Lots of marketers have been promoting the demise of email marketing. Wrong. Email marketing, such as newsletters, should be a core part of your efforts. But you have to do it correctly.
When it comes to your marketing and promotional efforts, you probably start by asking if a campaign is effective and efficient. If the answer is no, then you move on until you find something that fits the bill. Well believe it or not, email can provide both functions.
An emailed newsletter to your audience is not the same thing as spam, although you might have been led to believe otherwise. Email is ridiculously versatile and customizable. Plus it offers fabulous ROI, which let’s face it, everyone wants. And it must still be working or why else would Direct Marketing Association have found that more than 75 percent of marketers have actually increased their usage of email in the past three years.
Yes, not everyone will read your emailed newsletter. However there are more than 4.3 billion email accounts and according to Statistia, at least 34 percent of us check our emails at least once a day.
Not old school
It can be tempting to view emails, and newsletters for that matter, as very 20th century. But these “old-school” methods of communication are still very relevant and valuable for today, if deployed properly. So what does that mean?
First of all it means making three rights: right email, right audience, right time. If you want your customers to not only read your email, but also appreciate it and act on it, you have to hit them with information they want when they want it.
Start by segmenting your contact list into personas, so you have groups of like-minded individuals. Now that you know WHO will be reading your newsletter, you can better formulate a message that will entice them to open your email.
Now here’s the part that requires a bit more effort on your part—you’ve got to figure out when it’s the right time to approach this customer. You have to track them via their behavior on your website. Marketing intelligence software and some CMS programs allow you to see the pages they view or any conversion events they have (such as downloading an e-book) that could indicate the customer is ready to hear the message you want to send.
Now that you have who and when determined, it’s time to turn to what—what you will send.
- If the customer is just becoming aware of your product/company, keep the newsletter content that you email easy to digest. Think videos, slideshows and free tools.
- Maybe the customer is ready to consider their options. Now is when you want to anticipate and address any questions they may have.
- Once you reach the decision stage, your emailed content should focus on details about free trials or demos, estimates or any other information that gives your customer a more detailed and nuanced look at what product you offer.