Email marketing. You’ve heard of it. You’ve considered it. You may have even taken a stab at it. But with so many other important tasks at hand, who has the time? Is email marketing really worth the effort? Do you really stand to gain from fueling your digital marketing efforts by starting an email newsletter?
Short answer: YES.
But don’t just take our word for it. International studies are proving over and over again that the ROI for every dollar spent in email marketing is beyond impressive. For example, the Direct Marketing Association recently announced that about $40.00 is made for every $1.00 spent in email marketing. With incredible results like these, it’s time to stop saying that you don’t have time for email marketing, especially since Bloomberg Businessweek is showing that email is easily outperforming every dollar spent on search, display and social media.
This year, if you have to choose only one digital marketing effort, email is proving to be the way to go. Don’t trust the studies? The few moments you’re taking to read this article is proof enough that email marketing grabs eyeballs!
At Nacke Media, we’ve found that starting an email newsletter for your business is one of the best ways to work toward that impressive ROI which email marketing is producing in today’s market.
Want to start an email newsletter, but not sure where to start?
We’ve been crafting some pretty amazing email newsletters for our clients over the last few years … here’s a few secrets to crafting a dynamite newsletter..
Number One: Create Meaningful Content
By far, this is the most important piece of advice in this article. The time it takes for you to create your newsletter is wasted unless you give your contacts a good reason to open it. (As a frequent reader of emails, you already know what happens to flimsy email “blasts” during daily inbox purges.)
Every newsletter should contain content that is relevant to one of your products or services. At Nacke Media, we’ve found that informative yet engaging articles are vital in an email newsletter.
As a rule of thumb, make sure your readers stand something to gain from your article and that it relates to a trend, product, or service in your industry. Your sincere offer of industry-specific knowledge and advice does more than increase the likelihood that your newsletter will be read: it shows your contacts that you’re genuinely interested in creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your clients.
Number Two: Brand Yourself
Email newsletters offer the opportunity to establish and control your brand in a way not possible in other marketing forms. And directly pasting your logo into the email is not what we’re talking about here.
Seth Godin, a pioneer email marketing expert and author of the most popular marketing blog in the world, has proven that – just as it takes more than a hat to be a cowboy – it takes more than a logo to build a brand. So while your company may have the most kickass, innovative logo on this side of the Mason-Dixon line, your company’s brand is more complex than that. It’s more personal than a simple logo. Instead, your brand is the always- forming “set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships” which influence your customers to buy your service or product, to use Godin’s words.
An email newsletter is a consistent point of contact between you and your prospective customers. That means that when it’s done right, the newsletter is an ideal vehicle for telling stories and creating expectations. Collectively, these are the elements that ultimately lead your customers to choose your services or products over every other business in town.
Develop your brand in your email newsletter by telling your story. If you can do that effectively, the resulting relationships and expectations will speak for themselves.
Number Three: Keep It Up
Once you’ve mastered writing thoughtful, relevant articles for your newsletter in a way that continually improves your brand, only one step remains in your journey toward a meaningful (and ultimately profitable) email newsletter: KEEP IT UP.
While this may seem painfully obvious, for most businesses, it’s the toughest part of creating effective email newsletters. Even if you manage to come up with one or two beautiful email newsletters, they won’t be very effective if they aren’t delivered consistently.
Your clients, after falling in love with your first few newsletters, will begin to look forward to your correspondence every month or quarter. They’ll start to expect it on a set schedule. If you let them down, you’ll suffer the consequences.
Four helpful decisions to make early in the email newsletter process are: 1) Who is going to be responsible for all writing, editing and design? 2) Do you plan to continue the newsletter indefinitely? 3) How often do you want to send out the newsletter? 4) How long do you think the entire drafting process will take? Answer these questions early in the project in order to promote consistency with your email newsletter.
Creating a professional email newsletter takes lots of practice. If you master the three steps outlined above, you’ll be ahead of the game. Especially when you consider a recent Strongmail survey that found that over 50% of the 1,000 surveyed businesses plan to expand their email marketing budgets this year.
Number Four: Don’t Elude to Patient Medical Information!
Pretty much self explanatory if your in the provider space.
by Mike Nacke and Jordan Holbrook