etc.
So when you start your email marketing campaign, it’s important to outline a clear goal.
Email marketing is primarily used for lead generation (85 percent), sales (84 percent), lead nurturing (78 percent), and customer retention (74 percent) (Content Marketing Institute).
But before you try to sell your subscribers something or get them to watch your latest company video, you have to understand two key elements: who your audience is and what they’re looking for (re: what kinds of content they react the most to.)
If you don’t understand these essentials, then the goal you’ve set for yourself will only get harder and harder to achieve.
When creating your email content, you want to focus on providing value to your viewers while also convincing them to do business with you.
In fact, 40 percent of people reported that they prefer the emails they receive to be more informative than promotional (Adweek).
With that in mind, you’ll want to stay away from writing copy that comes off as too salesy or pushy — but a good copywriter will know how to coax people into buying your products without shoving it down their throats.
For best results, focus on educating your audience, sharing updates and company ongoings, and using concrete assets to help push your message along.
For example, implementing video into your email-marketing campaign. Did you know that just including the word “video” in your subject line increases open rates by 19 percent (Syndacast)?
And what’s more is that 90 percent of users say that videos help them make a purchase decision, and 54 percent of email subscribers actually prefer emails with videos (Hubspot).
More than likely, every email you send probably won’t have a video to go along with it, so you can also use pictures, infographics, and more to make your message even stronger.
Emails that have some type of graphic tied to their written content have a higher open rate (27 percent) than text-based emails (GetResponse).
But tread carefully! Seventy-four percent of users will delete your message if it doesn’t open within 5 seconds, and this is often due to attached photos having large file sizes (Kinsta).
If you’re starting an email campaign, you’re about to send hundreds if not thousands of emails.
Creating a template with blocks for both written and visual content will not only drive brand recognition but it’ll also save you tons of time down the line because you won’t have to build out your emails organically every single time you want to send one.
For best results, focus on making your designs simple, scannable, and on-brand.
In addition, when trying to streamline your email-marketing process, you can also set up automations.
An automation is an email sequence that triggers after the user takes a specific action, like signing up for your newsletter from a form on your website or requesting a download of your free ebook.
The software you use to send your emails will likely have tons of options for customizing your automations, so you’ll definitely want to take advantage of them — especially when 64 percent of B2B marketers say they employ the use of email automation techniques to help them along in their email-marketing endeavors. (MarketingCharts).
But wait, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?)
Eighty-eight percent of users reported that they are more likely to respond to an email favorably if it looks like it’s been specifically created for them (Dynamic Yield). So while automations and templates can be incredibly helpful and save you time, you’ll still want to make each individual email as personalized as you possibly can.
You might be thinking, “People will open my email no matter what because I’ve put so much time and effort into creating great content that I know they can really benefit from.”
It’s definitely nice to think that, but unfortunately, it’s just not true.
You have to convince them you have something of value to share by writing a strong subject line — especially when 47 percent of people open emails based on the subject line and 69 percent of customers immediately report emails as spam based on the subject line only (OptinMonster).
In terms of length, subject lines that are 6 to 10 words long have the highest open rate of 21 percent (Invesp).
Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut formula to writing effective subject lines that guarantee an open. For best results, try sending your emails in batches with different subject lines for each and take note of what does best.
And when you can, be sure to personalize them, as 62 percent of emails are opened thanks to personalized subject lines alone (Campaign Monitor).
If you feel like you’ve written a great subject line but still didn’t get a response, you can head to this blog from Respona for help with crafting a follow up: 18 Follow-up Email Subject Lines from Real Campaigns.
Similar to subject lines, creating a concrete call to action is also incredibly important.
A call to action is a short sentence or phrase directly tied to the goal of your campaign that will serve as the vehicle that elicits action from your viewers. Bring it all home by using impactful phrases like “Head to our website to learn more!” or “Give us a call at (555) 555-5555 if you’ve got any questions.”
If you don’t provide your viewers with a direction to take after they finish reading the email, then you simply just won’t achieve the goals of your marketing campaign.
Nobody likes it when they get junk mail, but thankfully, our inboxes do a relatively solid job of filtering them out due to anti-spam laws being put into place.
But when you’re starting an email campaign, you want to tread super carefully, or else you run the risk of being pushed to the dark side: the dreaded spam folder. Or getting yourself blacklisted from using email-marketing software.
Either way, there are two main laws you need to worry about: CAN-SPAM and GDPR.
CAN-SPAM requires you to have an option for a user to unsubscribe from your email list, and if you’re using a software to send your emails, it likely already has this feature built in.
GDPR is a European law that basically just says you can’t send newsletters to people who don’t opt in to receiving them. So just make sure you’ve set something up for them to opt in!
Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll want to send newsletters at a consistent rate without being too intrusive.
Two times a month is a solid place to start, but if you have enough valuable content, you can also send them once a week. Based on one survey, those who sent newsletters just once a week reported an open rate of 30 percent — but every additional newsletter sent within the same week made that rate drop lower and lower (GetResponse).
Basically, just don’t send an email if you have nothing to say, or else you run the risk of losing subscribers.
In terms of timing, the worst open and click-through rates are on the weekend (OptinMonster). 11:00 AM is the best time for sending emails, and 12:00 AM shows the highest click-through rate (GetResponse).
However, 50 percent of marketers say that there’s really no perfect time for sending email campaigns because every business is unique.
So what do we do?
We track our data!
It’s incredibly important to be tracking your email-marketing data or else you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
The email software you employ will likely have options for A/B testing and data tracking, so do your best to become comfortable with these tools so you understand how to make the most of them.
Some of the main things you’ll want to take note of are:
If you put in the necessary time and effort to track your data, learn from it, and streamline your process, then you’ll be well on your way to achieving all the goals you set in the initial step of your email-marketing campaign.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our blog!
We know you might have more questions about how to create an effective email-marketing campaign and how that plays into the wider ecosystem of the digital-marketing world.
Whatever the case, our eager team of skilled creatives at OpticTour would love to lend a hand!
When you’re ready, schedule a free business consultation with us by heading to this link.
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