Email newsletter campaign practices for 2013

Practising email newsletter etiquette

The trouble with most email marketing practices is that most businesses see their corporate email newsletters as sufficient email marketing. However they don’t think of all the other possibilities they could communicate through email newsletters. Email marketing is an amazing medium that can be used for many, many types of communication.

Inform

Your email newsletter tells people what’s going on around your company. But are you providing your subscribers with sound advice on how to use your product or service? Imagine you’re a software provider, that normally only sends an email newsletter with basic updates on your products, and other company news. It sounds nice, but it’s not very helpful or dedicated in any way. Try to find out what concerns your clients the most, what they have trouble with when it comes to your product or service, or what they feel they are otherwise spending too much time doing. If the problem can be solved or even prevented with a small relevant article in an email newsletter, then honestly, why aren’t you doing it yet? Creating dedicated email marketing campaigns or email newsletters for this type of issue will help separate it from the regular email newsletter that your clients are used to receiving,  also, tracking its success rate will be a lot easier than when you roll it all into one email newsletter. If that still seems too overwhelming, or you don’t have enough content to fill an email newsletter with tips and advice, you could always put it in your regular email newsletter as an advice/help section. Many companies place a FAQ section in their email newsletter with recently asked questions that have been resolved successfully. By making these small changes you could potentially: - Reduce the load your support team receives - Become the top of in the inbox in terms of trustworthiness - Provide help, instead of just selling your product/service. - Have people appreciate your product/service more because they can use it better The most advantageous thing about an email newsletter as opposed to social media is that as long as it is not deleted, the email newsletter remains in the inbox which means that it can be archived in an appropriately named folder and referenced if and when the recipient needs that information again.

Inspire

Besides being given information on how to maximise the output of your product, people need to be inspired to go above and beyond the basic use of the product or service. You can communicate this by presenting in your email newsletter, what other customers have done with the product, and possibly what you yourself have done with it. This differs from the Informing task in that the task spoke about informing your clients on HOW to use your product/service. While inspiring them focuses on the end product instead of the method used to get there. If you’re a company that’s product/service is not very versatile or is particularly static, then it might be much more difficult to implement an inspirational email newsletter campaign. Whereas being a company like Adobe, would leave a lot of room for inspiration due to the nature of the software. However, even when what you’re offering is very static it’s still possible to have people take pride in what they are doing with it and focus on the end result. By highlighting the benefits of what they could achieve in your email newsletter, you could inspire your clients with a host of attractive outcomes, if they use your product or service to its maximum potential By inspiring your clients you could find that: - Your customers are likely to be more creative with your product. - You get feedback from your email newsletter on how your customers can use your product/service to its full potential. - You learn as a company how the majority of people use (or prefer to use) your product or service. - You end up improving upon the product with your clients’ needs in mind.

Integrate

Integrating some of your other channels into your email newsletters can be very beneficial. And by other channels we are not talking about the regular Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media networking links and icons that sit above or below newsletters for people to share. We are talking about having email newsletter campaigns dedicated to promoting channels in your network, with clear and visible benefits for the viewer. For example: You have one of the best YouTube channels around (or at least you consider it to be). Even so, people can’t know it exists unless they are informed of its existence.  So by sending an email newsletter whenever a new video or series of videos is uploaded, you are engaging your subscribers and linking them to your video channel, thus broadening their participation in the relationship you share with them. Email newsletters such as these can also be synced with events within your company to create a sense of being up to date with the happenings of your company’s objectives and mission statement. The advantage of using an email newsletter campaign for promoting other channels is the same as before. An email newsletter remains in the inbox, and people sometimes come back to those email newsletters when they want to know more about what’s going on with some of your other channels. Be sure that you step up to the plate and provide plenty activity or, people will begin to expect that further channel boosting email newsletters are not worth following up on. A big mistake made by many companies comes into play when they promote their Twitter channel. Many times their channel will have an outdated post and most people landing on their Twitter feed feel they have wasted their time navigating to a feed with no activity. What companies should focus on instead are the channels in which they are active. Integrating your email newsletter with other channels could lead to: - Promotion of other channels, and in doing so, getting more traffic for the content posted there. - Tracking where your client base is active besides just in email newsletter subscription. - Have a wider view of how much attention each channel receives for specific objectives. These three things to implement are important to remember this year, as people respond better to a company they trust. Remember, email marketing does have to be about selling. It can also be about having a trusting relationship with your clients that is beneficial to both them and you.