What is the biggest social network? E-mail! Consider that there are 3x more email accounts than there are Twitter and Facebook accounts combined. On top of that, consider that your message is 5 times more likely to be seen via email than Facebook. In addition, you are 6 times more likely to get a click-through from email than Twitter.
People will read your email more than they will visit your website or find you on their social media feeds. They will also be more likely to read email content and click-through from your email to linked content. According to Experian, $1 spent on email marketing typically provides a return of $45 to $50.
Another great feature of newsletters is that you can tailor your mailing list to specific groups. Newsletter services like MailChimp offer the ability to create multiple mailing lists using different signup forms for each list. In other words, you can record all sorts of useful information about your list subscribers, including email, name, business, birthday, and any other information you think could be useful for your mailing list.
Services like MailChimp also provide powerful analytics capabilities. This is a great way to determine how your marketing investments are paying off. Track clicks, emails open rates, subscription rates, unsubscribe rates, social sharing, and even perform advanced testing with split campaigns, that allow you to send different variations of your newsletter campaign to each half of your mailing list.
How do I get started
Newsletter services like MailChimp make starting a newsletter very easy. They allow you to create mailing lists, signup forms, and create email campaigns. You can even schedule your emails right from your MailChimp account.
Once you have your account configured, you have to invite people to signup. There are a variety of means to do this.
- Create a signup page on your website. Share your new signup page on social media.
- Create an integrated signup form on Facebook.
- Integrate with your Twitter account.
- Email contacts in your address book, inviting them to subscribe. Please note that it is against policy of most newsletter services to add email addresses to your mailing list without their consent, so be sure to get their permission before adding them.
- Create a signup link in your email signature
- Use integration methods to offer free products or services to new subscribers.
- Add a signup form at your physical location
- Offer a signup link at the time of sale
Some words of advice for a successful newsletter campaign
It’s better not to send a newsletter at all than sending one that offers no value to your subscribers. Make sure your newsletters are informative, engaging, and/or funny. Avoid spam filters by using this guide.
In general, the first links featured on your newsletter are the most likely to be clicked, so the most important content should be at the top. Use your newsletter to feature sales, promotions, or important news items related to your business. Consider your audience and feature content that is useful to them.
You can post your newsletter on a quarterly or monthly basis. Avoid posting too often, or your open rate will decrease.