Are you finding you’re not getting a lot of mileage from your newsletters? Beyond some obvious reasons such as spamming people (i.e sending your newsletter to people who haven’t requested it, buying lists or just irrelevant content), another reason could be that you may need to revamp your newsletter, or take steps to make it more interesting for your readers and disseminate your message to a wider audience.
In a recent survey by Econsultancy, 66% of marketers say email delivers ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ ROI. This means it’s well worth spending the time improving your email newsletters to make sure they do deliver the desired results for your business.
With the constant improvements in technology, many of the big email providers are adding more and more features to make it much easier to add extras and extend your reach as well as finding out how well your newsletters perform.
You should also find out how many of your website’s visitors are using mobile devices to view your site. I’m finding that for sites I’ve been working on recently, up to 50% of visitors can be viewing it on a mobile device (phone or tablet) and chances are these people are checking their emails on their phones too. Check how your newsletter looks on a mobile, and if needed, find a new mobile friendly template.
Since Mailchimp is the email provider I use, I’ll outline some of the features of this particular service that may help you decide if you need to enhance your newsletters or find new features you may not have known existed.
Connect with Google Analytics: If you connect your Mailchimp account with Google Analytics, your newsletter will come up as a separate referrer in Analytics and you can track activity of those who click through to your site from there. Most email providers should provide this feature.
Embed videos: Videos are extremely popular and will add an interesting dimension to your newsletter. You can embed videos directly into them quite easily (Mailchimp provides a special shortcode), and they can be played directly from the newsletter.
Connect with Facebook & Twitter: Make sure you connect your Mailchimp account with Facebook and Twitter so your campaigns auto tweet or automatically post to your Facebook page. This extends the reach of your newsletters and could also attract more subscribers. Again, most providers should have this feature.
Eventbrite: Do you promote your events using Eventbrite? Then connect your Eventbrite account with Mailchimp for easy bookings from your newsletter.
Ebay and Etsy: If you sell online via Ebay or Etsy, you can integrate your Ebay and Etsy stores. By connecting Paypal as well, each time anyone purchases anything, they’ll be added to your list.
SurveyMonkey: By connecting Mailchimp with SurveyMonkey, you can integrate survey invitations and follow ups depending on whether or not the survey has been completed.
SMS: Using the various mobile integrations provided by Mailchimp, you can use the service to send out SMS messages to subscribers.
This list could go on and there are even more integrations for popular CMS systems such as WordPress, Magento and Drupal. All of these extras mean you can track the performance of your newsletters much better, make them more interesting to your subscribers and make it easier to send them. Most email providers should offer many of these options.
Of course the design and layout of your newsletters can also have a big impact, so take the time to experiment with layout. Mailchimp now has drag and drop layouts to make it easier to use, as well as templates specifically for mobiles as mentioned above.
There’s plenty going on in the world of email marketing, so make sure you make the most of these new features so your newsletter stands out.