7 Crucial Tips for the Email Newsletter Marketing Do-It-Yourselfer
To be successful in email newsletter marketing demands that you go beyond just advertising; you need to respect your customers and speak to them in a personal, familiar tone. Due to the impersonal nature of spam, email marketing has become more personal by necessity since the 2003 adoption of the CAN-SPAM Act. This law defined spam as email messages sent without permission.
Smart do-it-yourself email marketers have recognized that annoying spam has destroyed customer loyalty. Therefore, a successful email marketing campaign needs to be more personal, original and unique. The following tips will show you how to use email marketing effectively so that you can turn your leads into sales:
- Obtain permission. Without obtaining permission to email, you risk losing customer goodwill and the possibility of CAN-SPAM penalties which means getting blacklisted by ISPs that will refuse all emails that come from you. Permission is not difficult to obtain. You can have people sign up for your emails by offering something of value such as a whitepapers, special discounts or e-books — in exchange for customers signing up to receive your newsletter. The sign up option should be provided through your website or through paper forms that you distribute through traditional mail, events or affiliated business networks.
- Target your mailing list. A good way to obtain permission to send email newsletters is to have your most loyal and repeat customers ask their friends to sign up also. This can result in a screened list of prospects interested in what you have to offer. You can also try co-registration, which means that you offer your newsletter through a registration form appearing on multiple websites. (You should do some research beforehand to ensure that any co-registration programs you participate in reach your targeted demographic).
- Be persistent. It takes time to develop relationships with customers. Successful email marketing needs a good foundation which includes an entrance strategy to greet new customers or prospects and setting up expectations for your new relationships. The first couple of emails are the most critical. By the second or third email, you should begin delivering on your prospect’s expectations by sending the discount or whitepaper you promised in the beginning.
- Use stories. A good newsletter should be more than just a summary of your company and what it offers. Provide specific and useful content. Use stories to get your readers interested. Fill your content with information that is helpful and beneficial to your audience.
- Stay away from heavy graphics. Your newsletter design is very important since many email filters block graphics, logos and Flash animation. This can prohibit a prospect or customer from receiving your newsletter. Offer both plain and rich text email newsletters so that customers have the option of selecting the format of the newsletter.
- Provide an exit strategy. People who have signed up for your newsletter did so because they wanted to read what you had to say, but this can change over time. Implement an exit strategy that allows recipients to opt out of your newsletter. If not, this may put you in the “dangerous” spam category.
- Be clear about your goals. The key to maintaining a successful email newsletter campaign is to know exactly what you want to get out of it and be prepared to set new goals as your business needs change. If necessary, consider an email newsletter service to help you reach your email newsletter marketing goals.