Everybody’s doing email marketing, yet very few businesses are doing it right.
As the competition’s growing in every niche, consumers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s targeting them.
If ten businesses email the same person, how could that person convert for all of them?
Then we shall assume that only the best email newsletters, the best strategies, and the best content will prevail.
In today’s post, I’m teaching you how to effectively develop and optimize an email newsletter that actually gets opened.
1. Know Your Audience Better Than You Know Yourself
The first key to growing a steady and profitable business is the ability to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and learn about their needs, problems, desires, and fears.
Your email newsletter is simply the bridge of communication between your brand and your prospects.
Here’s my advice: never start a newsletter unless you have understood how to make your potential customers “tick”.
Besides brainstorming, here are some ways to do your research:
- Go through niche forums and study the problems/needs/desires/fears of your potential audience
- Read relevant book reviews on Amazon
- Study industry trade magazines
- Talk to your customers directly (private messages, emails, surveys)
- Read questions and answers on Quora and Yahoo Answers
2. Do You Really Need a Newsletter?
Many entrepreneurs feel that they absolutely need to engage in email marketing, and that’s a mistake.
Start by researching your competitors. Are they offering newsletters? If they do, what do they offer? Also, think about your resources – do you have enough time, money, knowledge, or skills to pull it off?
Then continue to examine your specific business goals.
See how an email newsletter can speed up the achievement of your goals. If you decide to drop it, you’ll be thankful for taking the time to make this important decision, as this decision allowed you to focus your time and attention on other important aspects that brought improvements.
3. Don’t Make a Mess – Keep it Focused on One Topic
If you have decided to create and promote an email newsletter, pay attention!
An email marketing campaign could have many purposes, but the main one is to offer your subscribers enough value, so they will keep opening your emails on a consistent basis. With that comes the trust, the loyalty, and the sales.
Here’s my advice: keep your newsletter focused on a single topic.
If you have promised to fix a problem, then fix it. You need to keep in mind why your prospects have subscribed, meet their expectations, and make them happy.
Once you do that, you can diversify your email content.
As Mark Cuban, CEO at CareersBooster suggests, “Many newsletters offer advice, news, event invitations, product reviews, and so on and so forth. If someone subscribes for the advice and they keep getting irrelevant product reviews, you can imagine the enthusiasm he’ll get when receiving information that he never requested.”
4. Keep It 90% Educational and 10% Promotional
Email subscribers are often cold leads. Remember: someone who barely knows your brand, your value proposition, and your reputation in the market will hardly feel safe enough to buy something from you.
Therefore, you should offer your users a journey towards the result they crave.
Do so by developing educational content that provides free value (90%), followed by promotional copy that doesn’t aggressively sell but rather offers and encourages potential choices (10%).
5. Develop Exceptional Content and Subject Lines
If your content’s quality is poor and average, you can probably figure that your newsletter won’t be effective. Common sense, right?
Here’s a simple strategy you should use to develop exceptional email content: Subscribe to the top 10 email newsletters in the niche and take notes.
Extract the good aspects and leave out the bad ones. Consistently use your competitors’ content to find new ideas and inspiration.
The last part is to add a twist or to combine your competitors’ information into one, exceptional piece of content.
The content’s quality is the first thing. Then, to get people to actually read it, you should develop interesting, funny, attractive, controversial, or emotional headlines.
Address your audience directly by asking a question, by making a bold statement, or by making a big promise!
6. Re-Send Different Headlines to People Who Ignore Your Emails
You should consistently analyze your newsletter’s performance and look for inactive users. Let’s say you send an email, and 100 people ignore it.
Extract those 100 emails and send a new email with a different headline.
You can even automate this process by developing 2 or 3 headlines for each email and automate the process with your email autoresponder.
7. Leverage Open Loops
An open loop is basically an open ending that is not actually an ending. In fact, an open loop is more like a “To Be Continued…” promise that TV Shows effectively leverage to keep their viewers hooked.
Wikipedia defines it as a “rhetorical device to instill curiosity by creating anticipation for what’s about to come next.” A great newsletter contains open loops or better said…tension loops that are constantly triggering your subscribers’ attention and curiosity.
While you develop your email sequence, make sure you leverage open loops to bring your potential customers to the end game, which is the promotional material that’s supposed to make them buy something from you.
The loop closes the moment you reveal your solution entirely. It ends the moment your subscribers get what they’ve been waiting for.
I’d suggest you create open loops of 1-2 days, maybe 3 days tops. If you keep the loop open for too long, its effectiveness will decrease.
Developing a highly effective email newsletter is definitely the best thing you can do to speed up your business’ growth. In case you’re not truly motivated to give your best to it, I’d say just drop it. Dare to be exceptional and care to stand out from the crowd. Keep your customers close, and they’ll love you forever!
Author’s Bio: Silvia Woolard is a freelance writer and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix, AZ. She mostly writes and works in a field of popular psychology and marketing. You can follow Silvia in her Twitter.