Newsletters are an essential element in successful marketing campaigns; regular contact with your customers will drive sales and encourage brand loyalty. What’s the best way to drive click-through rates? What are the elements of successful newsletter campaigns? These five tips will help you achieve newsletter optimizations for your next campaign.
Develop a Goal for Each Newsletter
This should be more specific than “drive traffic,” or “increase sales.” Perhaps you want your customers to take a survey, watch a product demo video, or download an ebook. If you’re planning a series of regularly posted newsletters, develop a series of progressive goals for each that guides customers through the sales funnel.
Once you have a goal for the newsletter, it’s easy to write or curate previously published content that coaxes readers to complete the target action. Make sure that your call to action reinforces the newsletter’s goal.
Newsletter Design Basics
Choose a clean newsletter template with plenty of white space and stick with the same template for the entire campaign. In newsletter campaigns, less is more; white space lets readers easily scan for content they want to read and highlights your call to action.
To avoid spam filters and improve customer engagement, choose an email address that corresponds with the sender’s name. For example, a newsletter campaign for a pet supplies company might use Pet Store Puppy Tips as the sender name with this email address: PuppyTips@PetStore.com. Avoid generic addresses like “noreply@,” and sales@.”
Content and Link Tracking
Choose no more than five pieces of educational content for each newsletter. Each piece of content should include a call to action and a link to your main website. Links should be built as tracking URLs so you can monitor your click-through and landing page conversion rates.
Include a clickable table of contents at the beginning of your newsletter and be sure to include links to all your social media accounts at the bottom.
Images make content more engaging, but don’t use more than 8 or 10 in any single newsletter. This will prevent it from being blocked by a firewall or being tagged as spam. Use images to reinforce your call to action and build tracking links in your images that direct readers back to your site.
Remember that by law, your company name, address, and an unsubscribe link must be included in any email newsletter you send.
Don’t Send Until You Test
Send your newsletter to a few colleagues to make sure it isn’t snagged by a spam filter; ask them to proofread and test every link. Once you’re confident that your newsletter campaign is ready for prime time, send it to just 10 percent of your email list at first and allow a day for feedback to make sure everything is working properly and there are no errors. Then you can safely send it to the rest of your subscribers.
You should track newsletter activity related to your newsletter to help you fine-tune your content and understand what approaches are most successful for your organization. Keep track of the following metrics:
- Total click-throughs.
- Clicks each link received.
- Number of unsubscribes.
- Most popular content.
- Spikes in social media activity and web traffic.
Remember, newsletter optimization means interacting with your subscribers after the newsletter is sent. Make sure someone in your organization responds in a timely manner to any feedback or questions you receive. Done well, newsletter campaigns build lasting relationships with your customers.