According to the Retail Email blog, this year the week before Christmas was the busiest week ever for promotional emails. Online retailers sent out an all-time high of around 6 promotional emails over the week of December 17th, which is up 4% versus the previous week and up 16% over the whole year.
What this means is given the volume of emails sent out not only during the holiday season, but throughout the whole year, getting your subscribers to open your e-newsletter can be a tough task. And since most companies are always looking for cost-effective ways to promote their products and services, e-mail marketing continues to be one of the most popular online marketing methods available.
So while you can’t guarantee your audience will open and read your e-newsletter, there are some tips and tricks to designing an effective e-newsletter campaign.
1) Ask your subscribers to add you to their white list: What this means is they will add your email address to their address book. This will ensure that your newsletters are not delivered to a junk mail folder.
2) Be consistent: If you can send your emails on the same day and time each week, your subscribers will learn when to expect and anticipate your emails. Most email programs (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response) allow you to set up a delivery date/time so you can write your e-mail blast in advance, but send it at the same day/same time each week.
3) Pick the right subject line: Your subject line should preview the contents of the email by summarizing the main point of your email’s message, while not being too sales driven or spam-ish. Avoid writing your subject lines in all caps. Tell your customers in 50 characters or less why they would want to read your message and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box in order to pique your subscribers curiosity (but make sure you’re not so “out there” that you turn them off!) Try out different subjects lines in each newsletter and review your email statistics (through your e-newsletter program) to know what resonates best with your audience.
4) Keep your newsletter short and sweet: If your ultimate goal is to direct subscribers to your website, short snippets of text with “read more” links back to your site is a good idea. Longer email newsletters are usually filed away and read later (or not read at all).
5) Convey valuable knowledge and a hint of personalization: Showing your users you’re human, is a great way to connect with your audience. If you can relate anything that you’re doing personally, to the message that you’re sending your audience, include a snippet in the newsletter. Users like to connect with a personal side of your company, not just a sales pitch.
6) Construct the right footer elements: Your footer should not only abide by CAN SPAM laws, but it should also have a way for your users to opt out of your e-newsletter list if they wish to. This will help ensure your newsletter is reputable.
Have any additional tips and tricks that you’d like to share? What has your company done that has increased your subscription base? We’d love to hear from you!