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Three essential steps that will increase the performance of your email newsletter.

Your email newsletter is a powerful marketing tool. It provides the perfect means to speak directly to your clients on a large scale, while demonstrating the worth of your business.

You may sometimes feel disheartened to see low click-through rates on your newsletters.

Firstly, don't feel so bad. It may interest you to know that a click-through rate of between 5-20% is considered the norm for B2B newsletters.

Secondly, there are some simple steps you can take to give your newsletter a boost and increase the likelihood of your readers responding to that all-important call-to-action.

  1. Step 1: Assess your list

    Who is on your newsletter mailing list? Did they freely sign up to it? Are they past clients? Or did you purchase a list? There is a crucial difference.

    Those who actively sign up to your newsletter demonstrate a genuine interest in your business. In other words, they want to receive information, offers and updates. The more of these names you can get on your list, the better.

    Past clients may also be interested in receiving information from you, but always include in your newsletter a clear unsubscribe button in case they are annoyed at receiving unsolicited emails.

    By purchasing a list, you have no idea whether you are targeting the right people. When you push your message onto an unspecified multitude, you’re more likely to push them away – for good.

    Actions:

    1. Include a sign-up box on your website.
    2. Include an unsubscribe link in your newsletter.
    3. Don't rely on purchasing ready-made lists.
  2. Step 2: Segment, target, test

    Your newsletter should be as unique and specific as your brand. Because of this, there are no 'one size fits all' solutions to creating infallible newsletters. The only way to discover the best strategy for your newsletter is through targeted experimentation.

    Firstly, segment your lists in ways that make sense to your business: past clients vs. potential clients; local clients vs. global clients; contractors vs. designers... and so on.

    Secondly, use your segments to send only relevant material to your clients. Tweak your language and imagery to best suit each segment.

    Thirdly, use list segmentation to test different methods. Write two different types of headline, create two different designs, or phrase alternative call-to-actions. Divide these between your lists and measure the results. Repeat this method to hone in on the most effective newsletter strategy for your business.

    The more targeted your newsletter, the more likely you are to connect with your readers, and the more likely they are to respond to your message.

    Actions:

    1. Divide your list in ways that make sense to your business.
    2. Send targeted newsletters to relevant segments of your list.
    3. Experiment with different content in the same campaign and measure the results.
  3. Step 3: Focus your content

    The content of your newsletter has to be both interesting and useful - from the very first sentence. Otherwise your clients won’t bother reading it.

    Use magnetic subject lines to create intrigue. Clients won't even reach your call-to-action if they don't open your newsletter. Give them a reason to click.

    Don't overcrowd your newsletters. Decide on one clear call to action and allow that to give purpose to every aspect of your content and design.

    When writing the body of your newsletter, don’t be afraid to add personality to your voice – use humour, if appropriate. Nothing stops people reading more than boredom!

    Give your client a reason to click-through to your website. This might be to find out more information on a new product or service, or to purchase a time-sensitive offer, for example.

    Essentially, make sure that your newsletter is interesting, engaging, and relevant.

    Actions:

    1. Write magnetic subject lines.
    2. Don't be afraid to add personality to your content.
    3. Provide a clear and simple call-to-action.

Try implementing these ideas in your next newsletter campaign and you should start to see your click-through rate increase – and potentially some more business heading your way.