There is no fixed formula for a successful digital marketing strategy. One thing for sure, it needs a solid plan for you to succeed in the digital marketing game. Of late, we have seen a lot of new strategies crop up. In spite of that, one of the oldest standing models, email newsletters, have still stood its ground.
Many new-age marketers have gone on to claim that email newsletters are no longer relevant and should be considered redundant. You need uninterrupted attention to detail for you to be successful with emails. Small and large brands use subscription emails to increase their profits alike. You would be amazed to know that Statista states email to be 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers when compared to Facebook or Twitter.
How do we create the perfect newsletter? Or what are the things to be kept in mind while framing a subscription email for ourselves? In this article, we will discuss everything about newsletters that will help you in using them better.
A newsletter is a letter that contains the news. In a more sophisticated manner, an email newsletter is a type of email used in email marketing campaigns. It informs the subscribers about the latest content (news, blogs, product reviews, announcements, and other similar stuff) on your website.
It is a way to keep the audience in the loop. With the help of newsletters, you can always keep them excited and wanting for more. At times, it also contains a push-button for them to do a specific action, like clicking on a button to enter a giveaway and other similar acts. They can also be used to promote new products or services of the organisation.
Email newsletter design templates are HTML created by web designers. They are moulds which help in shaping the upcoming news content to be sent to the subscribers. A template is the backbone of every news, and it should look professional. It should also conform to the brand’s visual identity and what it desires to showcase.
Take the example of the Oppo sub-brand, Realme. It follows the base yellow pattern for all its products. If you are creating a template for their subscription mail, it must have the base colour yellow. That way, its followers are more likely to connect with the email and chances of it having a higher reach increases.
Another similar example is that of OnePlus. It has a knack of mixing white and red. Being a fan of OnePlus over the years, I have also started associating red and white with them by default. There is no point if their newsletter template resembles yellow. It will have their fans disappointed.
A mail newsletter offers high potential, and the fact that 72 per cent customer prefer emails over other ways of approaching proves it. If the newsletter is well-designed and regularly sent, it can drive a lot of traffic which can then convert into customers. Here is why we regard subscription emails so highly –
We all know Google keeps on changing its algorithm now and then. Due to it, it has become difficult to bring in organic traffic with the help of SEO. Further, other sources like Twitter or Facebook, are not much relevant anymore. Add to it the ad blockers which prevent banners from popping up.
What are the other options we have? Newsletters. If you manage to not fall in the Spam folder, there are high chances of the target audience reading your posts. If the tagline and subject are interesting enough, you can almost be sure of generating significant traffic. Make sure not to disappoint them once they reach your site or else the probability of them falling for a good tagline will decline after that.
What is the purpose of sending a letter? It helps in creating a bond between the sender and the receiver. A well thought out subscription mail also does the same job. It helps you to distinguish yourself from the rest and even in creating loyalty amongst your consumers. Brand loyalty will ensure that you have a customer who will not only keep coming back, he will moreover pursue others to try your products as well.
Digital marketing is all about statistics. With newsletters, it is particularly easy to gauge your performance. You get information regarding open rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, click rates, and other relevant stats. These performance indicators help you to judge if the campaign was a success or a failure.
We have made significant inroads in automation. In the old days, personalisation in the digital world meant adding the name of the receiver. It has gone far ahead in today’s times. Now you can create personalised groups as per segments, consumer preferences, or any other criteria.
Once you have the groups sorted, you can then move ahead and create personalised messages for each of these groups. It will create a sense of belonging for the receiver and attract new customers at the same time. How successful you are, depends on how well you know your customers and the strategies you use to attract them.
They not only help in driving more traffic, but they are also a reason for an increase in sales. As per a survey, around 68 per cent of people emphasized that promotional electronic mails influence their decision to make a purchase. We have already spoken of customer loyalty, which is another way how these emails increase sales.
Plus, most newsletters belonging to the given niche contain certain offers for the people who see it. Who doesn’t like discounts or cashback and they are the reasons which drive potential customers to give it a shot.
There is no strategy which doesn’t have a chink in its armour. Emails too come with a fair share of weaknesses –
Once you have decided to go with the newsletter technique, you will have to figure out how to create it efficiently. There are many things to cater to, and you need to get it all right to have the maximum impact. Here is how you can create a great looking one for yourself -
When you create a drawing, you first outline the sketch with a pencil and then fill in the colours. The outline here is your goals and objectives. Start with finding your target audience that you will receive the specific email. Getting the right audience is imperative as it will help you add offers and other nifty attachments.
You can try and be very specific. Try bifurcating the audience on the basis of demography, age, interests, or any other criteria. After that define the goals that you are seeking to achieve via this email. The goal must be in line with the company’s vision and values. There is no room for hasty decisions here. Go as slow as necessary and make sure that you have got it all right.
After all of it, go on to find the requisite KPIs for the objectives you have chosen. KPIs vary according to your goals and objectives, and it can be anything, conversion rates, sign up rates, open rates, or any other indicator as suitable. Once the body is ready, go on to design the rough content. Analysing your competitor’s email template and improving on what it lacks is probably the best way to develop a rough content first. After all of it, move on to the next step.
Once you have determined the goals and objectives for your newsletter, you need to develop content. A good way of planning your content out is by taking into account how often you plan to send a newsletter and how early you set your newsletter's goals.
As a marketer, sometimes you will have to actively prepare engaging content to excite your audience. At other times, you might just stumble across it while searching through the internet and doing competitor research
Some great places to look for content are internal newsletters, blogs, social media accounts, and other documents.
One of the common mistakes done by marketers is squeezing too much copy into too little space. Designing your template holds utmost importance in email marketing as you will know how much space you have to place in the content.
Your email template doesn't have to be too complicated with intricate designs. Sometimes simple newsletters with minimal text do a better job.
Ensure that the template design you choose is mobile-friendly, since market research as shown that over 46% of emails are opened from mobile devices.
Your subscribers may open your emails on any number of devices using the email service providers of their choice. The main problem is that the emails won't size themselves once you send them to your readers.
As a standard, most mail service providers will default your email size to 600px wide. This is mostly to ensure that your newsletter will conform to almost any device and service provider.
When it comes to height, you will have the flexibility to choose the desired height. However, for best results, make sure that your readers won't have to scroll for more than a second before they reach the end.
Next comes filling the email body with pictures and words.
This being the prime portion of your email, make sure that you add a lot of perfection to the mail body by adding catchy images and content which incite a quick response.
Try to keep your email copy short and sweet with a positive approach. Before sending, give your content one last sweep to ensure that there are no typos or grammar mistakes present.
Studies have shown that personalisation can bring in a lot of success in digital marketing—people like getting personalised emails with their names. Segmenting your email list using email marketing software like Enginemailer and making sure each email is addressed to your individual subscriber’s name really helps improve open rates while showing your customers you care.
Using a good email automation software helps you to test your emails for different providers. After all, there is no guarantee that a perfectly crafted email for Outlook will look good in Thunderbird.
Email marketing software and service providers help you to test your emails for various providers.
After you have drafted the necessary message, it is time to select the platform who will carry the message to your target audience. A platform lets you create, send and analyse your campaign. Do not take this step lightly, howsoever easy it may look. You have the option to either do it for free or hire a professional to do it for you.
If you are looking for free ones, you will not have to pay a single penny to get your job done. But how successful will it be is a huge question. Most of them limit the number of recipients, and you may even find queues forming. These queues lead to delays, and there are times when the mails delivery fails.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a professional, they will charge you for their services. You get several additional features though, like the ability to drag and drop to edit, segmentation, extra widgets, and many more. Most of these professionals also carry on A/B testing to ensure that your campaign is flawless.
You must have a subscriber list for you to send the message. Ensure that you do not send the same note to all the subscribers. Break down the audience into segments that you would deem fit. Divisions ensure that you pay the requisite care to your subscribers and they are always in the loop.
As mentioned above, you cannot send a single message to all your subscribers. Designing a customised message for all your segments will improve reachability. While planning your message, make sure that it is catchy, and the viewer will be interested in reading what he receives. You must have the viewpoint of an audience while tailoring the subscription mail.
After all the hard work is complete, it is now time to make some nifty additions which will differentiate you from the rest. If you don’t optimize your campaign, you will remain amongst the ordinaries, and the strategy will fail. Optimizing doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to employ the best professionals in the market; it means knowing your audience and creating something that they would love.
Once you have included all the essential elements and recipients' list, you can finally click the send button.
It is necessary to determine your email campaigns' performance to make sure that it is in alignment with your marketing goals.
A few days after you send a campaign,look up their performance. Analyse what parts of the newsletters got the maximum number of clicks and open rates.
This will give you an insight into what improvements are necessary to be included in your newsletter.
Now that you know the recipe for the perfect newsletters, it is time you know certain things to be kept in mind while drawing it up. Take a look at the things that can destroy your campaign if they misfire -
An important aspect of email messages is that they are not resized by themselves. Various devices can access an email with varied screen sizes ranging from 4 inches to 17 inches and even more. So how do we define the appropriate newsletter size? If you talk about width, most email providers provide 600px of width for your content.
Talking about how much you get, you get around 570px headspace due to the 30px padding eating away a part of it. With regards to height, there is no such barricade. You can make your email as long as possible. Before you move on with trying to create a long subscription mail, do you think the reader will read a long email?
They probably won’t and hence a general rule – you only get a second worth of scroll time! Simply saying, you don’t want your audience to scroll more than a second before reaching the end.
Timing is an essential part of every successful strategy. If you do not plan about it, there are chances that a good subscription mail may not get the reception it deserves. Unless you have enough experience in dealing with your audience, we suggest you use the standard time.
For the B2B model, you are best suited to send in your mails during peak working hour, i.e. starting around 11 AM and ending around 4 PM. For a B2C model, it is better if you choose post-working hours to deliver, i.e. after 7 PM till 9 PM. Further, you can use analytical tools to understand the most suitable time for your newsletter. If you get your timing right, your message will have a wider reach and higher open rates.
In today’s world, smartphones have become more critical than personal computers. In fact, as per a survey by BizReport, around 65 per cent mails are first accessed on a smartphone. You can no longer ignore mobile optimisation, and it brings us to the question of optimisation. Also, around 75 per cent of users delete an un-optimised email.
It brings you to the question, for which device should you optimize your email? Even if you ignore tablets, your content must be well optimized for mobile viewing. If you are more accustomed to doing it the old way, it is time you update your skills. Personal digital assistants will continue to superimpose their importance, and we do not see any reason to stop it anytime soon. It is you who have to adapt.
Sending emails is not complicated, but sending hundreds or thousands of them requires a bit more technical assistance and financial investment.
While you could just open your email program, create a quick draft, and click on the send button, you will likely run into some problems if you try to do this in bulk. Creating a HTML email using Outlook also presents its own share of difficulties. You also have no means of automating this process, making it a painstaking and manual process.
However, a good newsletter program doesn’t have to cost you much. Service providers such as Enginemailer help you to send up to 500 emails a day for free.
On the other hand, if you are continually growing your business and have a list of 5,000 emails to send in a month, it is always advisable to subscribe to a paid plan.
Read here to understand more about pricings related to sending a newsletter.
An email server is one of the most crucial components for sending out an email, the other being a web application or software program to create newsletters.
You have will need to manage each of the components separately. You can install the newsletter software on your client’s computer and use the email server provided by your hosting provider.
However, these email servers are not correctly designed for handling a massive number of emails. Often these servers may shut down when the user tries to send several hundred emails within an hour.
Another useful option is to run your own email server. But this might not be an idea for small businesses, mainly due to the enormous maintenance cost required.
The other factor you need to consider is whether your mail server has a good reputation.
If not, it is quite possible that your emails will be blocked or rejected as spam by high quality service providers such as Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Gmail, etc.
In such a scenario, the best option is to choose a hosted email system. In this case, the service provider will take care of the maintenance and deliverability.
Following are the examples of some successful email newsletter templates -
An email Newsletter subscription may have been around for a long time, but organisations use it as a weapon even today. Very few techniques carry the same impact as this technique, and a well-crafted message will seldom fail to deliver. There is no fixed rule on how to use it, and you can try to innovate and find ways to use it to your benefit.
If you are thinking of using the latest techniques for your business growth, it would be great if you sit down and plan a concoction of the old and the new. It will help you in eradicating the weaknesses of the old and imbibing the strengths of the new ones.