Written by Aaron Houghton of www.boostsuite.com
Aaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.
After spending ten years launching and building one of the largest providers of email marketing services to small businesses, iContact, I learned a lot about what it takes to run an extremely effective email marketing strategy. Success with email marketing comes from two simple behaviors… sending regularly, and delivering one aha moment per email you send.
Let’s break this down into each part then I’ll tell you how to do all of this in less than 10 minutes each month. Seriously.
Tip 1: Send Your Email Newsletter Regularly
The inbox is sacred territory. It’s personal space. When a subscriber gives you permission to place a message in their inbox whenever you want to, this is a privilege to be respected. Don’t surprise them with erratic sending behavior. Unless you have a really good reason not to, send one short newsletter once each month and no more.
Send on the same day each month, or at least within the same week (first, second, third, last, etc). The worst thing you can do is miss a month. Build trust by sending regularly over time and your subscribers will start to anticipate your newsletter each month. This makes it even more likely that they’ll take the time to read it, or maybe even click, when it arrives.
Tip 2: Create an Aha Moment With Every Message
A regularly delivered email to an opt-in audience (you did get their permission to send to them right?) should get between 10% and 15% of all subscribers to open the newsletter each month. But earning a healthy open rate on your newsletter is just the first part of the battle. The real goal of email marketing is to drive action, in the form of clicks, that send readers through to your website where they can conduct a transaction, request a quote, or contact your sales team. And there is no better way to do this than with really interesting content.
Creating fantastic content is actually really easy. You just need to understand your audience. How do you do that? Ask them what they want to learn more about. Send them an online survey, ask them in person, or ask your employees what questions you hear from customers most often. Assemble these topics into a master list and build your newsletter content around these topics first. It’s that simple.
When your subscribers learn something that they have been wanting to know for a while, they’ll have an aha moment that will make them a loyal reader for many newsletters to come.
Tip 3: Send a High Performing Email Newsletter in Less Than 10 Minutes Every Month
Okay, so now you know you need to send a newsletter once a month on a topic that your subscribers actually want to know more about. How much time is this going to take?
Well the secret to making email marketing incredibly easy is to already be writing about these topics on your website. Whether you call it blogging or content marketing, you should already be adding new content to your website at least once a week. These articles (or blog posts) should be about the same topics that drive action with your email marketing subscribers.
Write at least one new piece of content and post it on your website every week. Make sure that each piece of content has a clear title, a short summary, and a well written body of around 300 to 500 words. After each article is written just post it to your website immediately. Good website content is a gift that keeps on giving. Your online visitors can read it, share it, bookmark it, and search engines and social networks will eat it up.
Then, when it’s time to send your monthly email newsletter, pull the titles and summaries from your three most recent website articles and turn them into the body of your newsletter. Write a short introduction to explain why you chose these topics for the newsletter and maybe share a quick update about your business.
Make sure that each article title and summary links out to the full article on your website. Your subscribers don’t have time to read the full article in their inbox anyway. Let them click and leave the article open in their browser for the next time they have a few minutes of downtime.
Repeat this process every month for a few months and you’ll begin building a treasure trove of valuable content on your website that will keep website visitors coming back for more continuously into the future. And you’ll turn the process of sending your monthly email newsletter into a quick ten minute task that couldn’t be easier or more effective at driving marketing results for your growing business.