This year, more than 300 billion emails have been sent and received each day, and sometimes it seems every one of them went through my inbox. The flood is unprecedented, annoying, overwhelming—but it may also be the simplest and most effective way for today’s businesses to communicate.
Email marketing and newsletter distribution are great assets because they can be personal, direct, inexpensive and, when executed right, hit the nail on the head with data, news and utility. The test of success is easy: are they read? To be read, they have to earn their keep, which is what a good campaign does.
The data shows that a carefully built email plan is worth the effort. The average ROI is $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing. Such campaigns are the primary customer acquisition channel for 80 percent of small businesses, and equally successful in customer retention.
With office buildings empty now and few handshake opportunities to meet customers and prospects, maintaining and building relationships poses a new challenge. Email newsletters allow us to close the gap, listen to feedback and extend a hand across the gap in our COVID lives.
Here’s a quick guide to fruitful email marketing:
- Choose your player: Web design platforms such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot, Sendinblue and ActiveCampaign allow for beginners and experts alike to develop their email campaigns through style guides, sample templates, contact list building and newsletter distribution. These platforms guide users through a seamless process and build a content history, allowing your team to effortlessly access design ideas, campaign performance, reporting and monitoring.
- It’s all about who: The bottom line is this: everyone you know, have done business with and want to do business with should be part of your eNews network, which is the lifeblood of any enterprise. The “who” informs the content because an eNews should deliver value to them. Is the value ideas, detailed explanations or a bird’s-eye view? The list dictates the content. Keeping tabs on who’s reading the newsletter (and who’s not) allows you to tailor messaging to make sure words don’t fall into a void.
- Give, don’t sell: The purpose of a newsletter is to bring useful and fresh ideas that the reader can take in a sip or gulp. Think about what you know that others don’t and share your secret sauce. Yes, give away your best advice for free! Your newsletter should also include short behind-the-curtain looks at the organization, its values, people and customers offering industry insights, company milestones and social good activities.
- Commit to frequency: There’s a correlation between relevance and frequency. To stay top of mind, a monthly reminder is a minimum goal, and during COVID-19, many companies are upping frequency to address critical issues impacting business. An email campaign gives an in-house or a public relations team very few content limitations. Keep in mind that readers shouldn’t have to scroll down to get to the news. Brevity will be rewarded.
- Analyze impact: Platforms are going to provide the numbers for open rates, click-through, subscribers, the unsubscribe rate and bounce rates. Know your open rate. Try to make it better. Look at unsubscribers and examine, but don’t let it get you down. Sometimes we all need to clean up our inboxes and start fresh. Most important – is the newsletter generating any referrals, conversions or traffic to the website? Click here to view Mailchimp’s recorded average open rates per industry.
Value means connection and connection is success. Connection is what we do. Give us a call if you need help creating an eNewsletter that enriches your network and avoids the ominous spam folder.
Olmstead Williams Communications
CEO and Founder
w 310.824.9000, c 310.387.7738