You have an email newsletter…now what?
Once you’ve created an email newsletter, you may have realized that — no matter how often it’s sent out — it doesn’t automatically generate leads and sales. Unfortunately, few things in life succeed on autopilot. Rather, you have to continually work at them. It’s the same with an email newsletter. So, to be sure that your email newsletter generates the results you want, regularly review your newsletter program by answering the following questions:
- Is your list growing, stagnating, or shrinking?
It’s a known fact in the email marketing industry that email newsletters can typically lose 25% of their lists annually. This is due to unsubscribes, bounces (people changing their email addresses), and inactive users (those subscribers who’ve decided to stop reading your newsletters). That means if you have a list of 10,000, you have to add over 200 new subscribers each month just to stay even. Knowing where you stand is important, so you’ll be clear what actions you need to take.
- Where are your new subscribers coming from?
It’s amazing how many companies publish email newsletters but don’t truly integrate subscriber acquisition as a part of the fabric of their company. If you have a newsletter, don’t forget the many avenues available for adding people to your subscriber list. In addition, don’t forget to code and measure where subscribers are coming from. This will help you identify where you should be pushing harder. Consider the following sources of new subscribers, but always be sure to get explicit permission:
- Trade shows
- Physical store locations (ask prospects, customers, vendors)
- Call centers (huge opportunity to add new subscribers every day)
- Web site (keep sign-up front and center on primary Web site pages)
- Sales meetings (ask prospects and customers)
- Printed materials (invite sign-up from business cards, letterhead, etc.)
- Are your open rates going up, down, or staying the same?
If your open rates are going up, you have a very healthy newsletter. You’re probably adding new subscribers regularly, and your content is maintaining their interest. If your email open rates are declining, you might not have been adding enough new members recently or perhaps your subject lines aren’t connecting with your subscribers. Remember, it’s the “from” and “subject” lines that get people to open your emails. If open rates are staying the same, you should certainly focus on improving your subject lines and growing your email list. Whatever you do, don’t grow complacent with your newsletter performance. Solid performance takes work, and the results will well be worth the effort.
- What’s the value of each subscriber?
If you sell small-ticket items, valuing your subscribers is relatively straightforward. Regardless of the types of products or services you sell, appreciating how valuable each and every subscriber can be is vital. That should be incentive enough to keep your eye on your newsletter’s performance every month.
- Is your email newsletter content connecting with your subscribers?
Once someone opens your newsletter, the level of interest he or she has in your content is indicated by the click-through rate. If that rate is falling, then there’s an indication that your subscribers are less interested in your content. In addition, a declining active subscriber base can also exacerbate a falling click-through rate. Use surveys, focus groups, and ad hoc feedback from prospects and customers to determine exactly what they’re interested in reading about. Remember, subscribers will read about what addresses their three most pressing issues. If you’re not in sync with what those challenges are, your subscribers will quickly send you to the junk folder.
Fortunately, there are many fantastic ways to grow your list, increase your open rates, drive up your click-through rates, and generate the revenue you seek through your email newsletter program. Take it one step at a time, measuring everything you try, so you can see what works and what doesn’t. Your opportunities are limited only by your own creativity.
As always, if you seek any assistance, FulcrumTech is one click or phone call (215-489-9336) away.