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Generating leads for your startup through e-newsletters

If you’re happy with your website, but you want to maintain customer contact and step up your marketing, a newsletter is the perfect way to do it. It sounds simple, but there is a lot involved. By establishing e-mail marketing objectives, you’ll find that your campaigns will be more streamlined, and more likely to increase your profits.

The following are examples of e-mail marketing objectives that can help to get your business on the map.

What do you want your newsletter to do for your clients?

Do you want to inform your clients about commercial operations, trends, send them informational content, or a combination of all of these? Remember that it needs to be relevant to your customers to add value, as many people won’t read all of the very detailed newsletters. It is best to use on online template so you can tailor it to your business.

Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • A newsletter with just text
  • A newsletter with nothing but pictures
  • Texts with spelling errors (always double check your newsletter)
  • Newsletters that are too long
  • Newsletters that have too many different topics . Where do you want your focus to be and what should your newsletter readers know?
  • Combine text and images
  • Have short text with a clear call to action . The top left corner is usually the best place for these
  • Place your logo in your header for recognition
  • Keep your content text simple, do not use strange characters and do not use too many exclamation points and question marks
  • Create a footer text with your contact information and an option for people to opt-out (this is mandatory)

Instead:

Tip #1: Make sure the content of your newsletter is clear, consistent and recognisable. Be to the point and keep it short.

How often should you send your newsletter?

Think about how often you would want to receive a newsletter. Do you have enough to news to send out weekly e-mails? All of these factors play a role in the timetable of your newsletter. Consistency is an important part in this , do not send only one newsletter the first month and several the next month. Through testing you’ll soon find out which days and times work best for your business.

Tip #2: Do not repeatedly send a newsletter, because you don’t want people to report you as spam. Do not leave too much time between sign-up and sending out a newsletter, otherwise people won’t know who you are. The default is 1 or 2 newsletters per week. See also section 5 .

Effectiveness : What do you want to get out of your newsletters?

If you are just getting started with email marketing, then you probably have no idea what to expect from your newsletter campaign.  This is an overview published by Smart Insights in May 2013:

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However, do not expect that you will achieve these figures. These are more of a guideline for your email marketing objectives. Also be aware that all good or bad figures can give a small database (less than 10,000 e – mail addresses) a distorted picture. In order to achieve the above results, it is important that you have a large , solid database.

Tip: Don’t start with high targets for open and click-through rates, but instead start with a target of a smaller number of clicks.

Growth: How big do you want your database to grow?

If you’ve only got a handful of newsletter subscriptions, then you will want your target database to grow. You can change the placement of the sign-up on your website and work on your newsletter incentives, but if you want to take firm steps with your e – mail marketing then it is useful to establish a budget for investing in e – mail sign-ups. This can be done in two ways:

Internal: You can work on incentives on your own channels such as your website, social media and your store (if you have a physical store). Think of a pretty prominent place on your homepage, or running a giveaway for subscribers of your newsletter.

External: You can also buy email addresses, at a CPL fee ( = cost per lead, an email address is called a lead ). There are leads that you can purchase for your site by finding some of the numerous lead generation sites.

Hint : Start internally before deciding to go ahead with the additional cost of recruiting external leads.

Technique: How do you want your newsletter to read for all of your customers?

One question that quickly arises is : how do you actually send the newsletter to all of your customers ? The answer is by getting help from a third party, such as an Email Service Provider. An Email Service Provider can help you with the dispatch of a newsletter , segmenting your database and creating a beautiful email marketing template. They can also provide you with reports. Decide whether you want to work with an ESP and which company you want to work with . ESP can take a lot of work and they can help you with your email marketing objectives

Tip #3: Compare the options well in advance before you start right away with an ESP .

Now the real work begins!

After you have mapped  out your email marketing objectives, you can begin to implement them. What exactly does that mean?

Have your database in order

Make sure in advance that you have easy access to your database, that it is secure, and that you can add things such as additional address fields. Without a good database it is a challenge to send the newsletters.

Setting up your newsletter template

Test many newsletters from different ESP’s and go for a newsletter that works for you and your customers . Over time you will find that you have to make some adjustments. Never forget to add the unsubscribe link to your template .

Test, test, test

Test the newsletter before you send it, but also make sure you test the days and times to see what time of the week or month works best for your business.

Make sure your newsletter is read

Email marketing objectives can vary by company, but the base is often the same . Don’t just think of it in terms of sales, but also customer loyalty and branding for your business. The point is that your newsletter is read. Even if sales are based on your newsletter or within the store , then you have already earned profits.

Image source: Shutterstock.

Ashley Howe is the Country Manager for www.flipit.com/au. She has experience as an online marketer, copywriter, editor and researcher. In her spare time she enjoys going out to dinner, reading a good book, and cooking up a storm in her kitchen.





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