In the digital era, direct marketing is gaining momentum like no other. Besides social media marketing, two of the most popular terms that crop up when discussing direct digital marketing are ‘email marketing’ and ‘email newsletter’. While marketers may be able to differentiate between the two, a typical consumer may not be able to tell them apart. As a matter of fact, there are some people who may have heard both the terms, and often use them interchangeably, not knowing the difference between the two. If you, too, are unsure of the difference between email marketing and email newsletter, this blog will provide you the much-needed clarity. In addition to it, this blog will also furnish you with tips for effective email marketing and email newsletter, so that you can best utilize these digital tools to boost your business.
Email Marketing 101
What is Email Marketing?
Before the internet became an everyday affair among their target audience, businesses would often send their customers marketing material through snail mail. However, with the advent of the internet, direct marketing became digital, and took the form of emails, thereby giving birth to what is called ‘email marketing’.
How effective is email marketing?
A well-planned email marketing strategy can help you effectively improve visibility, build credibility, improve communication, increase website traffic, boost sales, understand what works and what doesn’t, maintain relationships, and much more.
With social media being quite a rage today, there are some marketers who are of the opinion that email marketing is outdated. However, according to a November 2017 survey, 85% marketing experts believe that the performance of email marketing is increasing. In fact, 58% of those surveyed said that its performance is increasing significantly. Also, according to Marketing Sherpa, 91% of American adults that participated in the survey want to receive emails from businesses they would like to make a purchase from. With the Open Rates of marketing email rising with each passing year, it is one of the most popular ways to market a business website in today’s digital age. Taking all of these into account, clearly, getting your business onboard the email marketing wagon is a good idea.
Email Newsletter 101
What is Email Newsletter
Unlike a marketing email whose primary objective is to market a business’ product or service, an email newsletter gives its subscribers high value news or information that could be beneficial to them. Just like traditional newspapers, email newsletters come at regular intervals, carry relevant news/information, and have relatively less promotional content.
What is the use of email newsletter?
Not everybody who wants to be informed about your business or its industry may follow it on social media. That’s why, email newsletter is a good idea to:
Keep subscribers updated about upcoming events organized by your business
Inform them about something interesting or important pertaining to the industry relevant to your business
Educate them about what is happening in your market
Notify your existing and potential customers about what is happening in your store
How do email marketing and email newsletter work?
The ‘Subscribe’ button you see on most websites nowadays is one of the ways businesses seek your permission to send you emails. This kind of opt-in digital marketing is a good way to promote products, services and events to customers, business prospects, members or suppliers, as well as to keep them updated. It enables you to reach potential customers in a place most people visit every day — their email inbox.
Other than your website, you may be generating leads from online ads, phone calls, walk-in, etc. While some people may make an immediate purchase, others may have contacted you only to enquire. However, this enquiry is an indication of their possible interest in what you have to offer. Now it’s on you to convert that interest into a purchase; if not a purchase, you should be able to earn their trust, enough for them to refer your business to a friend or family. Email marketing and email newsletter could be effective tools in that direction.
Tips for Email Marketing and Email Newsletters
- Guard against being spam-zoned
‘Spam’ is something no one likes — while consumers don’t like receiving one, entrepreneurs don’t like their mails being marked as ‘spam’. That’s why you need to focus on the kind of marketing material that works best for your business and each of its target audience. Frequent mails, too much information in a single mail, or even irrelevant information may lead your subscribers to either hitting the ‘Unsubscribe’ button or marking you as ‘Spam’.
- Pay attention to analytics
This is one of the biggest advantages of email marketing over traditional direct marketing — you can get a clear picture of what happened after the marketing mail was sent. How many emails were delivered and how many bounced back? How many people opened the mail? How many minutes did they spend browsing through the mail? Did they click somewhere on the mail? Did anyone mark your mail as spam? Did someone unsubscribe after receiving the mail? All these and more engagement metrics can be tracked using various tools. So, make sure you pay attention to the analytics and accordingly work on your next marketing email.
- Add hyperlinks to elaborate
The content needs to be short and crisp. However, that doesn’t mean you furnish incomplete information to your subscribers. While you cannot insert comprehensive details in the email, include the main information therein. Insert individual hyperlinks to give your subscribers the option to get more details on each of the items in the mail.
- Encourage interaction
Encourage interaction whenever possible. Polls are an effective way to get your subscribers to interact. However, make sure you follow it up with the poll results too.
- Run tests
It’s crucial that you shoot a bulk mail only after testing it well. You cannot afford to let your credibility take a hit, especially when you are addressing numerous people at one go. Even minor glitches can affect the perception your subscribers have of you. So, run a test mail and send it to your team members. Ensure that the email is delivered to each of its recipients only once, each time; you don’t want to pound a subscriber with the same email multiple times. Besides this, check if all the anchor texts have been hyperlinked with the correct links, and also if you have missed out on inserting any hyperlink. And finally, see to it that the email looks like you want it to, and is devoid of any error.
In the initial few times, you can take the liberty of changing the subject, layout, call to action, etc. Each time you change something, study the analytics — open rates, click rates, number of people that unsubscribed, etc. Observe the trend and analyze what could have brought about that rise or dip. Once you are satisfied with the way your emails are performing, stick to it. However, even after that, experimenting and upgrading once in a while is recommended.
- Make emails responsive
It is not just your website that needs to be responsive. With the number of people using a phone to access emails growing with each passing day, it is only wise to make your email newsletter and marketing emails responsive too. If the email does not fit the screen properly, recipients may most likely leave the email immediately, or even worse, unsubscribe.
- Provide value
There’s a reason why every subscriber chose to subscribe to your newsletter or marketing emails. Make sure you give them what they would like to hear from you — something that would make them want to come to your website, make a purchase, learn something new or useful, or simply remember your business for positive reasons. If there’s nothing of interest to them, your subscribers may choose to opt out of your subscription list.
- Have a schedule
Set the delivery schedule, and stick to it. If you decide that the newsletter will be sent on the second and fourth Monday of every month, ensure that there’s no delay.
More often than not, readers do not have the time or patience to go through everything that is given in the email; they may simply skim through it. That is why it is essential to prioritize your content and highlight them accordingly. What messages do you want your subscribers to notice unfailingly? What piece of news could be vital for your business? What information could be most important to your subscribers? Ask yourself a few questions like these, and the answers should help you prioritize.
- Involve customer service too
Allow subscribers to reach out to your customer service through the email. If a subscriber has a query, your team would be just a click away. This would also help you demonstrate your customer service’s competence.
- Keep it simple
Like always, simplicity is key. Avoid complicated words, acronyms, and jargons. Not everybody who has subscribed to your marketing or newsletter emails may understand them. So, use simple words that your target audience will be able to understand.
Email newsletters and email marketing can prove to be excellent tools to boost the performance of your business through digital means. Your subscribers form a perception about your business based on the quality of your emails and their content. Make sure they get a positive impression. All the best!
Foundous believes in working with you as your design partner so that you can focus on your business. We believe design should be uncompromising as it gives the first impression of your business. That’s why, we give your website the ideal look and feel. Most of all, we understand cashflow; accordingly, we have amortized the cost of building your website, over time, with our affordable pricing. Contact us to know how we can help with your business.