Here’s how to use newsletter to boost your sales

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Email newsletters have existed as a form of news sharing since the early days of the web. Before social networks and search engines, emails were a great way to share pictures, links, content you published with friends, colleagues and family. This week I’ll talk a bit about the importance of sending email newsletters and why you should definitely send them.

Why should you send emails?

1. The platform

Social networks and search engines are a great way to get traffic and acquire readers and users. Here’s the catch. You don’t control those platforms. If Facebook or Twitter rewrite the software for the newsfeed or timeline, a lot of publishers will lose traffic from these platforms. Also from time to time Search Engines make all kinds of updates. Every time Google releases an update to it’s search engine, a lot of publishers get affected.

Emails have historically been displayed in chronological or reverse chronological order. Even modern apps still display emails in one of these formats — the only difference is they group or organise emails so you can select what you want to read faster. This is probably not going to change soon. An email ensures you’re getting into the inbox of your readers or customers.

2. Knowing your audience

Email newsletters help you know who your audience is. By collecting a reader’s email address(and maybe name), you’re closer to knowing them better than if they were just a blip in your site’s traffic dashboard. Emails can be personalised and tailored to your site’s visitors in several ways.

3. Emails are really awesome

Here are some exciting email stats to encourage you to send them.

  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter
  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources
  • 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media
  • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook
  • 4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines and 0.59% from social media
  • 92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it on an average day
  • 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed

Source: Campaign Monitor

What kind of emails should you send?

The next step is to figure out what you want to send in your email.

Here’s a list of things you can send depending on your product or website

  • A new blog post
  • A collection of new blog posts
  • Top read blog posts for a specific period of time
  • A new product your company is launching
  • Several products you’re selling on your website
  • An event your company is hosting or attending
  • A promotion you’re running or a giveaway
  • A new feature of your application or product
  • Tips and tricks on how to use your product more effectively
  • A collection of curated content in a field — say Technology, Music or Media.

From above it’s easy to see how getting the content your audience wants to consume is the right step. Please read: How to create a buyer persona. When you figure out the content you’re creating for your audience, you can then send them a newsletter. You can even link back to your blog if you like. Remember Email newsletters are a great way to increase your site traffic.

How often should you send emails?

In a nutshell, it depends. If you’re sending news content that gets updated daily, you might want to send newsletters daily. If your company doesn’t provide a lot of content but you want to keep your users up to date with your company activities, you can send an email as often as these events occur. It’s really up to you and your content strategy to decide how often you want to send emails.

How do you get email subscribers?

I am totally against spam. You should never buy email addresses and send emails to people who haven’t expressed interest in your newsletter.

To acquire email subscribers, you can place a form on your site or blog to collect email addresses of your visitors. Most email tools will let you create these forms. Next week, I’ll write more about acquiring email subscribers.

If you already have a bunch of email addresses from users of your product, you can send them emails as well but be sure to include an unsubscribe link in case they don’t want to hear from you.

How should you send emails?

There are a lot of great tools you can use to send email newsletters. They’ll help you manage your email list, provide statistics and templates for your emails. Here’s a quick list of some of them:

MailChimp

Mad Mimi

Tinyletter

Freshmail

What are some great email newsletters out there?

These are links to some of my favourite email newsletters.

The Skimm for news

TechCabal Daily

Pocket Daily

The Buffer Blog’s Newsletter

Nik Nak’s newsletter

Sabirah’s newsletter

Eat Drink Lagos’ newsletter

Devcenter’s newsletter for developers

How do you measure newsletter success?

Measuring the success of your newsletter depends on the goal of your newsletter.

If you want people to buy more of your products, you should optimise your email for that goal. If your goal is to get more traffic to your blog, then your email should include links so you can reach that goal.

Your goal will largely determine how your newsletter will be structured and what it will contain. Your goal can even be to get more people to open the newsletter. This means you have to come up with some great email subject headlines.

The goal of the email newsletter will always determine the content and the structure of the content.

This post first appeared on Digital Marketing Nigeria’s blog, It was written by Olabinjo

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