Some may argue this point, but I believe e-newsletters still work as a tool to engage customers. Given that, and how long it has been around — it surprises me how even large companies make simple mistakes in e-newsletter campaigns. Keeping your eye on five key elements will not only help get your message across, but drive more traffic and business.
No. 1 – Tag images. Whether you are using Constant Contact, Emma, MailChimp or writing your own html newsletter it’s important to tag your images. The majority of online users block “cookies”; and since you can’t control user settings, you can provide them with an explanation of what the picture is, instead of just having a question mark show up in their in box. Better yet, you can have that image link directly back to your website.
No. 2 – Actually tell a story. Images are great, but don’t be afraid to actually put some words in that newsletter. One of my clients recently broke with their traditional newsletter content to write a simple note of thanks. We added in some pictures from their Thanksgiving gathering and personalized it. It was one of their most popular newsletters yet with a 38.7 percent open rate.
No. 3 – Be mobile friendly. If you don’t have a mobile friendly website or a separate mobile site then you need to be heading that direction. According to Pew Internet Research 91 percent of American adults own a cell phone and 60 percent of cell phone owners use it to access the internet; 52 percent send or receive email on their phone. If you are sending an email newsletter or offer, chances are its being received on a phone, and the receiver will click on the links on their phone. If your website is not mobile friendly you are probably losing customers.
No. 4 – Don’t spam your customers. Seriously, the four or five black Friday reminders from one retailer were a bit much. In fact, it made me unsubscribe. Usually it’s the big chain retailers that do this, but I mention it because it’s easy to fall in the trap of doing what everyone else is doing. Do what makes sense for your business and send something to your customers when you have something meaningful to say or offer.
No. 5 – Pay attention to the subject line. Customize your subject line to the content. The more thought and effort here, the better the chances your newsletter won’t end up in the spam box.
Helen Todd, APR, is the owner of Fluid Communications and author of the book “8 Things You Can Do For Free To Promote Your Business”.