Why is email marketing a vital part of any marketing strategy?
Email is a cost-effective way to stay in touch with your customers and drive revenue. Establishing a regular email newsletter cadence allows you to provide consistent value and stay top of mind with customers and prospects.
Email newsletters can enable you to:
- Increase website traffic
- Expand social media engagement
- Build brand loyalty
- Increase sales
- Establish thought leadership
- Boost webinar and event attendance
Ready to learn how you can increase email engagement and avoid the dreaded “Unsubscribe” button? Let’s discover the components of an effective email newsletter strategy.
What to Include in Your Email Newsletter Strategy
What do you hope to accomplish with your email marketing newsletters? A well-thought-out email newsletter strategy will guide you in creating, targeting, testing and improving your email marketing efforts.
When crafting your overall email newsletter strategy, consider these five questions:
- WHY are you sending email newsletters?
- WHO is getting your newsletters?
- WHAT is in the newsletters you’re sending?
- WHEN are you sending newsletters?
- HOW are your email newsletter campaigns performing?
1. WHY Are You Sending Email Newsletters?
What results are you hoping to achieve with your email newsletters? This is where your key performance indicators (KPIs) come in. Without established KPIs, you have no way of knowing whether your campaigns are performing to your expectations.
2. WHO Is Getting Your Newsletters?
The days of “spray and pray” email distribution are long gone. Segmenting your audience is the best way to communicate messages specific to your customers’ interests and behaviors.
3. WHAT Is in the Newsletters You’re Sending?
Creating valuable, high-quality content and visuals that speak to your audience nurtures leads into customers, builds thought leadership and grows your community.
4. WHEN Are You Sending Your Newsletters?
Using the “Goldilocks” method (not too few, not too many, just enough) establishes a reliable pattern that creates expectancy and trust.
5. HOW Are Your Newsletter Campaigns Working?
Keeping your KPIs in mind, test as many email elements as possible to improve results over time. You should test and tweak subject lines, content, layout and CTAs to increase engagement and conversion rates.
Need help? Partner with us for all your email marketing needs.
13 Email Newsletter Strategy Tips
Now that you’re familiar with the elements needed to create an email newsletter strategy, let’s take a closer look at some foolproof tips for emails that engage:
1. Measure your success
Are your email newsletters delivering the results you were expecting? Here are some common KPIs that you can easily track:
- Open rate: The number of emails opened out of the total number of emails sent
- Bounce rate: The percentage of emails that have failed to deliver for permanent reasons (an invalid email address) or temporary reasons (a full mailbox)
- Click-through rate (CTR): The number of clicks you receive out of the total number of views
- Conversion rate: The percentage of subscribers who complete the desired action (e.g., Made a purchase on your website)
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of subscribers who opt-out of your email list
2. Grow your subscriber list
Having more contacts in your database means having more people to email. You’ll find it challenging to grow your email marketing revenue without increasing your list size over time. Building your email database should always be a top priority.
Promoting a high-value offer on your website is an effective way to capture emails. Consider offering a guide, ebook or checklist — any resource that interests your audience. Creating relevant resources builds trust and engagement.
3. Cross-pollinate to grow your platforms
Another way to expand your email database is to promote your newsletter on your other marketing channels. Promote your newsletter on your social channels and website. Conversely, include links in your newsletter that direct your customers to follow you on your social channels.
4. Let your customers share the love
People love to share useful and interesting content with their social circle. Even if your subscriber list is small, those subscribers can be valuable referral sources and help grow your email list organically. Make “share” and “subscribe” CTAs prominent in your newsletter so new visitors can sign up easily.
5. Segment your audience
Segmenting your list enables you to create targeted groups of people with similar interests. You can then create personalized content that speaks to customers’ specific needs and behaviors.
Mastering this strategy enables you to give your customers what they want, when they want it. Marketers who use email segmentation see a 760% increase in revenue on average.
6. Create personalized content
Sending personalized content to your segmented lists is the best way to increase customer engagement. Your email newsletter content should speak directly to your customers, addressing their pain points and offering them solutions.
You can also create content that applies to a customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, you can send educational content around your products or services to prospects who aren’t quite ready to buy.
7. Be helpful, not pushy
Email newsletters need to educate customers, provide value and earn their trust. Newsletters that are overly “sales-y” can be off-putting. Now’s your chance to share thought leadership and provide valuable, in-depth resources that make people want to continue engaging with you. Slowly increase the depth at which you communicate so that you have reason to continue to dialog with them.
8. Mix it up
Avoid the same ol’ same ol’ newsletter content. Combine evergreen content with seasonal, topical or trendy content for variety. Break up sections with headers and keep sentences and paragraphs short. Use language that’s easy to read and gets to the point quickly. Break a complicated subject or how-to into steps that help your reader digest the information more easily.
9. Be human
Address readers in the second person so it feels like you are speaking to them directly. Acknowledge and address their concerns. Ask for feedback and input. Let them know that you value their business and that you want to help solve their problems.
10. Send at the right time
Is there a “best” time to send email newsletters? It’s an age-old question that marketers have debated over for years. Every person has unique schedules and times of day they prefer to read emails. You’ll need to test sending your emails at different times to see when you get your best open rate.
Pro Tip: Seventh Sense is an AI-based tool that determines the ideal time to email each customer in your database based on when they typically open their emails. It allows you to set up email campaigns that deliver over a set period to ensure each contact gets the email at the most convenient time. Over time, you’ll see better open rates, shortened sales cycles and higher engagement rates.
11. Automate to establish consistency
Now that you know when to send, how can you do it most efficiently? If you’re a small business or have customers in different time zones, creating email schedules can quickly become problematic. Using email automation workflows can be a lifesaver.
12. Test, test and test some more
A newsletter that broke records a year ago may not work today.
A/B testing reveals what works in your email newsletter strategy (and what doesn’t), helping you optimize for open rates and conversions. Beyond helping you earn more clicks, testing is a continual process of understanding your audience and ensuring you’re delivering value.
Here are some elements you should routinely test to ensure long-lasting success:
- Is your sender name recognizable to your subscriber? If not, they probably won’t open your email.
- Your subject line is crucial: does it catch your readers’ attention by addressing their pain points right away?
- Is your content specific enough to appeal to your reader?
- Is your newsletter layout attractive and easy to read, with eye-catching images?
- Are CTAs clear and compelling, directing the reader to take the next step?
13. Make sure newsletters are mobile-friendly
To avoid a low click-through rate, make sure your newsletters are mobile-friendly. As many as 70% of recipients will ignore or delete an email immediately if it’s not optimized for mobile devices. Here are five mobile-friendly design tips to help you increase conversion rates:
- Keep subject lines short: 30-35 characters maximum
- Use a single-column layout
- Keep image sizes small to shorten load time
- Write concise copy with larger fonts for easy reading
- Use CTAs instead of links for maximum clickability
Refine Your Email Newsletter Strategy With Human
Have you been sending your email newsletters sporadically, with no cohesive strategy to guide you? Implementing these tips will help increase customer responsiveness and engagement, improving your campaign performance and ROI over time.
If you’re a small business with resources that are stretched tight, our email marketing experts can take your email newsletter strategy from good to great.
Feel free to reach out -- we’d love to chat with you.