Finding a new client can cost up to 5 times as much as keeping the ones you already have, but it can be hard to maintain relationships with your entire client base on a regular basis. That’s where company e-newsletters come into play. Without very little investment of time and money on your part, you can remind all your clients about the valuable services you provide and keep them up-to-date when you expand your offerings.
But how do you encourage people to keep tuning into news about your company? Here are a few ways you can get the most out of your email list.
Stick to a schedule. The best way to lose a subscriber is to be associated with spam, and sending out newsletters irregularly can cause this problem in two ways. If your subscribers are used to receiving communication from you on a monthly basis, but then you suddenly send them 2 or 3 emails in a single month, they may decide it’s an unwelcome addition to their already overwhelmed inbox and unsubscribe. But sending out an email too infrequently can also cause the same end result. Why? Because if there’s enough time in between communications, people forget why they signed up in the first place. Prevent these issues by being upfront with people when they subscribe. Let them know that you’ll be sending out emails monthly, biweekly, weekly, or daily, so that they understand what they’re getting into. And if you have a special announcement you’re just itching to send in advance, ask yourself: is it really worth possibly alienating your readers? Or can it wait until your next regularly scheduled email blast.
Provide value. Take a moment to understand why people are signing up for your newsletter. It’s unlikely it’s because they want to receive regular advertisements from your company. Instead, they may be looking to gain more expertise in your area, find out about new offerings that may help them to solve problems, or learn about deals that can save them money. Be sure that you are keeping these reasons in mind when drafting your content.
Make it easy to unsubscribe. Many companies are tempted to make it hard for people to leave a mailing list once they’ve signed up. After all, why would they want to let this captive audience go? For starters, under the Can-Spam act, you must offer the option to opt-out, and you must honor those requests within 10 days. But it’s also just not smart business practice. A disgruntled subscriber is unlikely to pay much attention to your content – no matter how good it is – and a complicated unsubscribe process will frustrate your readers – not the feeling you want them to experience in connection with your brand! Instead, take this opportunity to learn more about what you can do to keep your other readers. For example, you can include a brief “exit survey” of sorts to try to better understand why they decided to unsubscribe.
Get feedback. An exit survey isn’t the only time you should be asking your readers what they want. The great thing about email marketing vs. print marketing is the ability to get direct feedback from your audience. You no longer need to guess why a certain strategy was or wasn’t effective – you can find out straight from the source! Also, if you plan to make a major change to your newsletter, such as changing your schedule from monthly to weekly, or including more or less content, you can ask the subscribers’ opinion before you implement the change to ensure that it’s the right decision.
Focus on your subject line. Just hitting someone’s inbox doesn’t mean that they will actually read what you send them, and the first step is getting them to open the email in the first place. It’s a good idea to include the company name first, otherwise they might disregard the email outright as spam. But make sure you follow it with something compelling. Pose a question that you will answer inside. Tell them about the great deal they will be able to take advantage of. The idea is to get them interested in learning more.