Here at BC, we make extensive use of email campaigns to keep in touch with our community.
From fortnightly and monthly newsletters through to on-going loyalty campaigns for new users, email newsletters help us keep our 1,000s of Partners in the loop and up to date with helpful hints and tips for building Online Businesses with BC.
Combined with a range of other mediums, email marketing remains a crucial element of BC's online strategy, with our Business Success newsletter sending to our wider community of over 10,000 web designers and developers each month.
In this article, we'll share some tips we've picked up over time that we hope will help you fine-tune your own email campaigns and better communicate with your customers.
Where do I subscribe?
Before you even get started:
How do your visitors sign up to receive your newsletter?
Having a healthy list of opted-in recipients is your first step to a successful email campaign, so make sure your subscribe box is easily found and takes no more than a few seconds to fill out.
Another great way to encourage subscriptions is to add the option to any web forms your visitors may be using. This includes "Contact Us" forms through to the checkout form if you run an online shop.
Frequency vs. Value
While it's always good to keep the flow of communication alive, it's also important that you endeavor to provide high value content to your readers.
By all means send a weekly email to your customers, but ensure that it doesn't cross the line into "spam" territory.
The best way to test this is to ask yourself a simple question: "As a reader, why does this matter to me?" If you're stuck for an answer, then maybe you should go back to the drawing board and rethink your content strategy.
It's difficult to define "value", as it's all about your unique set of subscribers. If you're a web designer providing a weekly update to your clients however, this may include articles on effectively running an Online Business, guides to marketing through social media, or information on post-sales services you offer that will help them succeed online.
Penning a Potent Subject Line
Never underestimate the power of a killer subject line.
At the end of the day, without a clear understanding of what the email contains, it's unlikely that your readers will even open the campaign, let alone see your carefully crafted content.
Keep your subject line to-the-point and make sure that even on face value, it's easy to understand what your newsletter is all about.
If your campaign is part of a series, it's a good idea to include the series name and issue number in the subject line, so the reader has an idea of it's context.
Hint: If you have a customer database of a reasonable size, try your hand at A / B testing. Simply slice your list down the middle, then send each half the same campaign, but with different subject lines. Leave it a few days, then compare the open rates of the two subject lines to determine which was more effective.
Monitor, Review, Repeat
Your best friend in improving the effectiveness of your email campaigns is performance monitoring.
Figures to watch out for are your open rate, click rate, and if you're a BC user, your action rate.
If you're aiming for increased visits to a page on your website, but are seeing poor click-through rates, perhaps rethink the placing of your calls to action. Again, A / B testing is a great way to test what works and what doesn't.
The next time you go to send a newsletter, you'll have a better understanding of what attracts your reader's attention and what they're clicking on.
Crafting a successful email campaign is all about finding that unique formula that works for you and your business.
The best way to fine-tune your newsletters is to constantly try, test and revise your methods, taking in knowledge from the wealth of resources available online. Here are some of our favorites to get you started: