5 Ways a Weekly Email Newsletter Can Increase Engagement and ROI
If you don’t have a weekly email newsletter then now is the time to get started. There are many benefits, as you’re about to see. And, otherwise, your email marketing can face several serious challenges, such as…
Deadwood: If a significant percentage of your subscriber list doesn’t open your emails then itcan harm your deliverability. This can harm your conversions even if you otherwise send out brilliant email campaigns. The very fact that a large percentage of your list doesn’t open your emails tells the ISP’s like Gmail that your content is not of high quality (fairly or not).
Inconsistent ROI: The problem with sending out your promotions as broadcasts without a consistent schedule is that your results can vary significantly. It’s easy to understand why in today’s hectic lifestyle. Your subscribers may be busy, not paying attention, flooded with other messages, and your open rates and conversion can therefore be shockingly random.
Loss of connection: Once your subscribers check out and don’t open your emails routinely, the next logical consequence is that your engagement will drop off. The phrase, out of sight, out of mind is essentially the core of the problem. Your most hyper-responsive subscribers are motivated to consume in their area of interest. If your messages are not appearing in their inbox, they’ll look elsewhere.
Now, if you have a weekly email newsletter, you can not only overcome these problems, but you can pile on other advantages as well.
Here are a few...
1) Expectations: When a subscriber joins your weekly email newsletter, they are by definition expecting an email from you every week. This consistency is built in and if you run a high quality email newsletter you can expect to get emails from people who for one reason or another didn’t see your latest issue. That’s a good sign. This consistency can become a ritual and a habit and that means your subscriber will look forward to the connection and the engagement from your weekly emails. This of course can benefit all your other email promotions as well since your weekly newsletter has conditioned your subscriber to want to open your messages.
2) Brand Building: When your emails show up every week and you have your subscriber’s attention, you and your company can occupy a dominant position in their awareness of providers in your market. If your newsletter provides valuable problem solving information and you (or your team’s) expertise, your subscriber will view you as superior to others who do not provide that same level of value. This value building comes with good will that buffers your brand from any sense that your promotions are unwelcome. You’ve earned the right to pitch by putting in the time and value.
3) Showcase: You’ve got highly valuable digital real estate in your weekly email newsletter. If your subscribers open your messages you’ve got a tremendous opportunity to showcase important content and promotions. It’s the same principle that magazines, TV shows, and radio use to sell ads or promote products to their audience around the content that draws them in the first place. If your subscribers are reading your newsletter you have at least a few moments of their attention to tell them about current or future offers, cross promotions, and affiliate offers. If you build up anticipation for future offers the right way, you can have your subscribers clamoring to be able to buy before you even launch your products. A successful weekly email newsletter can give you a captive audience that is eager to engage with you.
4) Maximize Your Mailing Calendar: For many marketers, the work week is prime time for promotions and the weekends can be a two day ‘dead zone’ on their calendar. By marrying content with promotions in weekly email newsletter, you could make the publication date Friday or Saturday to capture the leisure attention of your subscribers. They may well be more receptive to reading your newsletter content on the weekend rather than a straight up email pitch. By conditioning your list to read your newsletters on the weekend you can increase your click throughs on the weekend. It is worth testing special offers for the newsletter subscribers so that their consumption of the email on weekends is rewarded.
5) Authority: Context is everything. When you or your company publish a regularly scheduled email newsletter that carries authority because of the time and commitment that it takes. Similarly, in the marketplace of publishing, magazines and other newsletters have established that serious professional content is serialized. You can use this authority to not only deliver value and build brand loyalty, but you can also attract new subscribers and generate some viral traffic by publishing a buzzworthy newsletter.
Starting a weekly email newsletter can be easier than you may think. You can offer your newsletter as a free bonus for another lead magnet. Let’s say you have an ebook that you offer for free to build your list. You can disclose on the opt in page that by requesting your free ebook your new subscriber will also receive your respected ezine or email newsletter. In fact, if you do intent to mail ebook opt ins your newsletter, you definitely should tell them that when they opt in to set the expectation and avoid complaints.
You can also offer a paid email newsletter if your content is of product quality. You could either promote it as a standalone offer or use it as a down-sell to a more expensive product. That way if your prospect decides not to buy your more expensive offer, you can still get recurring revenue you’re your newsletter. Depending on the positioning within your product line, it may be that your newsletter is actually an up-sell. Again, the potential for recurring subscription revenue can be quite attractive.
There are many reasons by a weekly email newsletter has a high perceived value to your target market.
The weekly publishing schedule lends itself well to keeping your audience informed. You can use current events and news as fodder for topics and become a valuable resource that helps your readers understand and process all information that floods at them on a daily basis. As such, you don’t even have to produce all of the content yourself. You could have contributors and staff writers and the weekly schedule would allow you to rotate among them.
The downside to a weekly newsletter, if there is one, is that you do have a publication deadline each week. Your consumption and engagement will increase if you have a consistent publication schedule as your subscribers will know when to expect your email. This means that you want to at least map out a week or two of content topics ahead of time. If you are using contributors or staff writers, you will want as much lead time as possible to allow for editing and content approval.
Email newsletters don’t have to be long, either. You could have a 500 or 1000 word email that goes on a regular schedule, or it could be much longer. If it is a longer format you may want to post the content on a website or a blog and use your email as a notification of the new content. If you do write short emails to announce your weekly newsletter, be sure to have a clear call to action and to tease the content to increase consumption. Whether you are selling products or services along-side your email newsletter or getting revenue from sponsored ads or affiliate offers, the higher your engagement with your email newsletter the higher the revenue potential.
Study other email newsletters, especially any that your competitors publish and see what layout and scope of content appeals most to you. You can learn a lot from popular offline magazines as well as online blogs and ezines in terms of what engaging content looks like. Take note of the revenue model when doing this research. You may find that you can approach the same advertisers as well if you have publications that have similar offerings to yours.
Even if you decide at some point to have a fancy design, in the beginning your email newsletter can be as simple as text in a regular email. Map out a couple week’s content in advance if possible and and then get started. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised by the results.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
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