Things to think about for your email newsletter

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I’ve just recently joined the Datadial team, and one of my key responsibilities will be to manage the ever-growing need for email marketing. But often it can be hard to think about where to start, so here are my 3 points for growing your email newsletter.

How often will I need to send a newsletter?

You should be realistic with the frequency, and make sure you stick to it. If you know you’re busy then try to fit the newsletter around your other business routines:

  • If you are a service company, like Datadial, then around 4 newsletters a year is sufficient for gently keeping your clients up to date.
  • If you are selling products, then seasonal emails for a new collection release, and emails when you are holding a sale or special promotions is appropriate.
  • For news and information services, the frequency could even be as often as once a week.

Subscribers should know how often they expect to hear from you before they sign up. This wording can often be incorporated to the sign up form itself, e.g. “Sign up to our weekly newsletter here”.

Your contacts

The most important success factor of your emails will be your contacts list. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity. To get the most from your newsletters, your contacts should be a concise list of interested people – the more targeted your list is, the more effective it will be.

As a guideline, you can get an effective contact list by including anyone who has…

  • bought a product or service from you in the last 2 years – they may just need that one reminder to buy again.
  • opted-in to receive your email newsletter by signing up from your website.
  • signed up to your membership, either online or on a paper-based form, and opted-in to receive your newsletter.

We definitely advise against buying contacts lists from marketing agencies or scrambling around to get as many contacts as possible. This will only lead to people being annoyed at your company for sending them emails they haven’t asked for. Sending newsletters to those who have not opted-in also risks our position as a whitelisted email provider, so we monitor for unusually high bounce or unsubscribe rates to ensure that you are not compromising our permission to send bulk emails.

Once your contacts have signed up, make sure that you do actually live up to your promise of sending a regular newsletter. This may sound very obvious, but when someone has given their explicit permission then they do actually want to hear from you, and it can be damaging to your reputation to only send twice a year when you have told them you’ll send once a month.

Make it look pretty

Don’t underestimate the graphic design of your email. With professional services, you can send attractive graphical emails to your contacts which builds trust with your brand, and makes your email less likely to be interpreted as junk mail. We can also setup your account so that anyone who cannot see the graphics will still get a useful email from you. All of our templates are tested in the main popular email clients (Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) to make sure that it will look great for all of your contacts.

A small, but very important, factor of your email template is the footer. This is the area that should always include your company details, including a physical address, to show that it is a genuine email. There should also be a friendly unsubscribe link for those that no longer want to receive your email. It does you no favours to hide this link, as it will only make those who have already decided to leave your emails more frustrated at your company. We often word these links something similar to:

“If you no longer wish to receive our emails you may unsubscribe here, but we’ll be sorry to see you go. You can always sign up again from our website if you change your mind.”

Adding the method for signing up again shows that they are in control and that they are always welcome to join the list again.