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How to Use Email Newsletters Effectively as a Marketing Tool

email newsletter2The success of any business is determined by its ability to retain existing customers, as well as attract new clients. One of the best ways of keeping in touch with customers and prospects is through email newsletters. When used properly, such newsletters can be a very powerful tool for marketing a product, service or company. Here are some tips for carrying out an effective email newsletter campaign.

1. Establish the need

First and foremost, ask yourself if an email newsletter is the right marketing tool for your business. To determine this, you will need to carry out some research. Are there email newsletters in your industry that have a high subscription? What content do they have? With the time, budget and support at your disposal, what are your chances of success? In addition, you need to consider the goals of your business. If email newsletters are not effective in your industry or if you lack the necessary resources, it wouldn’t be worth the effort. Furthermore, if you don’t need newsletters to accomplish your goals, it would make more sense to direct your efforts elsewhere.

However, if your research reveals that email newsletters would be effective for your business, you need to take the following steps.

2. Decide what kind of newsletter is appropriate

Many people make the mistake of sending out email newsletters which don’t have any specific focus. Mixing product reviews, industry updates and PR stories on different topics within the same newsletter will only leave recipients confused. It is therefore very important to have a specific focus for each newsletter. For instance, you could decide to send out an email newsletter specifically on video marketing. It could contain helpful tips for video marketing, events that video marketers would want to attend and links to recent stories in the industry. Readers would find such an email newsletter to be more relevant and engaging.

3. Focus on educational content

Don’t make the mistake of bombarding your readers with information about your products or services. As much as they might love what you have to offer, they will eventually get bored of the ‘Buy now’ messages. Instead of excessive self-promotion, it would be advisable to focus on                 messages which are educational, timely and relevant. For instance, if you sell home appliances, you could educate your readers about how to choose the right appliance or home safety tips. Any promotion should be done in a very subtle way.

4. Outline your conditions in the subscribe page

The ‘subscribe’ page on your site should contain comprehensive information about your newsletter. Inform potential subscribers what topics the newsletter will cover and how often it will be sent to them.  Making these details clear will enable you to attract the right target market. In addition, it will help you lower the spam as well as unsubscription rates.

5. Craft a catchy email subject line

Having subscribers sign up for your newsletters is one thing. Getting them to open the emails in their inbox is another thing. One of the best ways of ensuring that your emails get opened is by having a creative, engaging subject line. If the subject line is boring and predictable, recipients are less likely to open the email. Instead of ‘February newsletter’, you should have a subject line such as ‘Tips for social media marketing – Mark Zuckerberg’.

6. Keep your design neat and concise

One of the best ways of keeping your newsletters neat and uncluttered is by having plenty of white space in your design. This will make it easy for your subscribers to read your content and click on the links provided. In addition, you need to ensure that your copy is as concise as possible. If you want them to read further, you could provide links to your site or blog.

7. Allow subscribers to opt out

Even though your aim is to grow your email list, you need to make it easy for people to opt out of your list. If people find it difficult to unsubscribe, they might begin to mark as spam the emails received. As a result, your emails might end up in the spam folders of all your recipients. Therefore, you need to make sure that the unsubscribe button appears prominently on all your emails.

8. Test, test, test

To establish what works best for your business, it is very important to test continually. Experiment with different subject lines. Try including images in your content. Use different calls to action. Improve your newsletter constantly will lead to better results.

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