The electronic newsletter is the tried and true method for staying in touch with old clients and stirring up business with new ones. Today there is an estimated 2.5 billion active email users, with 91% checking their inbox every day! Ooh la la...
Here are a few basic principles and good practices to keep in mind.
A Subject That's From The Heart
Conjuring the perfect combination of words for your subject can be tricky. This practice is equal parts art and science, and there has been an enormous amount of trial and error on the topic.
We took a look at some basic do's and don'ts in a previous post, and fleshed out certain practices in another post. When it comes to the subject line, there's really no limit to the amount of homework you could do – but in the end, the only research that counts is the trial and error of your own efforts.
For our two cents, all of these statistics and figures boil down to a single philosophy: Speak Genuinely.
Whether they're new leads or lifelong clients, people respond to sincerity – and even on the internet, folks can almost always tell when you're being fake with them. You don't have to be a poet or a marketing genius to get your emails opened by readers. Our best advice is to stick to 50 characters max, and whatever you do, keep it candid.
The subject line may be an important aspect, but it is by no means the most important. Sadly, in all the hubbub about open rates, many folks often overlook what is at the real core of their efforts.
Before beginning any newsletter, you should have a clear goal in mind for what you hope to accomplish with it. Your writing should be clear and concise, and always guiding the reader toward some type of action. This is important, because it's ultimately how you'll measure your email's effectiveness.
Speaking of measuring...
Track Your Results
If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.
The only way to become a successful email campaigner is to see what works and what doesn't, and take good notes. Fortunately, every custom website we create comes with a sophisticated analytics platform that will help you keep track of open rates and click-through rates, among other things.
How much is too much, and when is that not enough?
The amount of emails you send per day, week, or month should also be a significant part of your trial and error research. Depending on your niche, there is a different answer for everybody. One email per week is the rule of thumb, but it might be worthwhile to experiment a little.
Keep an eye on your analytics, and try to find that sweet spot where your readers aren't getting annoyed, but where they haven't forgotten about you either. Once you settle into something that works for you, we then recommend practicing consistency.
Make It Mobile
Last year, 48% of all emails were opened on a mobile device, while only 11% of marketing emails were responsive.
Email newsletters have remained a relevant and effective marketing tool in the face of social media and SEO, and going mobile is the next evolutionary leap that must take place.
When it comes to custom designed web sites, we've talked about the differences between responsive vs.mobile. When it comes to email marketing, you ideally want your emails to be responsive (meaning they'll change shape and look great, regardless of the viewing device).
However, even if you don't go that far, always keep in mind the 50/50 chance that your email will indeed be read on a smaller screen. Consider this when determining your font size and page breaks.
All in all, email marketing is a vast field of research. Over the years, we've written quite a lot about it, and we encourage you to go back through our comprehensive series.
Part 2: Subject Line Research
Part 3: 10 Good Practices
Part 4: Popular Platforms
Part 5: Open Rates & Click-Through Rates
Part 6: Automated Newsletters
However, nothing works quite like rolling up your sleeves and getting your digital hands dirty. In the end, you simply have to know your audience, and get a feel for what they like. Whether you're thinking about beginning, or have been at it for a while, Hazel Digital Media is here to help.
Feel free to Contact Us today!