Most digital marketers send a periodical e-digest or newsletter to keep current and prospective customers up to date. And that’s a good move: According to the Nielson Norman group, 90% of consumers would rather receive updates by an email newsletter, while only 10% prefer Facebook. And marketers find them useful as well. The number-one use of email marketing is for newsletters (66%), followed by promotional content (54%), and welcome series emails (42%).
Since email newsletters are so commonly used by marketers and pretty well-received by consumers, this should add up to a happy ending, right? Well, not always. Because sometimes your newsletters don’t perform, and you may be at a loss as to the reason why.
Imagine you’ve sent a newsletter to your contacts that you crafted with care. You’re not worried, you’ve done this a hundred times before. But later, as you check the open, delivery and click-through rates, it happens. You hear a figurative cough and sniffle. You feel the urge to grab a hot towel, warm blanket, and some aspirin. Because your newsletter is sickly and under-performing.
It’s an unhealthy newsletter.
Now there is no need to wish upon a star, spend a fortune on pharmaceuticals, or rely on an old wives’ tale for the remedy. You need the right digital strategy to cure the newsletter’s illness.
The e-Doctor is in: strategies for a healthy newsletter
Diagnose your contacts’ needs with personas
Sometimes marketers are so excited to send emails, that they forget who their audience is. The one-size-fits-all email strategy just doesn’t cut it anymore. So what’s a marketer to do?
The good news is, you don’t have to work harder, you just have to work smarter. And crafting buyer personas is actually a helpful method for improving your e-newsletter performance.
Many marketing professionals already have buyer personas in place. And it’s a great way to market and sell strategically. Think about it: Caroline Customer Service and Michael Marketing Manager have different needs and perspectives. So your communications with each should be different.
This strategy also applies to newsletters. If you know who is in your audience, then you’ll know what to say to them and how to say it. Using the customizable personas feature found in many marketing automation platforms, it’s easy to sort and segment your contacts into persona profiles. That way, it will be much simpler to understand your email audience, and you’re on your way to higher engagement.
Prescribe the right content with dynamic emails
Now that you know who you’re speaking to, it’s time to create the right messaging. Oftentimes, e-newsletters don’t perform well because the content is irrelevant to the recipients. According to one study, personalized promotional emails had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more unique click-through rates. But creating personalized emails for hundreds of recipients is a tall order. Who has time for that?
Well, you do. You actually have time to create meaningful, hyper-personalized messaging for each person on your email list. How? With dynamic email.
Most marketing automation platforms include dynamic email. It allows you to send personalized and relevant messages to your leads through a single email – and you can do it all without the help of a developer. Simply swap out entire phrases, images and offers based on what you know about your contacts. Your open and click-through rates will be back to perfect health in no time.
Keep your e-newsletter healthy with some vitamin A/B
So once you’ve injected your emails with relevant content, it’s time for the final step to fully restore your newsletter’s health. For the best results, you’ll want to A/B test your emails. By splitting up your email list, you can test and compare the performance of two emails, side by side. Did one of the emails yield a higher open rate with its subject line? Did you have more unsubscribes from one email versus another?
A/B testing will give you the necessary information to make your newsletter as successful as possible. You can test and compare many variables, such as subject lines, graphics and images, email templates, body copy, and calls to action. Keep your newsletters fresh and at optimum performance by taking the time to A/B test.
Cured! Your newsletter is in tip-top shape
Congratulations, you’ve done it! Your newsletter is happy, healthy and performing well. Be sure to know your audience, craft relevant messaging, and test, test, test! Marketing automation helps you do all of this and more, so that you can keep your emails in prime condition. Happy emailing!