Copy our Newsletter strategy and implement it into your business today
If you are looking to drive more traffic to your website, promote your products or services, or just engage more with your audience, sending out a newsletter is a great strategy to do all that. This is a strategy that we use at EASTWEST PR for ourselves and one we highly recommend for our clients and the great thing is that it is easy to implement, if you follow this simple strategy flow that i am going to give you today.
Further on in this post I will explain how to create the newsletter and what you should and shouldn’t include. But for now lets look at the strategy.
The strategy follows the AIDA model of a customers journey; Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. The Newsletter is your vehicle to gain attention of your audience and start engaging with them. A well crafted newsletter can become an opportunity to generate new subscribers as the signup can easily be shared on social media and your website.
You will need to create a form on your website to gather subscribers details, so for that you will need some sort of CRM system, like Mailchimp, Zoho, etc and these tools will also include the tools you need to email your newsletter. This can easily become a complex subject so I am not going to talk about it here but I will be writing another post on how to set this up.
Take a look at the strategy flow below, there is a button to download a PDF version.
So you want to send an email Newsletter?
Sending an email newsletter to your existing customers, new prospects and others who have interacted with your brand is a great strategy for increasing awareness about your company, but before you dive in and start sending out a newsletter there are a few things to consider.
In this article we talk about what you need to do first, how to do it, and when.
It seems that every company wants to send an email newsletter and for good reason, statistics show that sending out a regular newsletter email for your brand is a great way to build a rapport with your audience and, done right, can generate a stunning ROI of £42 for every $1 spent (Hubspot, 2019). And as further proof, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI (Emma, 2018). That being said, you need to really think about what it is that you want to achieve with your newsletter. With so many email communications being sent every day you need to not only ensure you are providing something of value with your newsletter, but you also need to be sure that all the time and effort you put into it is not going to be wasted and that you are actually going to get some meaningful results. Defining exactly what you want that result to be, is the first step. The objective of your newsletter can be selling a product, booking a sales call, or even just driving traffic to your website or a landing page.
Once you have set your goals you really need to decide how you can measure it. Like everything in marketing today, it is all about measuring results. If you can’t measure it then don’t do it. You need to decide what results you will measure, these may be delivery rate, open rates, click through rate and so on.
Define Your Audience
These days all marketing communications, at least the successful ones, are very personalized and highly relevant to the reader. So you really need to consider, and really know your audience, if you don’t already have a handle on this then your business probably has much bigger problems. However, my point is that your email needs to resonate with the audience, if you have a large list and an audience with very broad interests, or groups from multiple industries, then you really need to think if the newsletter will be relevant to all of them, or do you need more than one newsletter to different segments in your list, or do some of your audience just not get the newsletter at all, take a good look at your list and segment it if necessary.
How will track it?
You can get data on your email newsletter campaign from many different sources you need to define what metrics to measure based on the objectives you set. Your email marketing tool, (Zoho, Mailjet, Hubspot, Mailchimp etc.) will provide a good deal of data on the emails you send, this can easily be combined with google analytics to track the visitors to your site that are clicking through the links in your emails. This basic combination is probably sufficient for most of us, but with Google analytics tag manager and specially created landing pages you can gain amazing insight into your readers’ behavior and their interaction with your content, which will help you optimize your newsletter campaigns.
Find your voice / style
Branding is important for your company and following this through in your newsletter is equally important so make sure you consider this in the planning of your newsletter.
Is your brand conversational, formal, or quirky? Should you use images in your newsletter? Should you use Emoticons? Do the font and layout match your website and other communications? Will the tone and design of your newsletter make you stand out or will you leave your readers scratching their heads wondering who sent it and why?
When will you send
Deciding when to send your newsletter should also take a lot of consideration. It is possible to change the frequency and time that you send your newsletter, but getting a regular cadence to your communications does help with open rates, CTR, and ultimately the success of your newsletter. So I wouldn’t recommend switching it about too often, A lot of email tools allow you to set delivery times for specific timezones, which can be helpful.
However, until you start you won’t know so you can take a look at what others are doing to get a gauge on what may work for you. Many ‘experts’ will tell you that as a general rule you can try to avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons as statistics show that these times give lower open rates. People are busy at these times and less interested in starting or reading something new. But think about it, if no one else is sending emails at this time you automatically reduce the competition and increase the chance of your newsletter being read. A good time for an email newsletter could be Thursday or Friday mornings, especially if your newsletter offers some kind of round up, links to good articles, or something thought provoking, Towards the end of the week, people are less busy, and looking for some worthwhile distractions as they wind down.
You can spend the rest of your working life reading articles about what to say, when to say it and how often to say it but the truth is that you will never know what will work for your readers unless you test it. So things to think about testing in your newsletter are subject lines, time, day, who is the email from (e.g. bob@yourcompany,or something more generic. Where to put the CTA ( Top, middle bottom) and the colour of the buttons and links. So you will need to test lots of these elements to find out what is right for you. And remember you should only test one variable at a time, otherwise you will never know what is bringing the changes in your results.
What will you send?
So we know why we are sending the newsletter. We know who we are sending it to. We know what we want the result to be and we know how we will measure it. Now we need to work out what we will send.
As I mentioned before, your newsletter content needs to match your objectives and goals and your audience’s wants and needs. This does not mean just talking about yourself, actually the harsh reality is that your audience and even your most loyal customers probably do not really care much about you or your company. They probably do not even care about your products, unless they can see how they benefit them. So what do you say? Well here’s the thing, you can still talk about your company and your products and you can definitely talk about the problems that your customers have and especially talk about the ones that you can solve for them, just not all the time. The rest of the newsletter can be curated content that is of interest and relevant to your readers. We looked at a number of successful newsletters that we read and found that 6 articles per newsletter was a preferred number and a good mix of 40% own content and 60% curated, curated content can be articles by other thought leaders in your industry, relevant events, tools that you use or that your customers may be interested in, links to podcasts, case studies and so on.
It is a good idea to choose a theme for the type of content that you create. Our Newsletter Cognition focuses on Communication, Technology, and commerce and the curated content that we link to are articles and tools related to these areas. As a PR agency we find that these themes are of great interest to our readers, and of course it means we know what we are talking about and this can be easily recognized by our subscribers.
There are two routes you can go when it comes to the layout of your newsletter, visual or text based. While visual emails certainly look impressive and can really show off your brand, research suggests that they have little impact on engagement, in fact when it comes to deliverability plain text email is a clear winner. As people tend to open more and more emails on their smartphones, cramming loads of images into the email is likely to add more complications than you care to think about.
So we recommend sticking to your company logo at the top, a title and brief introduction to 6 articles in the body, your call to action and your footer, which can contain links to you social channels and of course back to your website.
If you do go the visual route, which may work for your brand, you will also have extra work to do in sourcing or creating appropriate images for each article in your newsletter.
Your Call-To-Action (CTA)
So we already talked about how your CTA is an essential component of your newsletter, and how it should be relevant to your audience and where they are in their journey with your company. Maybe your CTA is as simple as clicking a link to your website, a case study, free trial but I would recommend that you make sure that it is giving value to your audience, something they can use, or that will help their business. Going full circle, getting your readers to take action is most important, it should be the whole purpose of the newsletter.
Don’t forget to download the free newsletter strategy flow and use it for your business.
If you would like to talk to EASTWEST about a PR strategy for your business or any aspect of global public relations why not book a time for a call