22 September 2016

4 Tips for Great Newsletter Management

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4 Tips for Great Newsletter Management

Great email newsletter management goes beyond how to write a subject line that gets the email opened and a body that gets read form the opening line to the link in the CTA.

Newsletter management focuses on the two fundamental purposes of email newsletters: Attracting and retaining prospects.

Without proper management, you could end up stagnating a list of subscribers that don’t even read your emails or worse, losing subscribers. Below, we look at four of the most important aspects of your campaign that you have to get right to succeed in email marketing:

Focus On a Specific Point of Interest

Your business has many aspects that you’d want your audience to know about. You have news about the products; you have press coverage that you want to keep readers updated on; you have blog posts that are intended to inform and entertain; and you have events you want people to attend. Now imagine running a newsletter that talks about all four or more aspects inconsistently.

It’s quite a mess. It might seem like a good idea to mix things up but in the long run, this kind of inconsistency only ends up alienating your readers with every email that goes against their expectations when they signed up.

To avoid randomness, keep your newsletter focused on a specific subject instead of the whole scope of your company. Consider BuzzFeed which runs the “This Week in Cats” newsletter. Now, BuzzFeed writes about almost everything you can think about. But it has a newsletter dedicated to people who love cats and reading about them.

Another example is TechCrunch which broke down it’s newsletter into, not two or three, but seven newsletters. Driven by a need for reader segmentation, the tech blog launched seven weekly newsletters last year.

Decluttering helps you better understand and engage with the subscribers as the interests are aligned.

     Use the “Subscribe” Page to Set Expectations

There are few things worse than messing or appearing to mess with your audience’s heads. In the age of ecommerce, forums, review sites and limited time, it is important now, more than ever before, to tell people exactly what the deal entails upfront. Potential subscribers want to know exactly the kind of information you will be giving them and what you require in return.
If the newsletter is about tips and daily life hacks, make that known and follow on the promise in your emails. If you have products coupled with that, communicate that clearly by mentioning that you will be giving product news every once in a while. Focus on the point of interest and let potential subscribers know.
SmartBrief goes even further in setting expectations. On its “Subscribe” landing page, the business news curation site explains clearly what is to be contained in the newsletter and then provides a link that a potential subscriber could follow to check out a preview email.

Needless to say, this creates and heightens the trust in the subscribers. As a marketer, this reduces your spam and unsubscribe rates.
It is also important to make it easy for subscribers to opt-out. It seems counter-intuitive but the easier it is for a disinterested subscriber to unsubscribe from your list, the safer it is for you. Without the “Unsubscribe” button or with a lengthy and weird-sounding unsubscribing process, the user will opt for the easier option – marking your email as “Spam”. This could affect how the rest of the subscribers receive the same email.

Balance the Educational and Promotional Aspects of Your Email Content

People are not always looking to buy. They are not always looking to invest. Meaning, not matter how good your intentions might be, there’s a great chance that subscribers will not want to hear about your commodities all the time – even if they think they need them. Uncontrolled self-promotion only puts off subscribers, resulting in lower click-through rates, open rates and even higher unsubscribe rates.
To help you maintain the balance is the 90/10 rule. The rule is that 90% of your email content should be educational i.e. useful, relevant and timely while only 10% should be promotional i.e. about your products and services.
You also don’t have to make use of the 10% all the time. There’s no harm in that. Include promotional content only when you have news about your company or commodities that the subscriber would be excited to hear. Thus, whenever you don’t have to, leave out the promotional content and just focus on educating your subscriber. This will boost the trust and help increase the number of sales you make when you get to advertising your product.

Choose Your Email Service Provider(ESP) Carefully

Without the right ESP, then everything else is pretty much pointless – unless you are looking to build an internal solution which could prove too difficult or too costly.
When you have to use an ESP, consider three main factors: the features, the fees, and the delivery.
Every business is different. When choosing an ESP, focus on your custom needs and how the features of a potential provider can satisfy those needs. No matter the level of your business, you want an ESP that will grow beside your business. Thus, while you may be compelled to go for the basic factors at first, you should consider what the provider offers in upgrades. Some of the features to look for in a potential ESP are email templates, ease of use, mobility, social media integration, scheduling ability, tracking tools and the support team.

You also want to pick a service that is cost-effective, at all levels of your business. Depending on the provider, there are options to pay monthly fees, annual fees or pay-as-you-go fees. It is important to take a moment and consider the most suitable option for your situation.
The last of the most important factors to consider is the email delivery promised. Here, you want a provider whose tools you can trust to deliver your emails in the Inbox and not the Spam folder. Authentication and accreditation tools verify the identity of the sender and communicate to the internet filters that the emails are legitimate. You also want a reputable ESP. Some providers are not familiar to giants like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google. As a result, emails sent end up in Spam.

Before learning how to craft compelling emails, it is important to first know how to manage your list of subscribers as well as attract new ones.
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