A mix of tools is used to attract customers on the internet. Some tools, such as contextual advertising and SEO, drive traffic to a website.
Email newsletters, on the other hand, help to convert visitors into customers and bring back customers who have stopped buying.
In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to attract customers to your online shop or website using email newsletters. There will be six steps: a collection of the base → develops a strategy → prepare content for letters → select a service for mailings → work with a base of subscribers → analysis of mailings.
Step 1: Establish an email address database
The basis of an email newsletter is a list of contacts. The bigger it is the more clicks and conversions you can get. So if you don’t have a base yet or have a small one, you need to organize a constant gathering of email addresses.
To do this use:
- subscription forms on the site;
- lead magnets;
- announcements in social networks;
- online and offline contests, game events.
Step 2. Think of an email marketing strategy
An email marketing strategy is a document that describes the goals the company wants to achieve through mailings, and the actions required to achieve those goals.
Now we will tell you how to formulate the strategy step by step.
Before you change anything, you need to find out how things are now. What’s working well should be strengthened. Fix the mistakes.
What to analyze in your newsletters:
- The quality of the address base;
- the channels for attracting customers;
- Open rates for different types of emails, CTR, and other metrics for mailing effectiveness;
- The type and content of the letters: is there a standard template design and how easy it is to change it for different types of letters, does the letter appear correctly in different email services and devices; what is the ratio of text to images in the letter, is there a call to action (CTA); is the subject clearly stated and is there a preheater.
- Describe the target audience
- To produce relevant emails you need to understand the customers’ problems, interests, fears, and pain points. Based on this information, a portrait of the customer is drawn up.
Analyze your competitors
If the company does not sell a unique product, it has competitors and may already be doing newsletters. In this case, subscribe to newsletters and take notes: how they gather a base, how often they receive newsletters, and what they offer in them. You can note mistakes that your competitors have made in the past, so you would not repeat them, here are good examples of common mistakes in Email Marketing. Analyzing your competitors will help you see their strengths and weaknesses, take best practices from them and understand what ways to attract customers can be advantageously differentiated.
Being clear about your objectives helps you to focus your efforts on what’s important and measure the effectiveness of your mailing in the future. To make it possible to compare plan and fact, the goal should be expressed in figures and indicate the time it will take to reach it.
An example of what an email marketing goal might sound like:
- Increase the amount of “warm” traffic to the website by 15% in 6 months;
- Increase website conversion rates by 3% in 4 months by dealing with abandoned baskets;
- Attract 25 participants to the public speaking course by April 30; and so on.
Now that we have goals, client descriptions, and competitor information, we need to describe what we want to do. During the strategy formulation phase, decide on the type of content to be the basis of the mailing: informative or promotional. Your page content plays a major role as well – your content and looks must nail all expectations. If you are looking for a decent landing page creator, this list might be helpful to you. Landing pages play a huge role in marketing or advertising campaigns.
If the company sells a complex product with a long decision-making period, such as a training course, a promotional offer “outright” is unlikely to generate a large response. To attract customers, you first need to whet their interest: show them a trial lesson, describe the problem the course solves, show the benefits. An information letter series will do the job.
For products where decisions are made quickly, and the price is a key factor, such as clothes or books, promotional offers will be appropriate.
At the end of the section, note that a strategy is a blueprint in general terms. We will describe in detail the content of the letters, their design, and timing in the next step when we draw up the content plan.
Step 3. Create quality email newsletter content
The quality of your content depends on several components. First and foremost is the information. It has to be relevant and meet the needs of the client. Next is the presentation of the information. The text should be logically and attractively arranged so that the reader can perceive it. And finally, the letter must be correctly displayed on a computer or phone screen so that the customer can read it.
What to write in the newsletter for two or three months, six months? Information occasions help to solve this problem. If you look into your mailbox you’ll notice that most letters are built around these topics:
- new products and services;
- useful tips;
- company news;
- announcements of events;
- blog articles;
- promotions on various occasions – holidays, special dates;
- information from partners.
- Professional looking email address
The task of an email marketer is to link info-communications with their company’s products or services. Here are some tricks to present information originally and interestingly:
- describe the new product not in words, but with a video;
- make a GIF instead of a standard holiday card;
- use infographics to present company statistics or news;
- Give a coupon for a discount not immediately, but “sew” it into a simple puzzle.
The subject line announces the content of the message. It should be such that the buyer will want to open and read the email. The better the subject line, the higher the open rate.
The text communicates the essence of the message. It should be written in simple language – without clerical expressions and stamps, beginning with the main idea and gradually revealing details, checking for spelling and punctuation errors. These and other tips are described in “How to write a killer newsletter text”.
A call to action tells the potential customer what to do after reading the letter: buy, register for a webinar, join a waiting list. A time limit – “register by March 15”, personalization – “Hey Anna, special discount for you until tomorrow” and other techniques – help to reinforce the call to action.
Layout and design
Design not only affects the readability of the text. If the message is not properly laid out, it is more likely to get into spam.
Frequent mistakes in the way letters are made:
- non-adaptive layout;
- non-adaptive images;
- using Flash-animation (GIF should be used instead);
If you want to design a template yourself, you should avoid mistakes and keep in mind the email layout rules and make sure to get on track with the latest design trends.
Step 4. Choose a mailing service
At this stage, you need to choose a service that will help you to solve your task.
The main criteria in choosing a mailing service
- availability of various forms of subscription;
- convenient email constructor;
- preview of the letter to check its adaptability;
- opportunities for segmentation and personalization of mailings;
- automatic series of emails and other features.
More details about different mailing services and their differences.
Step 5. Track and increase customer activity
So you’ve launched your first few newsletters, gathered statistics. Now you need to monitor subscriber activity and improve newsletter performance. Segmentation, personalization, and reactivation can help.
Segmentation is the division of buyers into groups based on gender, age, interests. This information is collected during registration, through surveys in newsletters, when processing bonus cards.
A more complex type of segmentation is based on behavioral factors: search history on the site and purchases, frequency of purchases, subscriber activity, etc. The data for segmentation is taken from CRM systems and mailing services.
By dividing your audience into segments you can prepare more relevant email messages and increase conversion.
Personalization of the emails
Personalization is the creation of personalized newsletters which take into account the personal details of your subscribers. For example, name, city of residence, birthday, purchase history, and others.
The most popular type of personalization is the use of the customer’s name in the subject line of the text of the message. According to research, referring to a customer by name in the subject line increases open rates by an average of 20%.
Another example of personalization is when a customer is reminded that they have not completed an order. A dynamic block is added to the email, which pulls in data about the items left in the shopping cart:
If you take a look at your mailing list statistics, you’ll notice that a certain part of subscribers stopped reading your emails. Some haven’t opened a single email. You have to track their actions and inactions and react in time, i.e. reactivate them.
Reactivation is an e-mail or a series of emails that should remind your subscribers about your company and get them interested in your mailing list again.
What are the purposes of reactivation:
- To retain customers on whom money has already been spent.
- To clear the database of unsubscribers and not to pay for them in the newsletter service.
- Identify unsolicited emails and stop sending them to avoid damaging the sender’s reputation.
Automate email campaigns
Mailing automation is when you set the condition in the mailing service, in case of which the letter is sent automatically. For example, you set the condition: “If a client does not open four emails in a row, send him a reactivation email”. Automation plays a huge role these days so make sure you get the latest news about it.
- Welcome series – a chain of emails after the subscriber has registered;
- abandoned cart letters – a reminder to the customer to pay for goods left in their cart;
- special-anniversary newsletters – letters for birthdays, subscription anniversaries;
- reactivation emails – when a subscriber has never read the newsletter or has stopped reading it.
You can not only set up these types of automatic emails but also reinforce them with SMS and push notifications.
Step 6. Mailing list analysis
Measuring the results of your newsletters helps you monitor your progress and adjust your actions.
Here are the top eight metrics for email newsletters:
- Click-through rates.
- Spam complaints.
- Deliverability of emails.
- Bounce rate.
- Return on investment.
How to get more customers: from theory to practice
In this article, we have tried to describe the basic tools for email marketing and the steps for starting mailing lists. We will repeat them so you don’t miss anything important.
A checklist for acquiring customers through mailing lists:
- Collect email addresses – through subscription forms and lead magnets; hold competitions and announce the newsletter on social networks.
- Develop an email marketing strategy: describe the target audience, analyze your mailings and those of your competitors, set measurable goals, plan when to send the letters.
- Create quality content: choose relevant information, think over the structure of the message and write the text, design and design the message.
- Choose a newsletter service with your goals in mind.
- Launch the mailing list and monitor the actions of the subscribers: segment, personalize, reactivate. Set up an automatic chain of emails.
- Analyze the results of the mailings and work towards increasing the effectiveness of email marketing.
Now you know how to attract customers to your online shop or website with email marketing.