The Power of Email Marketing
An often overlooked tool in a brand’s digital marketing arsenal is the good ol’ newsletter. Usually regarded as the equivalent of junk mail from the post office, when done effectively however, newsletter marketing can be an effective way to keep one’s brand top-of-mind for consumers, establishing oneself as an expert, and notifying readers of products and sales that may interest them.
How to measure success
The golden rule of marketing is ROI (return on investment). Newsletters need to have a measurable impact on your business, but initially however, it may not translate into bankable dollars. Immediate impact of a newsletter campaign will mean:
- Increase in number of subscribers
- Eyeballs who’ve read the newsletter, measured by open rate
- (Potential) customers who’ve completed a desired action (typically a visit to the website), measured by click-through rate
- (Actual) customers who make a purchase
The most effective newsletters are informational, not sales-driven
With everyone trying to simultaneously sell you a pen, you need to find a way to get customers to open and read an email. To do this, the content should be genuinely interesting – beyond an attempt to sell them merchandise or services. It all starts with an effective subject line. A successful campaign starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your subscribers. Good subject lines are often personal or descriptive, and give the recipient a reason to check out your content. If you’re not giving your reader a compelling reason to open your email, it will get deleted (or not even make it past a spam filter) immediately. According to Mailchimp, the best way to create an effective is to:
- Add personalization with each recipient’s name or location
- Be descriptive by being direct and descriptive than trendy
- Count characters – those who may read your campaigns on mobile devices, shorter may be better
Establish yourself as an expert in your particular field
Newsletters give businesses an opportunity to demonstrate authority and expertise on the subject of their products and/or services. This is your forum to tell subscribers why something is worthwhile, why some styles are popular, or a to provide more information about your brand. People like to be informed and educated — not necessarily sold to. Newsletters can give readers a reason to trust you and also tell a story that brings more personality to your brand. According to BigCommerce, customers with a strong attachment to a particular company spend 23% more than average consumers, and the newsletter is a way to distinguish a brand from the competition.
The 90-10 Rule
While there’s a famous 80-20 rule in sales and marketing, there’s a 90-10 rule for newsletters. What this rule states is that 90% of your newsletter should be comprised of information, whereas only 10% should be sales-related. With the right balance, less is more and the educational material will eventually lead to more sales. That being said, every newsletter should have a strong call to action to be performed by the reader. Do you want the reader to visit your website? Do you want them to sign up for a promotion? Finally, part of the 10% rule can be to offer an incentive, to either visit you in your brick-and-mortar store, or your online store. Nowadays, it’s even harder to drive traffic to a physical location, so part of a newsletter strategy can be to have people carry the newsletter to a store to redeem a coupon. With compelling and beautifully designed content, recurring newsletters to your subscribers can keep them engaged and sold to, at minimal cost.