Today we’re going to tackle a topic that some will agree with, and others will not. In our opinion, email newsletters are coming back in style. That’s right, we said it. Now what was old is new once more. At least it is for some types of businesses that are able to deliver engaging content within their email marketing campaigns.
The fact is this – email newsletters that focus on sale, sale, sale are out-of-style. But the email newsletters that focus on value, value, value? They can convert prospective clients into customers, raving fans and much more.
When it comes to email marketing, I know you may be thinking “well, prove it to me.” And while we could prove it – as we have a few select clients for whom we write email marketing newsletters – we always say that it’s better to test it with your audience.
Here are eight ways to give value via your email newsletter – value that will be returned to you many times over.
Tips for Creating Value-Driven Email Newsletters
1. Avoid Overselling
Ultimately, businesses are trying to get sales for their products or services. In the past, this hunger for sales meant subscriber lists were burnt out through overselling. However, the updated approach is to put value first and let consumers come to their own decisions. Typically, a subtle sales pitch amongst the high-quality content is all you need.
2. Repurpose Newsletter Content
There are many ways to repurpose marketing content across different platforms. Consider the content you have already written that’s on your website that you can convert into newsletter content. By doing this you can provide value to prospects that are not visiting your website, and drive them to the website for more information.
Or you can take your newsletter and extend it into a blog post. Extract the most intriguing information and turn it into a Twitter thread – or even use the newsletter content for a YouTube video. This approach ensures you increase your readership and build more interest for your newsletter… all while getting more subscribers for your weekly or monthly newsletter.
3. Feature Industry Thought Leaders
Industry thought leaders, experts and influencers exist in almost all niches. And with these individuals giving their opinions on subjects of interest, it can help to feature them in your newsletter content. Try using their concepts as a starting-off point for a newsletter – and then let them know you did it. This approach works for networking, and you may even get a mention on their blog or social media.
By featuring other experts in your field, you show that you are paying attention. Thought leaders can bring authority with them, and also help you demonstrate the areas and subjects that you’re passionate about.
4. Create an Online Version of a Newsletter
The unfortunate reality is that the average email inbox has many unread messages. Today people are reluctant to join a newsletter unless they know it will add value. Therefore, posting the newsletters online shows value upfront – and will make people want to subscribe.
5. Growing Your Email List
Getting subscribers to your email list isn’t a “build it and they will come” process. Just as with building a website (where you need an ongoing SEO strategy), getting newsletter subscribers means you’ll need a solid approach. And this approach does NOT mean taking contacts you have connected with on LinkedIn and adding them to your newsletter list. That’s just bad form – and will get you reported for spam.
- On your website, make sure that people can easily see that you have a newsletter. Consider putting it in the header, footer or sidebar of your site. In addition, make the archives accessible from your website. You could link to the Mailchimp archive on the signup page or in the footer.
- Use social media and other places to promote your email newsletter after it publishes.
- Make it easy for the subscribers that get your email newsletter to share it with their connections via email, social media or otherwise.
- Don’t assume that someone knows you publish an email newsletter. When you’re speaking with others, be sure to mention that you do have a newsletter.
- If done correctly, free downloads that are available once someone opts in are a great way to grow an email list.
- Partnering with others who also have email newsletters can be a good strategy for growing a list.
- Offer those on your website a coupon if they opt in. This is especially effective on ecommerce websites.
6. Measure the Results of Your Newsletter
This tip requires some effort, setup and configuration. At Rocks Digital, whether we are writing content for a website, a guide or a Google Business Profile, we want to track the results.
We are strong advocates for setting up goals through Google Analytics and utilizing UTM tracking. Without these two items, you cannot tell what strategies are working or not working. By doing this as an agency, we can tell the client exactly how many conversions were completed on their website from a specific content piece or email campaign.
For example, within their dashboard Mailchimp provides some basic metrics like opens & clicks. And when used in conjunction with a UTM that you placed on a link within your email newsletter, you can get granular data like:
- 100 people clicked this link
- 25 of them completed a goal like a form fill
Tracking is a crucial way to understand how readers react to your newsletters. By placing UTM on links in your newsletters, it’s possible to track user behavior across your website. Want to know how many sales were generated from a link? UTM codes will tell you. In practice, analytics data can help you craft enticing emails that deliver value to subscribers.
Of course, none of this tracking will work properly when you don’t have goals created for actions taken on the website within Google Analytics. We have countless clients that come to us with no goals at all established on their website, or they are not tracking correctly.
7. Test, Test and Test Some More
Writing an effective email newsletter isn’t a one-and-done step, and the same goes for finding out what works best. You need to test different formats and see which ones get the most interaction. This is just one reason tracking is so important.
For example, for the email newsletter we write weekly for one specific client, I can report that the links in the top message section of the newsletter get many more clicks and traction than the bottom portion. This tells us we need to put the most important information towards the top.
We also test different message lengths. For this same client, it seems the top message that has more “how to” in it gets a higher open rate than those that do not. However, clicks to the website in these are lower. To get one thing like a higher open rate, you may have to sacrifice something else. This is one more example of why tracking is so important.
8. Consistency Matters
Let’s look at consistency. When a newsletter goes out like clockwork each week, people look for it. And when it doesn’t come at the normal time, people will wonder what happened to it. For one of our clients a weekly newsletter is perfect – but for you, weekly might not be the right frequency. We can tell you that a weekly newsletter is a real commitment, especially since you’ll need to come up with a unique angle and topic every week.
We recommend that you start with a monthly newsletter, but also consider setting up some automations. For example, if you publish blog posts, every time a new blog post is published it will email automatically to subscribers that have opted in to receive it.
Again, being consistent is the most important thing to remember here. Just as with social media, if you only email someone once a year, they will forget about the value your newsletter provides.
Get More Leads With Email Newsletters and Content Marketing
Just as with sampling food, without giving it a try you’ll never know if you like it or not. This is what email marketing is all about. Now it’s time to go out and start testing whether email marketing works for your business.
If you need more help getting traffic to your website by using content writing, content marketing, SEO, or other strategies, we can help. To discuss how, call (214) 989-7549 or request a digital marketing evaluation today.