An electronic newsletter delivered by email is a great way to connect with your customers, share information and deliver news, usually for a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail. While many factors affect an e-newsletter's effectiveness, your newsletters must be:
- Timely — don't send a newsletter unless you have news
- Relevant — recipients are much more likely to open and read your newsletter if the content is valuable to them
- Concise — e-newsletters should be brief and focused
Select an e-newsletter service supplierSeveral e-newsletter vendors make creating your newsletter quick and painless. Costs and features vary, but most provide user-friendly, turn-key solutions.
Build your list and get permissionDevelop a database by putting a "subscribe" box on your Web site home page. Make it easy for subscribers by requesting only their email address. Ask their permission with a "double opt-in," which asks for an email address, then sends a confirmation email asking subscribers to click on a link to confirm their participation. Another way to grow your list: Include a "Forward to a Friend" button on your newsletter.
Develop and compose your contentStart with engaging, compelling subject lines to gain attention. Content should be relevant and useful to your target audience, and you should present it in a straightforward, honest tone. Avoid industry jargon or "sales speak." Also, design matters! It should facilitate scanning and skimming.
Make it interactiveTake advantage of the interactive and personal nature of email newsletters by starting a conversation with your customer. Keep you goals in mind. What do you want your reader to do? Provide info? Respond to an offer? Fill out a survey? Make sure you include a call to action.
Track results and evaluateOnce your newsletter is sent, you can track open rates and "click throughs" to evaluate your campaign. Use this info to improve your next newsletter.
- Offer your readers both HTML and text version of the newsletter.
- Avoid sending your e-newsletter on or near holidays.
- At the risk of stating the obvious, link to your Web site!
- Make it easy to subscribe… and unsubscribe.