How to maximize your email newsletter
18th, Jul 2017
Email newsletters are a valuable marketing tool with numerous benefits. Yet there are many firms that don’t send one out or, if they do, fail to leverage it in the right ways. Often firms think that no one really pays attention to emails anymore. However, despite the fact that we all get lots of emails, studies still show that email newsletters are an effective marketing channel.
Email services like Constant Contact collect data on industry averages and show open rates for professional services firms averaging between 15-21% and click rates ranging from 2.5-7.5%. But many email newsletters do much better than that and those statistics don’t take into account the fact that your firm name is seen by your contacts when you send an email even if they don’t have time to click on the email to read it. That’s very important when it comes to staying top of mind. It’s like walking into a networking event and even if you don’t get to speak to everyone you know, seeing those individuals across the room reminds you of them. Of course, that shouldn’t be your goal. You want people to read your material.
When done the right way, email newsletters provide an inexpensive way to stay top of mind with your contacts, showcase your expertise, build credibility and drive traffic to your website. But how do you get it right?
1. Have a plan. Who do you want to send it to? What do you want to accomplish? Think about what content will help you achieve your goals. You’ll also need to set up a schedule and allocate resources to getting the work done.
2. Send it at least monthly. Quarterly is too infrequent. You can send it more often than monthly, but make sure you have quality content to fill it and you should keep a close eye on your results. Test the frequency of your emails to find out what works best for your audience.
3. Segment your email contacts. You should put your contacts into categories so that when you need to, you can send different emails to different groups of people. For example, past and current clients should not necessarily get the same emails as your referrals sources or prospects. Maybe you want to create separate lists for people with certain job titles or in particular industries. Consider which segments make sense for your business.
4. Keep email lists up to date. Make sure you’re adding in new contacts and updating old ones. Check your email bounces. People change jobs all the time or there could just be a typo in an email address that no one noticed until they checked the bounces.
5. Fill it with quality content. Self-promotional content is okay, but follow the 80-20 rule – 80% helpful substantive information vs. 20% promotional. Provide insights, tips and stories to engage your reader. Definitely don’t use canned content you buy from a company, unless you want to sound like everyone else in your profession.
6. Use teaser content. Don’t put everything of value into the email. Instead, provide a good headline and some intro text; maybe a few tips, but then get people to go to your website to read the rest.
7. Have a call to action. What do you want people to do when they see your email? Read a blog post; sign up for a webinar; contact you for a consultation? Make sure you include links in your email so readers can engage with your content and you can track those clicks.
8. Test what you’re sending and when. Send emails at different days and times. Change your headlines and email subject lines. Try including different types of content or varying the length of your emails. As you test different tactics, you can gauge whether you are getting better or worse results.
9. Design it. A visually appealing newsletter helps. If it’s too cluttered or dense, it can put people off. Add images too. It breaks up the text and is more eye-catching to readers.
Don’t miss out on the great opportunity that email newsletters provide to help you market your business. Use these tips to maximize your results.
For more tactics, check out 7 tips for getting more value out of your client newsletter.
Tagged: editorial strategy and planning, newsletters, tips