03 Nov 2016

Email marketing: An ABC guide, part 1

Newsletters via email are nowadays one of the most effective marketing channels available, and as people become ever more mobile in their use of the Internet so their importance grows.

Why have a newsletter?

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of digital newsletters and the area is growing rapidly. Many choose email rather than paper communication to keep customers, suppliers, staff and even competitors informed of what is going on in the company. But what exactly is a digital newsletter?

Is it just a way for companies and authorities to save on paper and postage? No – the digital form offers many communication benefits. One of the most important is the opportunity to guide traffic to your website. Few websites are granted the luxury of spontaneous visitors; an email message with a link to the website will increase these considerably. Set aside a few minutes to learn the benefits of sending digital newsletters:

  • Effective, quick communication to an unlimited number of subscribers
  • Low cost
  • Environmentally friendly
  • The response is easy to measure
  • Your website gains more visitors
  • Easy to carry out measurements and surveys on your subscribers
  • Easy to adapt your content to the target group
  • Build up loyalty with customers
  • Easier to build your brand name
  • The option to choose means committed subscribers
  • An excellent sales channel

 

You know what the subscribers are reading

 

Of course, sending by email has helped companies to make enormous efficiency savings, both in terms of saved time and postage-free communication. Yet a digital newsletter is also a superb measuring tool for you, the sender. Using Postman, you can very easily check precisely which subscribers have opened which link in your electronic newsletter, thus making it easier to adapt your message to your target group and to refine the content of each edition.

 

Easy to reach the desired target group

 

You can easily place parts of your readership circle into different categories, structuring and tailoring your message to the right target groups. You can then go on to filter your communication so that a certain type of message reaches a desired target group based on the interests and preferences of that specific target group.

 

In other words, you will be communicating to a greater extent with individuals, not with a mass of people. By dividing what you send on the basis of demographics, age, interests and gender, you will have the chance to build customer contacts where each recipient feels as though they have been selected exclusively.

 

Measurable response

 

Unlike other media used for marketing, email provides an immediate and clear indication of how the campaign turned out, or how many people read the newsletter. At the same time that a recipient opens the email message or clicks on a link, the sender will become aware of this. This allows you to monitor in real time how the number of clicks increases, and to draw your conclusions as to what struck a chord and what was less successful. Used correctly, this information will help you to offer better and better newsletters in the future.

 

Building your brand name

 

In contrast to when you build your brand name solely through your website, you will get an emotional response from your subscribers. The newsletter creates a stronger bond with your customers, building loyalty by providing your readers with valuable information and giving you the opportunity to portray your company as an expert in its field. You may, for example, attach a questionnaire where the recipient can quickly and effectively answer questions about your newsletter or the company’s products.

 

Easier to integrate with your customer

 

A newsletter allows you to tailor your message to the target group based on their own preferences. By getting the reader to interact and be involved, you can get closer to the customer and learn more, while at the same time the customer can get closer to you.

 

Newsletters produce a high response rate at a low cost

 

The difference between email marketing and ‘normal’ advertising, such as banners and direct advertising, is that the recipient has consented to receive the information. This alone ensures a higher response rate from newsletters; combined with the low cost of distribution, it makes email a very effective form of marketing for your company. You avoid the costs of printing and time-consuming proofing on paper. You avoid page breaks and having to adjust to a restricted paper format.

 

You avoid the heavy work of handling a print run that sometimes runs into several thousand copies. Using email, you can generally get the idea, create the content, send and receive a response – all within an hour. No other channel can compete with email when it comes to reaching many recipients quickly and at low price.

 

Newsletters build up loyalty

 

Newsletters and emails are personal in a way that a website can never be. By pitching your address correctly and sharing knowledge, you will strengthen old customer relationships and be able to initiate new ones. The quality of your content marks you out as knowledgeable and familiar with your field.

 

Not only does the newsletter provide the customers with exclusive information, it also reassures them that they are in good hands with you.

 

Aren’t people’s inboxes already full to capacity as it is?

 

The increased flow of information is one of the reasons that more and more people are choosing to use newsletters in their marketing. By creating good and relevant content, you can save your subscribers time. You can publish news from your industry, interesting surveys, new solutions and methods that can be of benefit to the reader.

 

Information channel or sales channel?

 

Of course, the answer is: both. Newsletters work as a sales channel, but in a different, more long-term way. You build up customer contacts and good business relations, creating goodwill for your company.

 

But you also need a qualitative information channel. Newsletters generate a high emotional response from their

readers, which places a high demand on quality and usability. Today’s email readers quickly see through blatant sales talk – unless the information is of immediate value, they will discard the newsletter and not come back for more.

 

Content is still the most important thing

 

It is easy to be blinded by the sheer speed and simplicity of email marketing. Efficiency savings are all very well, but one thing that should never be sacrificed is quality, both in terms of text and layout. It is perhaps becoming more important than ever to ensure that the message gets through to the target group quickly and effectively. For this reason, many choose to engage external copywriters, online journalists and qualified designers in order to give the newsletter maximum reading value. In general, open rates will increase considerably if the newsletter is well written and tailored for the Internet. This will also retain subscribers to a greater extent for the next edition.