Your Goals: Clarifying your objectives includes
defining your target, which may mean specific segments of your
market or the entire market itself. Describe your audience in
terms of their demographics, psychographics, needs and interests.
Typical goals include motivating purchases; reinforcing your
brand and building trust; increasing awareness; motivating recipients
to visit your Web site or store; prompting requests for more
information; deepening partner relationships; and increasing
attendance for a conference or seminar. You can get additional
value from articles by sending your e-newsletter to trade publications
for them to reprint specific articles from it.
Decide also on your publishing frequency. Because e-newsletters
are delivered at regular intervals, they allow your company
to consistently and regularly position itself as a trusted resource.
If you send it too infrequently, you’ll be forgotten.
Publish at least quarterly, but bimonthly or even monthly is
Subscriber List: Email your initial newsletter to
anyone with whom you’ve had a preexisting business relationship,
and confirm their interest in receiving it. Your list should include
anyone who has requested more information about your company;
names collected at trade shows; your employees’ business
contacts; and billing department contacts. Remember to send all
of your employees the e-newsletter, as well.
All your marketing efforts should be aimed at growing a well-qualified
database. Ask your readers to encourage their colleagues and
friends to subscribe. Use your Web site by placing an e-newsletter
subscription box or link on some or all of your pages. Use your
offline media efforts to drive subscriptions, too.
Employees should include a link to sign up for the e-newsletter
in their email signatures. Your partners and strategic alliances
might help you spread the word about your publication, if you
offer to promote them in it. Consider buying outside lists from
a broker and doing an email promotion.
Compelling Content: Interesting articles are the
foundation of any good newsletter. Content should be targeted
to your ideal readers and match their preferences and reading
style. It should be timely, relevant and useful (or fun and entertaining).
Cover a variety of topics, including how-to tips, case studies,
trends and the latest developments. Vary the type of the content
by using articles, factoids and including a poll.
Your E-newsletter to Be Attractive and Easy to Read:
Using HTML rather than straight text is recommended. It allows
you to format your message in an attractive way that’s compatible
with your brand image, including using your typeface and colors.
The layout should help organize content and make it easy for subscribers
to find material of personal interest. Use a limited number of
graphics to add visual appeal. Be consistent from issue to issue
in the placement of name and contact information and the design
layout. Make email and website addresses clickable.
to the Details: Include a way for recipients to
unsubscribe or opt-out. All requests to be added or deleted should
be handled within five business days. Assure people that you won’t
sell their names by including a link to your privacy statement.
And make sure to include a copyright statement.
Right First Impression: These days, if you don’t
get it right upfront, your email will end up deleted before it’s
Include a real person’s name in the “from”
line. Place your company or product name either there or in
the subject line. Hone your subject line by making a pithy statement
(30-40 characters including spaces, or 5-8 words) with a specific
benefit. Personalize the e-newsletter, if possible. When a recipient’s
name is not available, use a term such as colleague, subscriber
or some other appropriate word. Ideally, you should conduct
a small test of several subject lines to see which gets opened
||Increase Response Rates:
The rates at which emails are opened vary greatly and depend on
many factors, including the list and subject line. Timing can
also play into response. The rule of thumb is to send B2B emails
on Tuesday through Thursday between 10 AM and 3 PM. On the other
hand, consumers may be more responsive if it’s sent in the
evening or on weekends. However, it sometimes pays to stand out
by breaking the rules. Test sending your e-newsletter on different
days and at different times to see what works best for you.
Up When and Where Appropriate: Provide a confirmation
message whenever someone subscribes or unsubscribes. It’s
not only courteous; it’s good business. Be prepared to
handle inbound email responses and questions resulting from
your e-newsletters. Follow-through is as important as the initial
Sending: Before sending to the entire list, send
to a small internal list to check everything. Is the e-newsletter
formatted correctly? Are the right typefaces, type sizes and colors
used? Are the graphics loading in the right size and location?
Are all the HTML links working and linking to the correct URLs?
Check spelling and grammar as well.
Your ROI: Determine the metrics upon which you will
evaluate the performance of your e-newsletter. For example: open
rate, click-through rate, subscribe/unsubscribe rates and conversion
rates. Compare results by market segment. If possible, measure
the revenue produced by subscribers before and after they subscribed.