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Email newsletters, as you likely know, are virtual communications you can send out to an audience of subscribers to inform them of important news and updates. Examples of what you might include in your website or company newsletter are:
- Your latest blog post
- Sales information
- New product/service release
- Helpful tips or best practices
Your email newsletter strategy determines which content you send to your newsletter audience, how they subscribe, and whether you achieve the desired results.
The strategy you employ with your email newsletter will depend on the nature of your website and your goals.
If you’re a blogger, for instance, you probably want your subscribers to receive an email prompting them to read each new blog post you publish. Your goal is to increase readership and engagement.
If you’re a small-business owner, your might want to let your subscribers know about sales, new offerings, or other special promotions. The goal here is to drive sales while minimizing advertising costs.
Start by defining what you want to happen (goals), and then plan how to reach them (strategy).
1. Know the legal rules
Many countries — including the U.S. — have email newsletter laws/guidelines you need to comply with. These aren’t too scary. They’re basically designed to prevent companies from buying email lists and filling people’s inboxes with unsolicited spam emails or advertisements they can’t opt out of receiving.
Campaign Monitor provides an excellent overview of current U.S. laws and guidelines regarding email newsletters.
2. Simplify the subscribing process
First of all, you’ll want to make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter. Ensure your email subscribe forms are prominently positioned in your blog’s sidebar, at the end of blog articles, or even consider using pop-up subscribe forms.
3. Spice up your newsletter with branding
Don’t be dry and boring. Brand your newsletter.
For instance, if you have a recipe or cooking blog, your call to action to subscribe to your newsletter might be something like this: “Get our latest and greatest recipes delivered fresh to your inbox.”
If you have a hot sauce business, it might be this: “Sign up to be the first to know about smoking hot sales, cooking tips, and delicious new sauces.”
4. Provide value, not spam
People who subscribe to your newsletter are going to want to get what they signed up for, not a bunch of unsolicited spam. Make sure you’re only sending out the valuable information they asked to receive, whether that’s a link to your newest blog post or a 20% off coupon.
5. Measure (and improve) your outcomes
The service you use to send your email newsletters should provide helpful metrics to measure the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Is your email list growing? What are your open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates?
OptinMonster provides a useful list of metrics you should monitor to measure the effectiveness of your email newsletter campaigns.
If you have a WordPress.com website, it’s very easy to implement your email newsletter strategy. With just a few clicks, you can add follow buttons in your site’s sidebar or footer area. Or, you can embed follow blog forms into any page or post on your site.
WordPress.com also makes it easy for your subscribers to choose their email frequency, receiving either daily or weekly digests of your new posts. If you’re new to WordPress.com or are currently preparing your newsletter campaign, be sure to read this article on subscriptions and newsletters.
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