81% of B2B marketers say the most effective form of content marketing is used is email newsletters whereas 31% believe it to be the best ways to nurture leads.
No doubt, newsletters for small businesses are one of the largest sources of audience engagement.
They are higher open rates and build brand value over time amongst your subscribers.
Newsletters work great for email marketing campaigns for a small business whether your focus is audience engagement, lead generation or sale conversions.
So, if you are a small business, and looking forward to optimizing newsletter marketing, here are few tips to help you with.
Newsletter Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
Start With Deciding What You Want To Share
Everything must begin from what you exactly want to share with your subscribers through newsletters.
You need to have a fair idea about what you want to communicate.
What kind of content you are going to offer to your subscribers?
It needed to be very well articulated beforehand. It is also important because you need to reflect that somehow in your sign-up form as well.
Some content ideas can be:
- About a new blog post, and how it can help your subscribers.
- Any videos you’ve published or any other form of content.
- New product launches
- Projects you are working on, and want to share details.
- Freebies like pdfs, free courses etc.
- Personalized emails providing solutions to subscribers
Stick To Your Goal
Just as you decide what you want to share, you also need to fix some goals with newsletters.
What you want to achieve through your newsletters?
This should be amongst the first questions that should pop-up into your mind while starting out a newsletter for your small business email marketing campaign.
Here are goals you can think of :
- Find new prospects for lead generation
- Drive sales
- Informing about brand, updates & news
- Promoting a new product or service
- Increase social media presence
- Drive traffic to your website
- Download an ebook
Actually, there can be many other goals your business can aim for.
It is fine if you are struggling with what to choose. The basics are the same for all businesses, later you can steer towards your preferences.
Remember, your goals decide what content you will put there, what CTA buttons you will use and also lead magnet.
Start with an opening headline where you introduce your goal. Further you go in details informing about what you want to convey.
And finally towards the end, you will put a strong call-to-action. You need to specifically mention and emphasize on CTAs.
Consumer or Prospects should have clear directions on what actions they are supposed to take after reading this newsletter.
Give Your Prospects Reason To Opt-in
You are not going to reach out your newsletters to many people if you can’t get them on your active email subscriber list.
For that, you need to give reasons to your prospects to opt into your newsletter.
Mentioning “Sign up for our newsletter’ or ‘ Don’t miss an update’ and other such phrases won’t work.
You need to give them a better reason for signing up.
Pitch people something with value. Offer them a good incentive to sign up.
Use a lead magnet such as ebooks, video tutorials or coupon codes to get them sign up.
Check this above example from the Land’s End website.
According to their offer, customers who sign-up for the newsletter will receive 25% off for their first order.
Well, this is totally going to make prospects sign-up!
They even take it further, saying that subscribers will further enjoy exclusive offers similar to this one and much more.
There is so much you can offer for signing up the newsletter promo codes, free tickets to an event ( in case you conduct), free tools and more.
Remember, more subscribers means bigger list where it means larger reach for your newsletter.
Write For Your Audience
You surely are the expert in your field but your subscribers are clearly not.
You need to understand that while writing newsletters to your subscribers. Explain everything in a very layman’s term and be descriptive about it.
If you are using any abbreviations or acronyms, it is better to explain it too. Since you used to approach things in your industry, you are familiar with everything.
But subscribers know nothing, and that you have to assume.
This will make your newsletters, be it from any industry, more consumable.
Such content is celebrated amongst the majority of people because they look for the content that is easy to chew. This can also become your unique selling point.
Keep It Short & Simple
Don’t try to tell everything in the newsletter.
You need to be very precise and specific with what you are approaching. Remember, people are busy, they don’t have time to read long emails.
So it is better to write a short, simple and sweet email to communicate easily.
Try to keep the readability high with your content. Write no longer than 3 to 5 paragraphs. It is better you use shorter sentences and conversational language.
Write in a way that even a seventh-grade can understand it.
Focus On Getting Newsletter Opened
If you get your prospects to open your emails containing a newsletter, that itself is half battle win!
Getting your emails opened is challenging. It is essential to apprehend the statistics behind opening rates of emails.
Also on what factors it is dependent. Analyze and understand why your emails are not opened or if some does, why?
It is a learning curve in email marketing to understand what works and what doesn’t. That’s why there is a need to do a lot of A/B testing with every aspect.
But for now, you don’t have to go in-depth with this.
Here’s how you get your newsletter opened :
- Write a subject line that everyone wants to click. Don’t try to make it perfect. Just make it something click-worthy regarding your content inside.
- Timing is everything. You need to find the right timing for sending the newsletter. It increases or decreases the chances of getting emails opened depending upon the time of the day.
- Avoid making it look like spam. Keep your email subject line toned down, and not ‘salesy’. Make sure your ‘from’ email address is recognizable.
- Keep it optimized for all platforms. Most people check their emails through their phones and tablets. So your newsletter should be compatible to those.
Sustaining Your Email Open Rates
If you get successful to get your email open rates higher, it is the half battle win. But the real game is to sustain those email open rates.
To sustain email open rates over a period of time, you need to build trust on your brand. It comes with identification of your brand to your subscribers.
An interesting subject along with how much the audience trusts you actually decides the open rates.
But if you develop enough interest within your subscribers, they will be more inclined to open your emails.
Sometimes even the headline doesn’t need to be very interesting. However, it is not suggested to leverage the user’s trust by compromising the content quality.
For example: Think of a few email lists you’ve subscribed to which you open anyway irrespective of the subject line just because you are interested in them.
Grab Attention With An Enticing Subject Line
There is no way to get conversion from your emails if nobody opens it. We talked above, the subject line is an essential factor for high email open rates.
So, that means your subject line can either make your newsletter successful or fail.
You need to understand how using different subject lines, you can increase your chances for getting higher email open rates, and hence more conversions.
Here are few statistics to back it up :
- 35% of recipients open emails depending upon the just the subject lines
- 43% of recipients spam the emails depending upon “from” of the email, name or email address.
- 69% of emails are sent to spam based upon their subject line.
Now, what does that tell you?
Clearly, the subject line determines whether your emails get opened or just sent to spam.
So you need to make sure you write enticing subject lines that compel subscribers to open your email newsletters.
So here are some points on writing enticing subject line :
- Write personalized headlines. 82% of marketers tell personalized subject headlines result in higher open rates.
- Use the subscriber’s name in the email subject headline.
- Write a time-sensitive subject line creating some sense of urgency for subscribers.
- Subject lines giving away some benefit or breaking news are also helpful.
- Put something in the subject line that intrigues and increases curiosity to your subscribers.
Write Like You Are Writing To One Person
You need to keep this in your mind while writing newsletters, you are not addressing millions of your subscribers in the list.
You need to address specifically one person. You can also make up an ideal subscriber in your head, a persona to refer with.
It will help you to write more intuitive, personal and relative content that caters to everyone but individually.
When a subscriber receives a newsletter addressed to his name and more in a conversational tone, he or she is more inclined to react to it.
Make Something People Want To Read
Sending the relevant content to your subscribers is different from sending them something that your subscribers want to read.
If your newsletter is too personal or about your life, the audience is not going to respond well to it.
Because at the end of the day, they don’t care about your life or the problems in your life. Also, they aren’t supposed to.
They only care about how you can help them resolve their problems.
So when you write your email newsletters, you need to be specifically focussed on providing value to them right away.
The content should be helpful and useful in practical ways.
Focus more on resolving their issues rather than speaking your bit more often.
And that’s what people want to read. They want solutions, something that adds value in their work or life.
Otherwise there’s no point for them to subscribe in the first place.
Enhance Your Newsletter By Adding Visuals
Images, infographics and videos are the best way to explain any concept in the simplest way.
Newsletters become more interesting when they just resonate with a user more intimately. And that begins from more engagement and consumable content.
You can make any content easier and more fun for user by adding visuals in it
Now, interestingly an average subscriber spends around 51 seconds on a newsletter whereas only read 20% of the text.
So, visuals communicate better for the audience.
Why not then enhance your newsletters with more visual content rather than using tons of text?
Even, you can focus on using videos in your newsletter more often. Emails including videos get 96.38% higher click-through rate than others.
Send Only To A Certain Portion Of Your List At First
Whether you are not much sure about what responses you will get with your newsletter or even when you are confident, it is wise to demonstrate with few subscribers of your list.
Instead of sending the newsletter to all of your subscribers, try sending it to a certain portion of your list, like 10% of your list.
The responses you get here will tell you about what kind of open rates you will get, the kind of actions they take and much more.
If everything seems well, you can go further and send your newsletter to all of your subscribers. If not, it’s time to rework on your newsletter draft or other aspects as well.
Surely you need to avoid sending too much emails to your subscribers but also need not to ghost them for a long time.
So, the solution is to find a schedule and stick to it consistently without any lapse.
Don’t send two-three emails on one day just because you’ve missed earlier few days!
Maybe focus on sending emails bi-weekly or weekly. Avoid going daily unless your subscribers are totally comfortable with it.
The best is to send emails bi-monthly or even monthly. It seems to have the best open email open rates.
However, if your subscribers are very well engaged with your content or newsletter, the sweet spot is called to be 15-30 emails per month.
Having said that, don’t be afraid to try different frequencies of emails and see what works best for you.
Pro Tip: The best way to set an expectation for your subscribers is telling them in the welcome email about how often you will be sending the newsletters.
Start With A Killer Opening Line
Once you get your newsletter emails open, you want to make your subscribers interested right into it.
Next line should be something that draws their attention to read further.
Subject line surely is the most important element of your newsletter but the first line plays an equally crucial role in whether emails are opened or not.
When recipiecent receives the email newsletter, along with the subject line, the first line of the body is also visible.
It also depends upon the browser and device on how much of the opening lines from the body of the newsletter is exposed in the preview.
Since it also plays a significant role in open rates of your newsletter emails, you must leverage it for attracting users to click on the email.
So what you can do is first of all, address the recipient with his first name, making your emails more personalized.
Avoid writing “Hi..my name is..” and other casual cliche statements. You need to write something that hooks your audience to click on the email.
It should at least further intrigue them in addition to your subject line.
Also, getting right into your point is way better to make your newsletters more effective and easy to consume.
Share Only The Relevant Content
If you are noticing that too many people are unsubscribing from your list, it might be due to subscribers finding the content not relevant enough to hold on to.
And if they don’t, they will, if they don’t find the content relevant and helpful for them. So, it is something to highly focus on.
Never talk about the subjects or issues that aren’t related to your niche or industry.
If it is irrelevant to your brand, your subscribers surely don’t want to hear about it.
Also, stay away from any sort of controversial stuff in your newsletter unless your business or brand is in that space.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re delivering the most relevant content is to enable subscribers only to choose what they want to read about.
When you ask subscribers to sign up for the newsletters, you can ask them at the point what things they want to hear about from you.
For Example: Envato Tuts provide email customization options while sign-up to set customer’s preferences. There are check boxes to untick if you don’t want to hear about a particular type of content.
Develop Connection To Your Subscribers in Body
Subject lines and opening lines are great to make your audience click on your email newsletters.
But the fact is, you can do all the tricks in the parlour to get the subscriber to open your emails but at the end of the day, you need to connect with him or her.
And that required to be on a certain personal level.
Surely, you are representing your product or services but you need to show them how it can improve their life or provide value to them.
There are few points to remember while writing the body of your newsletter.
First of all, continue the style and tonality you’ve used in the headline and opening line of your email newsletter.
Make sure you break your text into shorter paragraphs, even into one or two lines.
Make the paragraphs easy to read, digestible and scannable in one glance.
It is preferred you use a second person that is ‘you’ to address the reader.
Overall, your newsletter should feel like conversation.
Don’t be afraid to ask personal questions in your emails to make it more intimate.
These questions depend upon what you are talking about but it is mostly asking about how they feel about something, whether they are getting results, etc.
FAQ ( Frequently Asked Question)
A newsletter is a content marketing or email marketing tool used to communicate with your subscribers regularly. It delivers the information, updates, and whatever content you offer to your subscribers within the email boxes. It helps in audience engagement, lead generations, brand awareness, and sales conversions as well.
Decide what you want to convey to your audience. It can be information, recent updates, promotional content, and anything that provides value to your subscribers. It should be relevant, helpful, and beneficial for them.
Newsletter marketing is a form of email marketing. It is amongst the most effective method to connect to your prospects and consumers. Newsletters offers powerful and impactful communication between a brand and subscriber. It increases brand awareness, engagement and conversion rates as well.