Marketing Techniques for Your Company Newsletter
By Mark Swartz
Newsletters can be an effective type of email marketing. They’re a form of outreach to subscribers who have opted-in through other means.
What with anti-spam laws and PIPEDA privacy rules, gone are the days of mass emailing to acquire newsletter subscribers. So the content focus has been changing.
Now the main usefulness of newsletters is retaining, rewarding and recapturing subscribers. Like all strategic communications every newsletter should be designed with specific goals in mind.
Welcoming New Subscribers
The first objective is to make new subscribers feel at ease. They’ve taken time to sign-up from other sources, such as your social media posts or referrals from other subscribers. Let them know you appreciate their effort.
Start with a brief message that welcomes them aboard. Let them know what to expect: how often they’ll be getting this newsletter, what sort of content they’ll be seeing.
Next list the benefits of being a subscriber. Maybe they’ll receive discounts, or be first to learn about upcoming promotions and events. If they haven’t opted in yet, ask them to do so now (by checking the appropriate box in your welcome email).
Provide a small initial reward that reinforces your promise to make subscribing worthwhile. This could be a coupon for savings on their next purchase. It might also be a special ebook of tips that buyers of your kind of products and services can learn from.
Informing Readers Of Interesting Developments
The second newsletter you send – perhaps a few days or a week later – supports the reasons for having subscribed. This can be done by keeping readers updated on the latest about your products, promotions (such as sales or contests), even pertinent news from outside sources.
Are you about to introduce a brand new product? Have you upgraded to a newer version of an existing one? Make readers feel like members of an exclusive club getting insider scoops.
Include as well notice of revised policies, especially where it concerns privacy or purchasing arrangements. Consider too sharing news about changes at your company that readers might enjoy hearing about. Simplify that by repurposing content for greater exposure.
Your goal for a newsletter edition may be to prompt the reader to take action. What sort of action? That depends on what’s important to your company at that time.
Small asks might be along the lines of “Click here for more information about our products.” Or “Follow us on our social media sites.”
Moving up the chain is “Click here now for a special offer.” That creates a sense of urgency. A step beyond that is “Refer us to a friend.” This call to action means the reader’s response won’t just affect them alone. They’ll have to trust your offerings before they pass you on to people they know.
The ultimate transaction is “Click here to buy now.” Follow up a purchase with a thank you email and a special offer on their next purchase.
Other Purposes of Newsletter Email Marketing
Beyond welcoming, informing and transacting there are other motives to maintain your newsletter campaign. One is to recapture dormant subscribers who haven’t responded for a while.
Another is to gather information and create dialogue between you and your customers. Add a feature that allows them to ask questions and get timely feedback. Include a survey that lets you gather useful information first hand.
Be Consistently Valuable
The purpose of each newsletter you send will vary. It’s also possible you’ll mix and match goals within a single edition.
Just be reliable and meaningful to your subscribers. Arrive at the same time each week so they anticipate the message’s arrival. Build in offers, updates and information they can use right away.
Newsletters are a form of marketing communication that enhances your brand. Tailor your content to readers’ needs and they’ll engage loyally.