Key Elements to Starting an E-NewsletterTips of the Trade — By Amy Schmittauer on May 1, 2013 at 8:00 am
Email marketing is absolutely necessary for any digital marketing campaign. Quite simply, it’s where the transactions happen. The following key elements will prepare you to capture those leads with an email newsletter, helping your social media and online marketing efforts pay off.
Email Marketing Platform
First you need to decide which email marketing platform you want to use. It’s important to pick one and stick with it because going through the process of having subscribers re-opt in to a new platform is daunting and has a very low percentage of conversions. I highly recommend Mailchimp and Aweber for small businesses. They are both very affordable, and the rates you pay depend on how many subscribers you have. They both have very user-friendly dashboards and offer templates to make the design process quick and easy. Emails and information can always be exported from these platforms for your use and you should regularly do this to ensure you always have an updated record of your subscribers.
The email marketing platform you choose will also help you create opt-in forms that you can install on your website. This is where visitors will decide to give you their contact information so you can connect with them more regularly and personally through email. Make sure you don’t ask for too much information on the form, though. The more barrier to entry, the less likely you will get the conversion.
Email Editorial Schedule
Knowing how often you will be making contact with your email lists is important to help your prospective subscribers know what they’re signing up for. You can usually get a good idea of what your schedule will be based on how often you create new content to direct traffic to on your website. For instance, if you publish content weekly, you should alert your list weekly. Only a couple pieces of content per month might mean one monthly newsletter. Regardless of the schedule you decide on, stick with it and make sure the schedule is outlined on the opt-in form. Nobody likes to subscribe to what they think is a periodic newsletter and turns out to be a daily update.
In most cases, you will see that an email opt-in form is accompanied with a special offer in return for contact information. This is a great strategy to get more people to sign up for your list because most people won’t consider it unless they see an incentive that piques their interest. Don’t let someone forget to come back to your website. Give them the opportunity to sign up for your emails as soon as they land on your site, so you can remind them to come back more often.
Some businesses will offer free content in their newsletters. Others will offer different coupons. And, of course, you want to show off the products you have for sale. Try to remember that the more you give away in each newsletter, the more likely you’ll get your subscribers to stick around for the long run and think about a purchase decision as they arise. Content marketing keeps working for you in emails in addition to your website and blog.