With social media and a host of new ways to market your brand and products online, businesses can forget about the power of email as a marketing channel.
But according to Statista, as of January 2022, 92% of the U.S. digital population used email as a form of communication – a higher connection rate than social media and online messaging apps. Are you still on the fence about investing the time and effort in crafting a newsletter? Starting to understand what a newsletter is and why it matters for your business can help you in the long run.
1. Use email newsletters to drive sales.
According to Litmus’s 2021 State of Email report, 79% of marketers ranked email marketing as the most effective tactic, above paid and organic search and social media.
I’ve found it to be true in marketing my own brand and insights studio, Tote + Pears, as well. Since launching our newsletter more than a decade ago, we’ve experienced a 43:1 return on investment. Email newsletters can be a great way to engage new customers and keep existing customers coming back for more.
When you’re top of mind, people can be more likely to buy from you, and staying in their inbox can be an effective way to do that. The Litmus study found 34% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after receiving an email.
Think of your local eye doctor jumping in your inbox monthly. That prompt can act as a reminder to schedule your next appointment. When an ecommerce brand pops in frequently to share insights and new sales, you may be enticed to buy something new.
Email newsletters can be among the most effective sales conversion optimization strategies, helping move leads through your sales funnel.
2. Connect with your customers.
One of the most beneficial aspects of an email newsletter can be its warm connection to your audience and the opportunity to build trust and credibility. Because someone has to opt in, they’re likely already familiar with your brand and want to connect, which can make them the perfect candidate for conversational marketing, which is designed to be personal and build customer interactions. When you’re consistent, your customers can begin to expect (and, ideally, look forward to) hearing from you.
You can even customize your email newsletters based on your customers’ interests, location, or demographics for an even better experience. For example, let’s say you run a clothing store and your target audience is mothers with children. Mothers with newborns are looking for different clothing options than mothers with teenagers. With a segmented email newsletter you can serve both of their interests with personalized content and make adjustments as their family ages.
When you understand your audience, you can build a customer retention strategy that leverages email newsletters to stay connected with your customers now and into the future.
3. Boost your social media engagement.
Effective marketing tactics take users through a journey connecting your customers with your brand on multiple channels, including in-store, on social, via text message, and in email. Email newsletters can be a great way to tie those experiences together, ultimately boosting engagement in other spaces and further driving brand awareness.
By simply adding a link or button to your email marketing newsletter that points to your social media channels, you can help subscribers continue engaging with your brand. This can be especially helpful for growing your social channels or increasing customer retention.
For example, you can point email subscribers to demos or social reviews by other customers or invite them to create their own. User-generated content (UCG) can be valuable.
4. Increase traffic to your website.
Just like with social media, email newsletters can be incredibly effective in getting leads back to your website, where they can then engage with your content, make purchases, or learn about new products or services.
Through personalized content, exclusive offers, or collaboration with influencers, you can use newsletter marketing as a way to bring them back to your main marketing hub, your website. You can share a new product and point people to the purchase page with a prompt like “buy now.” If you’re holding an event, you can have an animated graphic in the newsletter to grab readers’ attention. A button can take them to where they can RSVP or purchase tickets.
The best online newsletters can spark conversations and generate engagement. With tracking tools, you can track your subscribers’ engagement. Data points like clicking a link, navigating through your site, and making a purchase, can help improve your future customer experience.
5. Start a simple newsletter.
Email newsletters can be easy to create. With today’s newsletter platforms, you can begin engaging with your customers quickly. These tools have progressively improved over the years, adding features like pre-built email templates, drag-and-drop capabilities, and text messaging integration. Additionally, the tools can leverage data from your social media and website to help offer recommendations on content and suggest ideal delivery days and times. Creating a newsletter doesn’t have to require a ton of technical or design expertise.
How to create a newsletter email
Set up a signup form
You can get your customers and potential customers to sign up with a newsletter signup form on your website. You can gather basic information such as email addresses, names, birthdays, and other data.
Pick a cadence
You can consider what you want to communicate and how often you can commit to reaching out. For some companies, quarterly can be best. For others, monthly or even weekly updates can make sense for their audience. Whatever you decide, try to stick with it: consistency can yield better results.
Build your content strategy
Next, you can consider your audience: What would they like to hear from you? What information do you want to relay to them? Personalization can be key. You can determine topics that will likely appeal to your audience and use your brand to help bring content they’ll enjoy. For example, a pediatrician’s office may have four sections in their newsletter: a section on common colds and how to treat them, family-friendly events at their office and around town, growth milestones for little ones, and a section to spotlight new staff. A call to action might be inviting subscribers to sign up for an appointment.
Build and send
Now, it’s time to build your newsletter and send it. If you’re using an email newsletter platform, you can pick a template from one of their template libraries or hire a designer to build one for you, write the content (aim for less than 400 words per newsletter), and add in your calls to action. You can schedule or send the newsletter.
Email newsletters can be a way to connect and stay connected with an audience that’s already interested. By being consistent you can make the person not just a customer, but a loyal and engaged fan.
A version of this article was originally published on September 03, 2013.
Photo: Getty Images