Growing a mailing list is a personal and practical way to build an organic audience and cultivate a meaningful relationship between your business and your customers over time. Subscribers who signed up to your email newsletter are clearly interested in what you have to offer and email is still one of the single best marketing investments, with a much higher return as people continue to get your message at a very low cost for a long period of time.
The thing to understand is, the newsletter is about building familiarity and trust between company and client. It’s about telling not selling. A great newsletter should feel personal and welcome to the recipient. Think of it as a trusted friend that your reader is letting into their home. A more direct relationship means that emails can create more of a bond than other promotional outreach. By re-imagining the newsletter and breathing new life into their email strategy, companies have been able to capture more leads, generate more traffic and build more business.
With the tone, presentation and content of your emails being key, here are some things to consider before hitting ‘send’:
Pick a thing! Often newsletters appear cluttered and not particularly attractive or enticing for the reader. The problem is usually that they are trying to cover too much with what should be a short update. When it comes to the newsletter, try keeping it to one very specific topic. Instead of it being about your company in general, dedicate the update to one engaging news feature and avoid it becoming cluttered and unfocused.
Tell, don’t sell! As mentioned above, the focus of the newsletter is to build a relationship with your audience, not to make a sale. Your subscribers don’t want to only hear about your products and services 100% of the time. The goal here is to inform, educate and share relevant information that will generate clicks in the end. Newsletter content should be 90% educational and 10% promotional.
First impressions count! If you want to make sure your email newsletter is even opened, nevermind read, or (with any luck) forwarded, interesting subject lines are what entice clicks. Just because your subscribers signed up for your newsletter, there’s no guarantee that they will open your emails once they arrive in the inbox. Short, funny, enticing subject lines are what is required. Keep it relevant and fun and try to avoid using generic lines like ‘March Newsletter’, ‘Your Monthly Newsletter’, etc.
Keep it concise! Email copy should be clear, informative and relatively short. Readers have short attention spans and besides, you don’t actually want your subscribers spending all their time reading your newsletter, you want them to be moving on to something else, like your website or blog! The mailout is an excellent taster, giving your subscriber just enough that they want to click and learn more.
Don’t look desperate! Sometimes subscribers change their minds, change their needs or simply want to reduce the amount of mail pouring into their inbox. Respecting this and making sure your newsletter contains a clear unsubscribe process reflects well on your business and will help ensure your email isn’t simply marked spam. Remember, you’re trying to build an active, engaged subscriber list here, there’s no benefit to making things difficult.
The value in building an email mailing list is in strengthening the relationship with your audience and accumulating a healthy catalogue of interested subscribers. Users probably aren’t going to see all of your social media updates or remember to check your website regularly, but they did opt-in to your email newsletter because they might look to you to help them solve a problem or believe your business or service can help them get better results. Regardless, they want to hear from you, they just want to hear from you in the right way. If you approach your email newsletter as a way to offer quality content, helpful tips and demonstrate how you can provide solutions to your audience’s specific challenges, they will welcome your updates and maybe even share them.
By David Marrone
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