E-newsletters can bring your email marketing efforts to the next level. How? Unlike sales emails and social media posts, effective newsletters pack in more content to drive sales. The key, however, is to curate that content and making it relevant to your readers – or else that DELETE key will be fighting for your readers’ attention.
Here are a few tips to help you get started, and to assist you in continuing to deliver an e-newsletter that gets read, and gets you more sales.
- Consider your marketing needs. Do your competitors have e-newsletters? Whether they do or not may speak to how useful an e-newsletter is to your industry. Think too about the time commitment of creating, editing and publishing an e-newsletter. Can you or your team spare the extra time away from other store operations? Do you need to hire additional or outside help?
- Decide on your content and tone. Do you want to address shopping patterns, merchandise options, gift-giving occasions, or related stories? Give some thought to what you enjoy reading about in e-newsletters, and what you’re apt to skip. The tone of your e-newsletter – the words you choose and the formality of the language – should also reflect your store and the kinds of customers you’re targeting.
- Choose an email newsletter service. E-newsletter companies can make production a breeze, with pre-set templates and other tools. They also provide metrics that give you hard data on how many recipients opened the email, which stories incited action, forwards, bouncebacks and other outcomes that will help you know how far your reach is and how engaged your readers are.
- Figure out frequency. Planning ahead for a weekly, biweekly, or monthly newsletter will allow you to fit in this new task with your other responsibilities. Looking forward, you can always choose to publish more or less depending on what kind of reception your e-newsletter gets.
- Find the right balance. Customers love learning about you and your store, but don’t forget that their goal is to shop – and yours is to get those sales! Be informative, but don’t lose sight of your readership’s interest. It may be big news that you’ve doubled your profits, but let articles about your products and promotions take the spotlight.
- Keep it clean. Your design and copy, that is! Remember less is always more, so don’t assault your readers’ senses with too many graphic elements or too much text. Don’t forget to add photos and videos, too!
- Create attention-grabbing e-mail subject lines. “Here’s your December newsletter” just doesn’t have the same ring as “Check out our top-5 bestselling gifts!”
- Craft your “call to action.” The point of an e-newsletter is to drive sales, so make sure you don’t lose that goal in the process of curating your content. Whether it’s to alert shoppers to your pre-holiday shipping schedule, let them know about a limited-time promotion or an offer of a freebie, be sure to make all of your content ultimately points toward that call to action.
- Update your “subscribe” page on your site. Once you’ve created your first e-newsletter, let your customers know about it by posting a description on your website. Let your customers know what they can expect to find in each issue, including trends, promotions and other benefits they may not get elsewhere. (On this note, make it easy for readers to unsubscribe too.)