26 February 2016

How to Make Your Newsletter a Success

How to Make Your Newsletter a Success

If you’re reading this blog post, probably at some point you’ve asked yourself: “if newsletters are the answer to my marketing troubles like everyone seems to be saying, why isn’t mine working?”

You signed up to the recommended tools such as MailChimp, Curated and TinyLetter, built a list and got your content together but still no success. Why?

Well, put simply, just having the basics there won’t make people interested in what you’re saying, and you can’t grow a successful newsletter overnight. The wealth of competition means you need to stand out from the crowd, and to do that you need to be willing to put in the work.

There are many reasons why newsletters fail, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to ensure you have the best chance of success.

#1 Don’t Drop the Newbies in at the Deep End

When a new subscriber signs up, many newsletters just start by sending them the latest posts on the blog. Yikes! This person doesn’t know the blog, doesn’t know its history and may not even know exactly what they are likely to find.

A much better option is to show them what they’ve missed and help them catch up on some of your blog’s highlights.

To do this, you could make a welcome post with a curated list of your top-performing posts. By that we don’t just mean most visited. Try to use a different, more telling metric that will indicate to you that the post was a success. The posts with the highest conversion rates could be a good start.

Once you’ve welcomed them, you can send a few more emails in the next few days. Try to be as informative as possible and let them know the kind of content they can be expecting from you. Introduce them to your company and try to show them around - if you have an app, for example, give them tips on how to use it.

This tailored experience shows to your readers that you are engaged with them. They’re not just another subscriber, and you’re not just another junk email in their inbox.

#2 Treat Email Marketing as a Way to Build Relationships

This is, unfortunately, a broader problem with marketers. With newsletters specifically, try to remember that you are being welcomed into someone’s personal space - their inbox. People generally don’t want you to come in and shout about yourself and your promotions

Instead, people are generally looking for information or help for their professional or personal life.

If this seems counter-intuitive when you’re trying to make conversions, try to transform the way you see email marketing. Try to steer away from the idea of email as one of your regular channels, and try instead to view it as a way to build your relationship with the customer. If you manage to do that, you’ll get yourself a list full of loyal customers.

#3 Don’t Bombard Your Subscribers (But Do Still Send them Mail!)

Sure, we all want to be creative and flexible, but a publishing schedule is a bit of rigidity that can do you the world of good.

First off, it allows your customers to have an expectation in mind of how much they can expect from you. Once a day, once a week, once a month - that’s up to you. What matters is that once you have it set, don’t stray from that. Create a habit and stick to it.

#4 Ask Permission

Many newsletters fail simply because they’re being sent to people who didn’t explicitly request them. You might try to trick users into signing up in order to build your subscriber list but, in the end, if these people aren’t engaged and never meant to sign up in the first place then it’s simply a vanity metric.

Be sure that the people on your list actually want to be there. Otherwise soon enough they won’t be.