19 June – Why targeted newsletters always win

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Why targeted newsletters always win

Are you struggling to fully grab the attention of your subscribers? Do your email newsletters receive a low open rate? Here I will show you how to change this. That’s right you will soon have an expression like this…

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I have over 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing channel programmes in the high technology sector, and three years ago I launched my very own targeted newsletter platform, newsondemand®. So I would like to take a little of your time to share my knowledge of how to create a targeted newsletter that boosts engagement levels, and actually gets opened.

 

The basics- Dear Fred

 

Yes I know it may sound obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many of you still don’t follow this simple rule…

 

ALWAYS address the person you are sending the email to, for example Dear Fred. By doing this you are already making your first connection with the recipient. It becomes more personal, and less spammy.

 

So why are you currently sending untargeted emails? Is it because of time, lack of content, price or inspiration? Perhaps when you consider why you’re not doing it, you can come up with a solution to change this. Such as deploy a cost effective email marketing programme, or outsource an email marketer?

 

Time

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There are many programs open to make this task just that little bit more straightforward, whether it’s mailchimp, Marketo, or perhaps our own solution newsondemand. It really depends on who your audience is and how targeted you would like your emails to be. Channel marketers for one really see the benefit in using our product, as our platform makes it easy for them to create a single email template, which then automatically alters the content depending on the preference of the receiver. For example if the receiver is only interested in digital marketing then the newsletter would adjust so they would only receive content about this. BUT it all really depends on what you deem suitable for your brand, so have a look at some of the programs I have suggested, and see if they may be of help to you.

 

 

Location

 

Have you considered where your recipients may be located in the world? The reason why I ask this is, for me I am less likely to notice emails that for example are sent to me in the evening, as I have other priorities, like unwinding. And by the time I have reached these in the morning they are at the end of my emails. So obviously it makes sense to send emails at a time which suits your recipients, such as at 10am in the morning; a popular time for engagement. One trick I have also learnt is don’t send emails dead on the dot of e.g. 10am. Think about it, if the recipient is organised they will probably have a plan, such as a meeting scheduled. But I bet they are finished or finishing a task at 9:45. Send it at a time they are most likely to have a few minutes spare. What’s stopping you from conducting some A/B testing to decipher a time which receives the best results?

 

Language

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Do all your recipients speak English? Is this there first language? If you are French you would much rather read content in French and would certainly feel more engaged with it. Let’s face it your recipient does not have a lot of spare time to read and engage with your email. So make it easy for them. Put the content in their language. Yes it will be more expensive and less straight forward, but this is where programs such as newsondemand come in, being a cost effective solution to boost ROI for your email marketing. Why not do a pilot test in one other language, and roll it out to other languages if you notice a positive effect.

 

Topic

 

So what do your recipients want to hear about? Obviously your product/s, but what else? Brainstorm some ideas that would complement your offerings. Perhaps for example if you operate within the technology industry, innovative technologies that have recently come on the market would be desirable to your reader? If you’re struggling for inspiration, consider signing up to a competitors mailing list and analyse what you like, dislike and what could be improved. This will provide you with a rough template of what you should include.

 

With my experience, targeted emails always win. They get results and they deliver valuable engagement. So follow the steps above and you will receive the results your emails deserve.

 

Are you still not convinced? Conduct some A/B testing first and test it for yourself. Good luck!

 

Want to hear more about the effectiveness of targeted newsletters? Register for this webinar.

02 June – How to create the perfect email marketing template

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Who ever said email campaigns are on their way out was sadly mistaken. The truth of the matter is you still need emails and your audience still want them. The most obvious issue you may have is that your emails are not delivering the results you expected, simply because you are not delivering the content that your audience really wants. And you most probably have not optimised your email template. Here I will show you how to create an engaging email template that you may wish you’d adopted far sooner.

 

What do your target audience want to hear about?

Let’s first of all think about the topics your target audience want to hear about. You would be wrong to assume they would all be interested in the same thing. Unless of course you are only offering one product or service, in which case you hope they would be interested in related topics.

 

Remember people want to feel special, so make the newsletter appear tailored to them.

 

Here’s a thought; have you considered asking them what they would like to hear about? You could ask them at the stage when they sign up to receive your newsletters (such as a tick box on your website). A tailored newsletter could then be created around their chosen interests.

 

But it’s difficult to create newsletters for everyone I hear you say. Not when you use software such as newsondemand. This ensures the recipient receives only the content they are interested in, and the sender simply has to send one copy to all; the software will create the rest, changing the newsletter accordingly and delivering 100% targeted content.

 

It needs to be relevant to you

But before you can ask your audience what they want to hear about, you have to first of all come up with these categories. And once more it needs to complement your brand. I find creating mind maps a very effective way of sparking creative ideas.

 

Consider the categories which normally feature in your weekly newsletter. This may include:

+Blog posts

+Special offers

+Announcements

+Product/ service news

+Awards

+Case studies

+Events

+Industry information

 

If you already have a variety of these at present, you are already on your way. If not, I hope I have galvanised you into action. Still stuck? Conduct some competitor research; have a look at what your competitors are sending out and decide how you can outdo them. It’s a great way to really get you thinking about what works and what really doesn’t.

 

Keep it personal

I cannot stress the importance of keeping your emails personal. Ensure you have your emails set up ALWAYS to address the person you are sending your email newsletter to e.g. DEAR JOHN. I know this may seem like simple stuff, but you would not believe what a difference this will make.

 

What about the language of your emails. Do you have a global presence? Do you only send your email in one language? This can have a drastic effect on engagement levels. You might expect everyone to understand English, but some recipients may be less comfortable reading it. Yes, I hear you say ‘but translating content can be a costly process’. Once again look to newsondemand, as this will remove the hassle by managing the translated content for you, whist being very cost effective.

 

Also, if you are hoping to grow your brand in a specific new foreign market newsondemand makes perfect sense. Potential customers want to know that you can service their needs, and using the local language can make customers feel more confident when buying products from you. Why not conduct a pilot test, and try translating your newsletters into one other language. See if this makes a difference. Consider how much extra revenue you could drive through your newly personalised emails.

 

Visually appealing

The look of your emails is crucial. You’ve heard the saying ‘A picture paints a thousand words’. Well, it’s true. You don’t need to have reams and reams of text that many recipients will be unlikely even to read. Use imagery to tell your story.

 

I don’t mean stand alone, boring images that they have probably seen a thousand times before. Be inventive, make it interesting for them and use a background colour which complements your brand. Little things like this can make a world of difference.

 

Enticing content

Uniqueness is the key to life. Ensure your content is something they haven’t seen before. This all goes back to understanding your audience. Why not follow some industry leaders on social media and have a look at what they write about and where they source their information from. Consume some of their inspiration. Have a think about subject and text titles. I always find question marks to be particularly beneficial. The reader wants to know the answer. Using numbers also helps quantify and enthral readers. Readers want exact figures, it’s a lot more valuable to them. Try it.

 

So here it is, your perfect template. I am not however for one minute suggesting you should abandon all of your other marketing efforts, as these are equally important, but please give email marketing another try. With these suggestions in mind, I know you will be surprised with the results.