Email newsletters offer a lot of potential to grab people’s interest and entice readers further along the journey towards making a purchase from you and possibly becoming a regular customer.
There are some powerful statistics that underline the value of this channel. Email generates some $37.5bn worth of retail sales in the UK every year, while 73% of marketers rank it as their top digital channel for return on investment, according to Marketing Week.
However, with consumers all over the world bombarded by millions of marketing emails every single day, standing out from the crowd isn’t easy. Here are some key methods that could help your email newsletters hit the target.
1. Make an impact with design
Design is a hugely important part of email marketing. It’s the thing people will notice first when they open your message, so it has to make a good impression.
One of the key priorities should be to find a visual style and layout for your email newsletters that matches your broader brand identity. Many fashion retailers place an emphasis on stylish, elegant design that showcases their latest products and reflects their customers’ tastes, while travel businesses are more likely to choose imagery that evokes escape or adventure.
Finding a look that works for your firm and connects with your audience is an essential step towards achieving engagement and gaining results from email.
2. Make it personal and relevant
No-one wants to open or read an email that feels like it could be for anyone; they want to receive something that is entirely relevant and personal to them. This is something most marketers are well aware of, with less than four out of ten companies (38%) not engaging in any kind of personalization, according to Econsultancy
Successful personalization can be a challenge. It’s about much more than simply using a person’s first name, with figures from Pure360 showing that only 8% of consumers would be likely to engage more with a retailer if an email communication addressed them by name.
There are many examples of personalization done well, such as this sample newsletter from DavidsTea, which gives customers unique and quirky information about their relationship with the company.
3. Prioritize education over promotion
Email shouldn’t be solely used as a platform to promote your business or showcase the benefits of your products and services, but to provide readers with content that is genuinely interesting and educational. According to HubSpot, the ratio should be somewhere around 90% educational, 10% promotional.
If you’re a fashion retailer, for example, don’t simply tell people what’s great about the clothes you sell, offer them some style ideas and updates on the latest trends.
When people know they will receive something of genuine value and interest from you, they will waste no time opening your latest email newsletter when it appears in their inbox. This will help to fuel brand awareness and loyalty through positive word-of-mouth.
4. Find your tone
The tone you use to communicate with the recipients of your newsletters is hugely important, not only because it shapes their experience of reading your email, but also because it feeds into wider perceptions and understanding of your brand.
In a round-up of particularly successful email newsletters, HubSpot singled out US author Austin Kleon for his effective use of an informal tone, which “makes it feel as though you’re hearing from a friend”.
The exact tone your business decides to use will depend on various factors - from the industry you’re in to the particular audience you’re targeting - but it’s crucial to find a way of communicating that connects with your customers and gives a strong representation of your brand.
5. Fill it with content
Supplying recipients with as much content as possible in your newsletters increases the probability of individuals finding something that interests them and engaging in some sort of interaction.
One example of a company that has done this well in the past is the fashion retailer Oasis, who sends out emails containing competitions, style features, influencer recommendations and even branded music playlists, all connected to the firm’s various social media platforms.
As well as boosting the likelihood of engagement, providing so much content helps people feel they are receiving something of value every time your newsletter arrives and gives them a reason to keep coming back.
If you’re able to develop this sort of positive sentiment and loyalty among your customers, your email marketing efforts will be well worth the investment.