Email newsletter campaigns are a forgotten piece of marketing for many small businesses and entrepreneurs, largely because they don’t exactly know how to do them correctly and what goes into it. Here are 16 tips to help you get started with an email newsletter and how you can make sure your recipients will enjoy reading.
1) Get a good email list: It all starts with the right email list. Don’t purchase a list or use someone else’s because you’ll likely upset the majority of your list’s recipients - a major marketing no-no. Instead grow your list organically with proper opt-ins.
2) Make sign-up easy: Don’t ever make your customers jump through hoops to do something. Have a clear and simple way for people to sign up and opt-in for your newsletter, perhaps via a link to your home page or landing page. Simply ask for their name, email, company, and maybe one or two other questions to help you determine their interests.
4) Welcome each new member: Give people a nice, warm welcome when they sign up through an automated email. Get them comfortable with receiving emails from you right off the bat.
5) Stay on top of list: Always keep a tight list. You never know when you’ll have to reference details of your list as time goes by.
6) Unsubscribe when necessary: If someone wants off your list, release them and release them in a timely manner. Again, marketing is not about harassing people.
7) Remind people they opted in: Whenever you send an email or newsletter, remind people up front that they did indeed opt-in and request to receive the information.
8) Subject line tips: Do research to find out which words are most often used by spammers. You want to make sure and avoid using these words in your subject lines because email spam police on most computers will catch on to these words and refuse to let your email through. But also be sure to include catchy words that grab peoples’ attention.
9) Physical address & phone number: The law now requires that you make it very easy for people to contact you and this includes making available your company’s physical address and telephone number. There is no way around this so do the right thing.
10) Content that attracts: Don’t just fill your newsletter with promotions and sale items. Talk about things that would interest your customers, including other customer success stories, happenings in the industry, trend information, etc.
11) Offer incentives: Include giveaways and other contests as part of your newsletter. Include games inside your newsletter so that people are excited about opening it up each month or however frequent you make your emails.
12) Include as part of your loyalty: Reward people for being a member of your newsletter club. Do cross-promotion opportunities with a larger loyalty program that you have and include special offers for members of your newsletter club.
13) Let customers contribute: Like social media, newsletters are best when customers can also contribute. Make it easy for readers to email you with their own content, photos or stories and include the best ones in future newsletters. Make it their newsletter, not just the company’s newsletter.
14) Hold interesting contests: Create some excitement by holding contests that get all your readers involved and excited. Maybe history games and trivia on the company’s background, for example, would be a great place to have people get involved and learn more about the company. Giveaway items to participants and winners.
15) Tie in with PR efforts: Whenever you have company news that you send out via press release be sure to include in your newsletter. Readers want to know about the hard news as well as all the fun feature stuff, too.
16) Photos and multimedia: Don’t just write until the cows come home. It’s important to include great information but be sure to also include lots of photos so that you can engage with your readers on a visual level, too. Since we’re talking email be sure to post videos or link to your company’s Flickr or YouTube site.