After reading our recent post, “Advanced Email Marketing Strategies for Your Ecommerce” perhaps you know that email newsletters are possibly the least effective of all email marketing strategies. But that certainly does not mean they have zero effect on conversions or bringing traffic to your website. After all, newsletters are ecommerces’ most utilized means of communication with consumers, so there is merit to it.
There is strategy to master to crafting and sending email newsletters and garnering click-throughs. A well-written e-newsletter can gather new leads for your company, offer an avenue of communication between you and your current customers, as well as give an impression of authority and expertise in your industry. Newsletters also nurture leads that may not have purchased from your online store before but may very well convert. E-newsletters serve as a direct open line of communication between the customer and your company.
But nothing eggs on a finger already poised to click the unsubscribe button than an annoying and not so well-tailored ecommerce newsletter. Unfortunately, a large number of companies ask for excessive and unnecessary information from consumers that either turn them off or just makes the sign-up process too cumbersome.
Avoid common errors and learn from the top strategies laid out here in this post and you’re sure to see better results with your email newsletter campaigns.
1. How to capture consumer emails and grow your listserv
As with most online ventures nowadays, there are easier avenues entreprenuers can take or roads that take a little bit more effort. You can pay to gain access to a mass number of email addresses, but buying addresses may go against how you want to run your business; ultimately, you want to build trust in your consumer base. Spamming unsuspecting individuals may not be the best strategy for enticing customers who will stick with your brand. Not only could this strategy of paying for emails go against your company’s ethics, but it’s also just a waste of time because it is more likely that the majority of those recipients will unsubscribe from a newsletter they didn’t sign up for it in the first place.
Instead, take a little more time in putting together your listserv. This is to ensure that those on your mailing list are interested in what your online store has to say. The simplest and best way to gather emails is to just ask. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the key thing to keep in mind is to have the e-newsletter sign up field visible, simple to use, and well-placed (even if this means in multiple areas on your website).
Try giving a direct call-to-action on your website or social media platforms asking customers to sign up for your newsletter. This is the simplest, quickest, and most straight-forward strategy to building your listserv. With social media platforms such as Facebook, you can also look into paid ads that will run on targeted consumers’ newsfeeds––one robust paid campaign calling for buyers to sign up for your newsletter is a great start to filling your email database.
You can also get creative and build a landing page specifically for e-newsletter sign-ups. This will draw web visitors to the simple signup process and make it easier for your potential customers to fill in their information––no room for confusion. It’s never a bad thing to think outside the box, too. Make the landing page interactive and offer incentives or rewards in exchange for their email; perhaps you build in a game on the landing page and customers gain access to the levels by signing up for the newsletter. Remember, creativity and clean, direct communication is key to gathering information.
2. How to craft the content of your ecommerce newsletter
If you’re most worried about the content––and you should be as it’s the most important component of a newsletter as well as the selling point––then be sure to check out our Ecommerce Rules post on creating great content.
You’ll want text that is entertaining, engaging, and informative. Focus on tone and voice––humor is a good approach because everyone loves to laugh. Give customers a reason to read your newsletter and make them excited to open your email each month.
Keep your text organized and your layout simple. Don’t overwhelm readers with a jumbled mess of an e-newsletter or a messy design. Use titles and subheads for articles and text to portray order and organization. This will make your newsletter much more readable and approachable as well as visually appealing.
With e-newsletter content, don’t focus only on sales. This is a common mistake many online stores do––only report about sales. This gets old fast and when customers know what to expect (“Oh, another sales flyer email from so-and-so store. delete”), they’re less likely to be excited about the content and won’t open the email. If the text and content is always fresh and new, curiosity is piqued and more importantly there’s an element of unknown to entice readers.
A quick tip for increasing your newsletter’s click-through-rate is to include links in the text. Of course, always provide direct links to your online store, social media platforms (and easy, accessible buttons to encourage clicking!), and your company’s other avenues––but you should also include a few external references or fun, relevant sites you want to share with consumers.
3. How to ensure your newsletter is read
As we discussed in content, you want a very readable newsletter going out to your consumers and this means keeping it concise and tailored in terms of text and making sure all the components are easily disgestible. Save your long-form articles for your company blog and have your newsletter pieces be bite-sized. Shorter, succint information is more likely to be read. There’s a lot of stuff online and people scan often, so avoid wordy newsletters so that readers stay interested.
According to Adweek, send your newsletters via email on the weekends when the number of emails people are recieving is the lowest. This keeps your newsletter from getting buried beneath hundreds of correspondence and increases your chances of having it thoroughly read since people have more lesiure time on the weekends. Make sure to send your newsletters early in the morning as checking email is among one of the first things people do to get their day started. Having your newsletter ready in their inbox when they go to check their email early in the mornings also ensures they have your company name fresh on their mind for the rest of the day.
If you are able to go the extra mile in your newsletters, such as greeting consumers by name, be sure to do it and add personal touches to make your customers feel special and important to your company, and put some thought into your subject line as it’s the first thing customers will read; it could be the final deciding factor on whether or not they click through.
Consider adding special promotions and discounts only offered in your newsletters or include a motive for readers to consume your content like a fun easter egg (a clue or hidden game-like detail) or obscure, interesting trivia fact. Fun, interactive points such as those also increase share-ability of content which is great for encouraging your consumers to share your information and newsletter with their friends.
Remember these three comprehensive strategies to building an email listserv for your newsletter, crafting creative and engaging email marketing content, and our solid quick tips to getting your e-newsletter read and you’re sure to see a boost in your newsletter campaign clicks.