How to Use Email Newsletters to Drive Traffic and Do Business
Today we’re going to tackle a topic that some will agree with, and some won’t. In our opinion, email newsletters are coming back in style. It’s true, we said it. Now what was old is new again. At least, that’s for certain types of businesses that are able to deliver engaging content in their email marketing campaigns.
The thing is, email newsletters that focus on selling, selling, selling are outdated. But email newsletters that focus on value, value, value? They can convert potential customers into customers, enthusiastic fans and more.
When it comes to email marketing, I know you might be thinking “well, prove it to me”. And while we can prove it — as we have a few select clients we write email marketing newsletters for — we still say it’s best to test it with your audience.
Here are eight ways to deliver value through your email newsletter – value that will get sent back to you multiple times.
Tips for Creating Value-Driven Email Newsletters
1. Avoid overselling
Ultimately, businesses are trying to get sales for their products or services. In the past, this thirst for sales meant that subscriber lists were depleted from overselling. However, the updated approach is to put value first and let consumers make their own decisions. Typically, a subtle sales pitch among high-quality content is all you need.
2. Reuse newsletter content
There are many ways to reuse marketing content across different platforms. Consider the content you have already written on your website that you can convert into newsletter content. By doing this, you can provide value to leads who don’t visit your website and drive them to the website for more information.
Or you can take your newsletter and expand it into a blog post. Extract the most intriguing information and turn it into a Twitter feed – or even use the newsletter content for a YouTube video. This approach ensures you increase your readership and generate more interest in your newsletter… while getting more subscribers for your weekly or monthly newsletter.
3. Introduce industry thought leaders
Thought leaders, experts, and industry influencers exist in almost every niche. And with these people giving their opinion on topics of interest, it can be useful to feature them in your newsletter content. Try using their concepts as a starting point for a newsletter – then let them know you made it. This approach works for networking, and you may even get a mention on their blog or social media.
By showcasing other experts in your field, you show that you care. Thought leaders can lend their authority and help you demonstrate the areas and topics you are passionate about.
4. Create an online version of a newsletter
The sad reality is that the average inbox contains many unread messages. Today, people are hesitant to sign up for a newsletter unless they know it will add value. Therefore, publishing the newsletters online shows value from the get-go – and will get people to subscribe.
5. Grow your mailing list
Getting subscribers to your mailing list is not a “build it and they will come” process. Much like building a website (where you need an ongoing SEO strategy), getting newsletter subscribers means you’ll need a solid approach. And this approach does NOT mean taking contacts you’ve connected with on LinkedIn and adding them to your newsletter list. It’s just bad form – and you’ll be flagged as spam.
- On your website, make sure people can easily see that you have a newsletter. Consider putting it in the header, footer, or sidebar of your site. Also, make the archives accessible from your website. You can link to the Mailchimp archive on the signup page or in the footer.
- Use social media and other places to promote your email newsletter after it’s published.
- Make it easy for subscribers who receive your email newsletter to share it with their connections via email, social media, or otherwise.
- Don’t assume anyone knows you publish an email newsletter. When talking with other people, be sure to mention that you have a newsletter.
- If done correctly, the free downloads available once someone has signed up are a great way to grow an email list.
- Partnering with others who also have email newsletters can be a good strategy for growing a list.
- Offer a coupon to those on your website if they sign up. This is especially effective on e-commerce websites.
6. Measure the results of your newsletter
This trick requires effort, setup, and configuration. At Rocks Digital, whether we’re writing content for a website, a guide, or a Google Business Profile, we want to track results.
We are strong advocates of setting goals through Google Analytics and using UTM tracking. Without these two elements, you can’t tell which strategies are working or not working. By doing this as an agency, we can tell the client exactly how many conversions were made on their website from a specific piece of content or email campaign.
For example, in their dashboard, Mailchimp provides basic metrics like opens and clicks. And when used in conjunction with a UTM you placed on a link in your email newsletter, you can get granular data such as:
- 100 people clicked on this link
- 25 of them completed a goal like filling out a form
Tracking is a crucial way to understand how readers react to your newsletters. By placing the UTM on the links of your newsletters, it is possible to track user behavior on your website. Want to know how many sales were generated from a link? UTM codes will tell you. In practice, analytics data can help you create engaging emails that deliver value to subscribers.
Of course, none of these trackers will work properly if you haven’t created goals for website actions in Google Analytics. We have countless clients who come to us with no goals set on their website, or not tracked properly.
7. Test, test and test again
Writing an effective email newsletter is not a one-size-fits-all step, and the same goes for finding what works best. You should test different formats and see which get the most interaction. This is just one of the reasons why tracking is so important.
For example, for the email newsletter we write for a specific client each week, I can report that the links in the top message section of the newsletter get significantly more clicks and traction than the bottom. This tells us that we should put the most important information at the top.
We are also testing different message lengths. For this same customer, it seems that the first message that contains more “how to” gets a higher open rate than those that don’t. However, clicks to the website in these are lower. To get one thing like a higher open rate, you might have to sacrifice something else. This is another example of why tracking is so important.
8. Consistency issues
Let’s look at consistency. When a newsletter comes out like clockwork every week, people are looking for it. And when it doesn’t happen at the normal time, people are going to wonder what happened to it. For one of our clients, a weekly newsletter is perfect – but for you, weekly frequency may not be the right fit. We can tell you that a weekly newsletter is a real commitment, especially since you will have to come up with a unique angle and subject each week.
We recommend starting with a monthly newsletter, but also consider setting up some automations. For example, if you publish blog posts, each time a new blog post is published, it will automatically be emailed to subscribers who have opted in to receive it.
Again, being consistent is the most important thing to remember here. Just like with social media, if you only email someone once a year, they’ll forget the value of your newsletter.
Get more leads with email newsletters and content marketing
Just like with tasting food, without trying it you will never know if you like it or not. That’s what email marketing is for. Now is the time to get out there and start testing if email marketing works for your business.
If you need more help driving traffic to your website using content writing, content marketing, SEO, or other strategies, we can help. To discuss, call (214) 989-7549 or request a digital marketing assessment today.