E-mail – an electronic form of message transmission based on a system of communication protocols, which about 50 years ago revolutionized the way and speed of information delivery. Improved over the years, today it is an indispensable tool for work and communication, as well as building client relations and marketing activities.
Email marketing is a series of marketing activities performed using electronic mail. The advantage of this form of action is the ability to accurately measure the entire process of sending e-mails, so that we can quickly respond to worrying indicators. We can continuously improve e-mail structure, its content, title, CTA, sending frequency, target group and many other elements. We can measure each of the tested variants and consciously choose the most effective one.
In addition, email sending costs are low compared to other forms of advertising and it is available to everyone – both a small fledging company as well as a large corporation with a recognizable brand can achieve measurable benefits from this form of marketing.
Why else is it worth to use e-mail marketing? One of the most reliable indicators measuring the effectiveness of marketing activities is ROI (Return Of Investment), which in the case of e-mail marketing is as high as 3,800%. It means that each PLN 1 invested brings an average revenue of PLN 38. It looks more and more interesting, right?
Newsletter – i.e. a conversation with client
A company newsletter is one of the forms of e-mail marketing. Put simply, it is an electronic newsletter sent to subscribers at regular intervals. It is mainly used to build brand awareness, acquire new clients, increase their loyalty and trust, and maintain relations with them.
Why are newsletters such an effective way to communicate content? Perhaps this is due to the fact that clients feel overwhelmed by advertisements. Already in 2012, as many as 66% of respondents surveyed by Upstream indicated that they are too often bombarded with advertising content. At the same time, clients more and more often want to know more about companies offering them products or services. Therefore, a newsletter seems to be the best solution – by definition it doesn’t contain typical sales information, and thanks to it the client can get to know the brand better.
Some principles of creating newsletters to be taken into account
What are the characteristics of a company newsletter?
- It is a dialogue with the client – using its content you can talk about what happened in the company, provide valuable materials for the client, such as blog entries, boast about your company’s successes, inform about new products in the product range, as well as ask for the client’s opinion about the offered products by sending a questionnaire. Actually, the possibilities are unlimited! It is only important that the layout of the newsletter follows the rule of 90% of information and 10% of sales-related content.
- Regularity – this is a cyclical type of communication that clients expect. How frequently should newsletters be sent to subscribers? It depends on how often you publish content on your website, how often you launch new products or introduce changes in existing products or organize interesting company events, and so on. It is important that e-mails appear regularly in client’s mailbox, e.g. every 2 weeks or once a month.
- The form of the newsletter – what form you choose depends on you and your target group. Current trends suggest leaving a lot of white “free space” in your email, and using short and concise messages – after all, you don’t want your readers to spend most of their time reading the email, but you want them the click on the websites you care about. In addition, you need to take care of the so-called alternative texts which replace images as many people have the option of downloading images in the e-mail turned off and you should make sure they know exactly what was to be found in the given place.
What you mustn’t forget about when creating a newsletter?
- Obtaining consent to send information by e-mail – this is essential for sending a newsletter. Set up a bookmark on your website where visitors can express their interest in the information they receive from you and give their consent to subscribing your newsletter including all the consents in line with the GDPR. It’s really worth it – as many as 71% of subscribers who have agreed to receive the newsletter read it regularly.
- Responsiveness – it is a good idea to create e-mails that can be displayed on mobile devices. Why? 74% of smartphone owners use them to check e-mails and 53% of all e-mails are opened on smartphones. Do you still need reasons to be convinced? At least 25% of online transactions take place on mobile devices – this simply cannot be ignored!
- Personalization – it will bring you closer to your recipient. E-mails with personalized content are opened 26% more often than those featuring non-personalized content. How else can we make messages more personal? Besides the dynamically changing field with the subscriber’s name, we can also divide recipients into groups and adjust the types of content presented to them. For example, we can divide them according to gender, place of residence (city/village) and target groups using different graphics and content.
- Special discounts, promotions or gifts for readers – let your subscribers feel that they are special and that you are happy that they have joined the group of your readers. It’s worth rewarding your subscribers straight away with an additional discount or a gift, e.g. in the form of a free e-book. From time to time you can also prepare an additional discount or special promotion only for those who read your newsletter, as it turns out that 90% of newsletter recipients take advantage of the promotions received via e-mail.
- The ability to unsubscribe is an important indicator for you, which lets you know if your newsletter is interesting to your subscribers. A large number of readers who decide to press the “unsubscribe” button may suggest that something needs to be changed in the way you communicate with your subscribers. In addition, a clear unsubscribe button allows you to avoid the risk of your email being qualified as SPAM.
There are many different tools for creating and managing newsletters, but if you already have an advanced CRM system, there is no need for any additional implementations.
Within the Salesforce platform, there are two tools designed to automate e-mail marketing:
- Salesforce Pardot – relatively simple and intuitive to use, designed for B2B contacts
- Email Studio – a slightly more complex tool, being one of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud segments – an extensive product intended for B2C contacts
Both of these tools allow you to build automatic marketing paths using which, among other things, you can send your recipients e-mails and then follow the openings or clicks on the links contained in the content.
What does it mean that the paths are automatic? Namely, once you have established an internal marketing strategy (what, how often and for what purpose you want to send information to your clients/prospects), you can build a series of actions, consisting for example of:
- sending e-mails
- adding the recipient to a specific group (e.g. people who clicked on the link and downloaded the e-book can be automatically directed to the next marketing path for people clearly interested in your offer)
- “sending” to the Salesforce Sales Cloud system and assigning to a specific salesman.
These actions can be spread out over time, with an accuracy down to the minute, and…. you don’t need to do anything else, because the designed path will be executed as determined by the tool. The only thing you need to remember later is to reply to the incoming responses and inquiries you will find in your inbox!
Automation of the newsletter path
Similarly, you can also build a path for the newsletter using the two Salesforce marketing automation tools mentioned above. Using them you can:
- create an attractive e-mail based on one of the many available templates,
- single out the appropriate target group (in Email Studio in Pardot it is a little easier and faster to execute)
- reach the recipient from any device, regardless of whether he opens your message on a computer or smartphone, thanks to the responsiveness of the e-mails created,
- automate sending e-mails and spend the time saved on planning future marketing campaigns,
- receive reports and analyze the results of the effectiveness of their activities
So let’s summarize: you created some interesting content in the form of an e-mail, divided your audience according to gender, and then you set up a newsletter dispatch once every 2 weeks. And what next? This is where e-mail marketing ends in many companies. This is a mistake!
The next step should be to keep track of parameters such as the percentage of recipients opening a message, downloading attachments, clicking on links and visiting your website. Be sure to analyze the effectiveness of your newsletter and try to improve it.
Remind less active recipients about your existence a little more often – send something extra (e-book, invitation to a conference), try to build positive associations with your brand. Assign them to other marketing paths, such as those associated with business events organized by your company.
Add and subtract points for activity (or lack of activity) from your clients and transfer them automatically to the sales department once they have reached a certain level of points. There are many possibilities, and the key to all of this is creating a coherent marketing strategy, which should be the starting point for all activities.
Considering the information noise and the number of advertising messages that attack us on the Internet, it is worth considering the company newsletter as a tool to attract new clients. In this way we won’t overwhelm the recipient with marketing content, and will give him a chance to get to know and like our company. With effective tools for creating and managing newsletters offered by Salesforce, you have a chance to attract a large group of clients who are really interested in your brand.