Looking for an effective low-cost marketing system? Email newsletters can do a wonderful job of getting the traffic pouring in, educating customers about your improved products and services, and maintaining customer loyalty.
Guidelines to a Quality e-Newsletter
An email newsletter represents your company and its services to your prospective customers and therefore must meet certain guidelines to be most effective.
1. Create a newsletter with the same template as your homepage
It is best to use a layout or theme similar to that of your website's homepage while creating an email newsletter. This will help make customers familiar with the link structure on your website and make their experience on your website more user-friendly. Also, remember to maintain the same location for each section of the newsletter. Reading your newsletter should be as easy and familiar as preparing morning coffee. How pleased would you be if the coffee beans were placed in a different spot every 2 months?
2. Keep it uncluttered, easy to read and intuitively structured
While creating the layout for an email newsletter, make sure that the information is presented in an intuitive manner and is easy to read. Typically, customers tend to scan through email newsletters. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the layout is simple and uncluttered. To add to this point, it is also important to place crucial information (such as the 20% discount sign or clearance sale sign) in a prominent position so as to catch their attention as soon as they open the newsletter.
3. Always provide useful, relevant and customer-friendly information
The key way to increase the readership of an email newsletter is to provide quality information that is relevant and to customers. Useful information can guarantee great results and make your customer look forward to getting your newsletter. You can also try including some form of incentive that could get the customer involved in the regular newsletters emailed to them. If your business revolves around providing children's crossword puzzle books and coloring books, you could probably include crossword puzzles in your e-newsletters.
Benefits of Email Newsletters
Since e-newsletters serve as one of the most used methods of informing customers about improvements in company products and services, their impact permeates and influences all other levels of marketing. The benefits in utilizing e-newsletters as a marketing tool include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Company Brand Name
This factor makes all the difference and sets you apart from other providers of the same kind of product or service. When it comes to buying something, would you prefer to try the product of a local store or a branded company? Quite obviously you would deviate to the branded product. That's because you have been repeatedly reminded about the brand and its features through regular advertisement. Have you ever paused to think whether the branded product is in any way superior to the local store product? It probably isn't. More often than not, it's the brand that makes all the difference.
2. Value of Services
You may be the provider of some really top-notch products or services. You may even have a long trail of regular customers who love to shop at your store. No matter how appreciated you are, it wouldn't hurt to remind others of why you are so special and set-apart from others. Email newsletters are just the right tool for that. They don't keep drumming into the customer's ear that you are the best, and they come to the rescue before customers forget why they like you.
3. Building Trust
Your continual contact with customers through your email newsletters can be the means to building a long lasting relationship of trust with them. Trust can make people revert to you when they need something and recommend you to others with confidence and certainty. Building trust isn't easy; and once created, should not be let go of.
4. Selling Products and Services
Not everyone likes advertisements pushed their way. If you regularly push-market your ads through the newsletters, customers will fast learn to ignore the ads, or your newsletters altogether. As long as you continue providing them quality information, they will remain interested, and may even display interest in looking at the occasional ads that you post.
The Process of e-Newsletter Management
To begin the process of sending out your newsletter, you will need a collection of email addresses of prospective customers. What better way to get them than from your own website? The simplest way to get the email addresses would be to invite website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. The simpler you make the process of signing up, the better your chances of success are. It would also help if you archive previous editions of the newsletter so people can sample your newsletters before signing up.
Once you get your initial set of email addresses, you would have to select a mailing service that meets your requirements. Most users enjoy getting a colorful email newsletter, but there are some who still can only receive text-only emails. Therefore, the best option would be to select a mailing service that can support both.
How frequently should you send out your newsletters? At first, you can start sending them at a frequency that's comfortable for you. Maybe once in a month or so until you get the whole system organized. Of course, if you intend to enlist professional service, you will be able to start off at the desired pace of sending e-newsletters weekly or bi-weekly.
Sooner or later, you will get to the point where you realize you need to know how effective your newsletters are. Even if you do send out newsletters, they may not always reach your subscribers. Some may bounce back because of a full inbox or a wrong email ID. That's where reporting and analytics come into play. Some mailing servers have the ability to track down the undelivered emails. It is also possible to tag the links present on an e-newsletter to track down how many times a certain link was clicked on by the subscribers. You would need professional assistance in having this done. The results will help you understand which the most visited links were. You will then be able to revise the strategy you employ on your newsletters accordingly.