In the age of email marketing, virtually every B2B enterprise has its own newsletter.
For you, a newsletter performs a very important function. It’s the most efficient way (by far) to be sure you can maintain contact with your potential customers until they are ready to buy.
Use these steps and killer email newsletter examples to help you keep your subscribers up to date on anything you want them to know.
The Purpose of a Newsletter
The purpose of a newsletter is to keep those on your email list updated on anything that has to do with your business. For instance, you may send a newsletter with information about new products, updates on changes, testimonials and reviews, helpful resources, and other pertinent information.
Newsletters should not be used to hard-sell your products or services to your audience. They should be similar to an update from a helpful and interesting friend, rather than an intrusive salesperson.
Sending newsletters as a part of your email marketing strategy helps you to connect and engage with your customers on a more personal and meaningful level.
This can help you achieve your marketing goals since email marketing often provides your business with generous returns. In fact, research shows the big picture impact your email efforts can have on your business:
- Email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses.
- Nearly 80 percent of marketers say they’ve seen their email engagement increase over the last 12 months.
Simply put, the power of email marketing is hard to overstate.
How to Write a Newsletter
Writing a newsletter should be fairly simple with the large variety of email marketing tools that now have full libraries with newsletter email templates. Here are some easy steps you can take to start writing your first newsletter draft for your business:
1. Decide What You Want to Share.
Before you can write any information into your newsletter email, you must decide what message you’d like to send your subscribers.
For instance, you may include the following components:
- Newly published content such as blog posts and videos
- New product launches
- Other people’s content that you believe relates to your audience in a meaningful way
- Shorter form blog posts
- Progress your business has made with new projects
In many cases, businesses select a couple of different things to share in one newsletter, depending on the frequency of the newsletter they are sending.
For instance, if you have a monthly newsletter, then you may consider making it longer and more comprehensive. If your newsletter is daily, then you may select one specific topic to explore in your email content.
Once you decide what content will be the most beneficial to your list in your newsletter, you can begin drafting your newsletter.
2. Write a Draft First.
Start by writing your first draft as though you are writing to a specific person. This could be a specific customer or buyer persona you made up to represent your ideal subscriber, or it could be someone you may know.
When you write the email as though you are writing to a specific person, you make it more personalized and interesting to the recipient.
Don’t take too much time on your first draft; just flesh out all of your ideas and then trim it down or beef it up from there.
3. Review the Draft.
Now that you’ve written your first full newsletter draft, it is time to review it and make edits. You’ll want to make sure your newsletter sounds interesting and that it flows well.
You should also check for grammatical and spelling errors by reading the email out loud at least once or twice.
If you can’t read it out loud, then you can use a text-to-speech tool to catch these errors. Word has a tool that reads your text for you, or you can use tools like Natural Readers.
It may also be helpful to have a coworker or friend read the email to help you refine the email further.
Don’t forget to add images and links in the review stage!
4. Test Your Newsletter With a Portion of Your List.
You may want to consider testing your newsletter with a portion of your audience before you send it to your whole list. This helps you to see the open rates the email gets and allows you to gauge whether or not the content in the newsletter is working ok.
5. Schedule a Send Date.
Once you determine that everything is as good as it can be with your newsletter, you can schedule a send date for it. Be sure to check your inbox for emails from the users you sent the test batch to.
If they mention that links or images don’t show up correctly, fix the issues before you send the newsletter to your entire email list.
15 Newsletter Tips You Can Use Next Month
If you’re looking for newsletter tips, then odds are good you’ve noticed the problem with the idea of a corporate newsletter: It’s valuable for you, but it’s not always obvious how to make it equally enticing to the audience you plan to serve.
Let’s look at email newsletter tips that help you to provide value for your subscribers and increase engagement.
1. Put Your Audience First.
Your audience is the most important consideration for your email newsletter. Work to segment your audience from the beginning so they only get relevant, high-impact messages. A handful of on-target messages do more work than a daily email that’s hit or miss.
Consider what your subscribers have clicked on and engaged with in the past and segment them by their interests. Test different newsletter styles and headlines for each segment to help you improve open rates.
2. Include One CTA at a Time.
If you have a CTA in your newsletter, you are already ahead of the game.
But make sure you don’t overload your reader with endless CTAs. Just like your landing pages, your emails should generally have only one CTA.
There are two exceptions to this rule: A newsletter that aggregates your top content (where any click to your site is a win) or newsletters from retail brands. Specific, targeted offers should take the spotlight in most emails.
3. Optimize for the Mobile Devices.
In the last few years, most emails have been opened by mobile rather than on desktop. This is why it’s essential to ensure your email is optimized for mobile display and navigation.
You don’t want to miss out on providing value to a large section of your email recipients because you forgot to make sure your newsletter emails were mobile friendly before sending them off.
4. Be Consistent About Email.
Tell your leads what frequency of emails to expect as soon as they’re on your signup form. Once they actually do sign up, be consistent in delivering what they expect.
If you fade away, your campaign will lose impact. And if you overwhelm them with messages, they’ll run away.
5. Use Email to Amplify Content.
If you have some recent content that you’re especially proud of, an email campaign is a terrific way to get more eyes on it. Blog posts, videos, and infographics are especially popular for email recipients. Don’t be afraid to show off content just because some subscribers might have seen it.
Emails are also easy to forward, and some of your subscribers may be willing to share your content with others who they think may be interested. This can help you increase your website traffic.
6. Nail the Subject Line.
Your email subject line is like the headline of your blog posts: It determines whether people will be intrigued enough to read the first few lines.
If you want to maximize your ROI from email, then it’s a sound idea to start split testing email subject lines as soon as you can.
Speaking of maximizing ROI…
7. Hook Email into Your Analytics.
Analytics won’t make any one particular email better, but they can help you kick start a general trend of continuous improvement.
Email data gives you insight on what subject lines were most effective, what links got clicked, and what days and times are the best for engagement. Use it!
8. Have Clear Email Onboarding.
An email onboarding sequence is the perfect way to acclimate your new subscribers to being contacted by you so your first messages won’t spook them.
It also serves as customer education, helping you make sure leads will get the most value from your website.
9. Vary Your Content Styles.
Email newsletter tips should point out this overlooked fact: A “newsletter” doesn’t have to be the same thing every time.
With different content styles, you can key into audience preferences. For example, you can try “best of” lists from your blog, curated content, case studies, and more.
10. Use Seamless Social Integration.
When marketers look for “engagement,” they’re usually thinking of likes, shares, and clicks. If you want emails to drive these actions in the right direction, then make them easier.
Have simple social share buttons on your messages so recipients can forward them to their networks fast.
11. Ask For (and Facilitate) Comments.
People love to sound off on topics of genuine interest to them. Call for comments, questions, and suggestions and you just might get them.
A comment system that creates a clear link between your site users and their social identity will encourage them to comment more.
One thing stands out about the best email newsletter tips: If you’ve been following the inbound way of doing business, then you already have a strong idea of what might work.
Inbound marketers truly understand the impact of delivering value upfront and educating their target audience. Your newsletter is an essential component of inbound marketing.
12. Identify the Sender.
Most people don’t want to open emails from people or businesses that aren’t identified no matter how good the subject line and preview text may be.
There are a lot of spammy emails out there, and you want to make sure your subscriber knows that you aren’t spamming them or, even worse, sending them a virus.
Most email marketing software allows you to set the sender name within the content. For example, HubSpot Marketing Hub offers personalization tokens you can use in various forms of content, including emails.
A popular format that is used today is as follows: [firstname] at/from [company name].
13. Customize the Preview Text.
Customized preview text enhances the headline of your email header. According to data collected by Litmus, about 24 percent of people consider the preview text before they decide whether or not they will open an email.
The preview text presents you with an opportunity to increase your newsletter email open rate. Some things that you can do with preview text includes:
- Add a call to action.
- Personalize it using the recipient’s name.
- Add a simple description of what’s in the email.
Remember to avoid leaving the default text because it is uninviting to your recipients.
14. Select the Right Format.
Format for an email newsletter is everything! Make sure your format is simple and easy to read so that your recipients can absorb and digest the information with ease.
Use templates with a clean and sleek design and insert your content and links appropriately to make sure the format still looks good on mobile and desktop computers.
15. Test. Test, Test.
You won’t know if your newsletters are truly effective until you test them. You must test what works for your business and for your audience. You can:
- Conduct split tests.
- Pre-test content by sharing posts on social media with different headlines.
- Try different headlines within the newsletter.
- Vary your CTAs.
With continuous testing, you can build a great newsletter for your business.
5 of the Best Newsletter Examples
To help you develop your newsletter further and get inspired, here are five great real newsletter examples from businesses:
The user-friendly web-based project management tool Trello has a newsletter from “Taco” that is sent to users about once a week.
It is a simple and direct newsletter with helpful tips and tricks on how to work Trello better or manage projects more efficiently. Essentially, it is a roundup of Trello’s best content.
The colors and images they use are eye-catching. Plus, they add a nice touch by assigning Taco, Trello’s adorable dog mascot, as the email sender.
Sendinblue is a digital marketing agency that serves small and medium-sized businesses. Their newsletters provide subscribers with product updates and helpful resources.
They make sure their audience is educated and informed about the company and its offers with their simple newsletters. They also include several CTAs to encourage their readers to find out more.
The Nature Conservancy
This newsletter ensures contributors that progress is being made within the organization to make a difference.
The newsletter also includes several pictures, CTAs, and links to social media channels. Social media is a touchpoint for readers who want to know more about the organization’s story and efforts, and the CTAs take readers to a place where they can donate money to help.
Robinhood, a popular investing app, sends newsletters to their subscribers every day. In their newsletter, called “Robinhood Snacks,” they highlight key financial and stock information from the day prior.
They break each section down into small paragraphs and bullet points to make it easy to read. They also include an image and links to other content that users may click on if they would like more information.
Statista is a data platform that reflects important numbers pertinent to various businesses. It has a great newsletter that shows several visually interesting infographics with business data.
They take a unique approach with bright images that make business data fun to look at and interpret with their newsletters.
The secret is to take your existing content – which should be useful, informative, and helpful for your unique readers – and break down the best of what you offer into bite-sized chunks.
That will leave them wanting more … and, ultimately, spending more time actively engaged with your brand. Stick with it, and you’ll soon see the difference in user activity. Email really works!
A New Approach To Marketing
/Like every other aspect of business, the way we market is changing fast. We’re seeing some tried-and-true tactics — like big in-person conferences — being put on the back burner or being reimagined digitally. Entirely new marketing methods are emerging, and other established best practices are being updated for a whole new set of challenges. Being resourceful, adaptable and agile is the key to thriving and finding relevance. However, in a recent Gartner CMO study, only 52% of CMOs believed that their teams could make this shift successfully.
Taking care of your customers has always been an imperative, but now your business literally depends on it. You must be keenly aware of how your customers’ markets have shifted, if they’re struggling or how their competitive landscape has changed. Serving them and their needs with empathy is another key. Focus on giving them the experience they need, rather than the one you’re used to selling. Thinking outside the box and engaging stakeholders who aren’t in your marketing organization will help you do this. I’ve found that finance and IT can be great resources to bring a different perspective. As they say, find your tribe and tap into them whenever possible. They will bring new, fresh ideas that you may not have otherwise thought of or considered … and then use them!
Creating personalized experiences across all channels is now a mandate. Digital marketing is no longer a siloed initiative; it is an integrated part of every marketing motion and must be established as part of the marketing culture. By adopting that one strategic shift, you will increase relevancy and form connections with customers and prospects quickly and consistently.
As you’re looking at every stage of your funnel — and all your segments — adoption of AI is critical in order to deepen those connections by serving your audiences appropriately and with the right content. According to the 2020 Marketing Technology Landscape, there are now more than 8,000 martech solutions. The goal is not to use tech for the sake of tech, but to bring together, utilize, adopt and fully take advantage of the right technology that serves your needs and those of your customers and prospects.
While adoption of AI is critical, those who think martech alone is the answer must take a step back. Technology itself won’t solve everything. Simplicity and clarity in how you approach your data and your strategy is imperative regardless of what technology you have helping in the background. You must be clear and simple in your approach to data, which isn’t easy. I’m reminded of the Steve Jobs quote: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Jobs was right. Those mountains will move for you if you’re willing to put in the work to move them.
I urge CMOs and marketing leaders to be simple, clear, strategic and empathetic in their thinking and approach. By doing do so, you’ll give yourself and your team the runway to make the many pivots that will be necessary to remain agile and relevant in our new landscape.
Deanna Ransom is the Head of Global Marketing and Marketing Services for Televerde, the preferred marketing, sales and customer experience partner powered by AI and technology leveraged in context by humans with a proven execution model for generating demand and accelerating sales.
Key Insights: Amazon search-scape and factors motivating consumers
- Our previous key insights clearly established that Amazon and Amazon’s Prime Day are elements of ecommerce businesses can’t miss.
- A quick look at the global Amazon search-scape – “Corona keywords” vs “Non-corona keywords”.
- What makes primary or shared decision-makers of households hit “buy now” while shopping online?
- A segmented view of Millenials, Gen Z, Gen X, and baby boomers’ ecommerce influential factors
- How word of mouth is the most powerful agent vs celebrities and influencers, and more.
Our previous key insights clearly established that Amazon and Amazon’s Prime Day are elements of ecommerce businesses can’t miss. This week we take you through what the global Amazon search-scape looks like and the prerequisites to ensure you can create more micro-moments that influence a sale.
The Amazon search-scape corona vs non-corona related searches
Remazing, a full-service agency, tracked the Top 10/Top 100 Amazon keyword searches across USA, DE, UK, FR, IT, ES markets from Feb to August using Amazon Brand Analytics. Here’s how the countries’ Amazon search-scape looks stacked up from highest to lowest “corona-related keywords”. The Corona-related search basically surrounded disinfectants, masks, gloves, soap, and toilet paper.
Consumers are turning back to normal Amazon searches with non-corona keywords rising as the months progressed.
What’s motivating consumers to buy online
With so many dynamics, getting the pulse of what makes the consumer tick has become tougher. Retail marketing technology company Bluecore and market research firm Dynata surveyed 1,005 U.S. online shoppers to understand consumer behavior and fundamental changes going into Q4 and beyond. The consumers surveyed were the primary or shared decision-makers in their households.
The most impactful channels for customer acquisition were:
- Word of mouth
- Online ads
- Pop up stores
- OOH (out of home) ads
In fact, word of mouth is the most effective method for existing brands as well as while consumers chose to buy from a new brand.
Contrary to popular belief, celebrities and influencers aren’t great agents for prompting people to buy your products/services.
Further segmentation of channels and their influence on different age groups
Female and male decision-makers less than 45 years old were most influenced by these channels:
- Word of mouth
- Online ads
However, 45+ year-olds were least influenced in totality with word of mouth impacting only 59% of their buying decision, followed by online ads at 30%, and email at 40%.
Incentives consumers appreciate while buying online
A deal or no-deal moment can be the factor that hits or rewards your retail business’ bottom line on the internet. How do you create more such moments that can influence your prospective customers to hit the “buy now” button? Bluecore’s research listed the most compelling incentives that drive customers online:
- Free shipping (61%)
- Discounts (27%)
- Membership benefits (6%)
- Referral rewards (5%)
A closer look at the statistics revealed insights about which incentive appeals which age range more. While free shipping is a universally loved factor, there’s a complete contradiction between what excites baby boomers vs millennials.
To help you create your mix of the age-appropriate selling pitch, here are details on each of them. For instance, a combination of discount offers and free shipping can amplify your chances of making sales to millennials and Gen X’s counterparts in the 35 to 44 year age range.
Baby boomers’ buying decisions were most impacted by:
- Free shipping (79%)
- Discounts (18%)
- Membership benefits (3%)
Whereas, referral rewards did not excite baby boomers at all.
Gen X’s buying decisions were most impacted by:
- Free shipping (74%)
- Discounts (19%)
- Membership benefits and referral rewards (3% each)
Interestingly, Gen X’s counterparts in the 35 to 44 year age range were impacted by each of these factors which can be credited to the current world scenario and financial strains this particular age group face.
Gen Z’s buying decisions were most impacted by:
- Free shipping (52%)
- Discounts (37%)
- Membership benefits and referral rewards (5% each)
Millennial’s buying decisions were most impacted by:
- Free shipping (57%)
- Discounts (29%)
- Membership benefits (8%)
- Referral rewards (6%)
ClickZ readers’ choice for the week
Readers have continued to engage with our key insights to uncover ecommerce strategies for the holiday shopping season, the bright side of the death of third-party cookies, and how AR applications are reshaping business.
- Key Insights: Retail giants closed on Thanksgiving 2020, ecommerce set to see the biggest shopping season
- Why marketing will improve thanks to the death of third-party cookies
- Augmented reality examples: 10 industries using AR to reshape business
The post Key Insights: Amazon search-scape and factors motivating consumers appeared first on ClickZ.
How to make your website ADA-compliant and win at SEO
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990 does now include mobile apps and websites.
- An ADA-compliant website helps more people than those covered by ADA.
- There are many SEO benefits such as increased visibility on google image searches, and featured snippets.
- Co-founder of Ally digital media, Abhishek Shah says, “Responsive websites help with ADA compliance and further improve your website’s overall search presence.”
- The four best ways to make your website ADA-compliant with a clear outline of its ADA as well as SEO benefits.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990 does now include mobile apps and websites. Specifically, Title III of the ADA has taken an official stand on how websites should be accessible for disabled users. However, when you look at what’s necessary to make a website ADA-compliant, you will see that these also will help improve your site’s SEO.
Some elements such as title tags, heading structure, alt text, and responsive design are things all websites should include. By ensuring these are done properly and in an ADA-compliant way will maximize your website’s effectiveness.
How ADA accessibility prioritization benefits everyone
Ensuring your website complies with the ADA helps you serve a larger audience and gives a boost to your search engine rankings. This is because most of the necessary components of making your website ADA compliant feed directly into SEO best practices.
After all, the whole point is to make your website easier to view, understand, and navigate. What business doesn’t want all that for their website?
Four ways an ADA-compliant website helps improve your SEO
Here are 4 ADA-compliant must-haves (in no particular order) that will help improve your SEO. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good place to start.
1. Title tags help screen searches and readers
Title tags are very basic SEO. They let the reader, and search engines, know what the page is about. A title tag doesn’t show up on your website. Rather, it appears on the results page of a search engine, and the tab at the top of your web browser.
Title tags, while basic SEO, are very important. This tag needs to match your user’s intent. For example, when someone googles “best phone” the phrase best phone (or a variation like “best smartphone”) will appear in the title tag.
Writing a title that accurately reflects what the page is about is the best way to get found and clicked on. It’s why a title tag should be specific: “The best Android phones for 2020” is far better than “Why you will want to buy one of these phones.”
For those who need screen readers to help them use a computer, a specific title tag such as the above example is much more user-friendly. So, it is vital the title tag accurately reflects the page content.
The accessibility guidelines say the title should be “The best Android phones for 2020” instead of “Why you will want to buy one of these phones.”
2. Descriptive alt text
Alt text is not the same thing as a caption. A caption is visible usually beneath an image. Whereas alt text is not visible on the front end of the site. The alt text is a written alternative to a page’s visual elements. This includes: .jpegs, .pngs, and .gifs. the alt text is a description of an image that lives in the backend of the site.
Alt text lets search engines know the subject matter of an image. It also helps search engines to better understand the page. Additionally, if you want images to show up in Google, then writing descriptive alt text is a must-have.
For web users with visual impairment using screen readers, descriptive alt text is read aloud. This helps a visually impaired reader get a better sense of what’s going on, on any given page.
A useful descriptive alt text might be: “woman at café with laptop drinking coffee”
A useless alt text would be: “SEO tips for freelancers | Get more clients with SEO | Writing your way to success with SEO”
3. Responsive design
Responsive design has been around since 2012/2013 in one form or another. But it means more than just your website being able to adapt to whichever screen size it finds itself on.
It’s about where your logo sits, how easy is your site to navigate, how easy is it to read, and how quickly does it load?
Websites that offer good, functional user experience rank better in search results. User experience isn’t just one ranking factor but an umbrella term for quite a few. Google has said that a site that takes longer than three seconds to load on a mobile site will rank higher.
How easy content is to read (and how useful it is) is also an important ranking factor.
Good responsive design puts the user first. It starts from the premise that a website needs to be easy to look at, easy to navigate, and be easy to understand.
This is why you need legible text for the visually impaired. As well as quick load times for people with slow internet. And straightforward navigation to make it easy for people to get around your website.
4. Proper heading (and subheading) structure
Headings (which show up in the code as <h1> or <h2> or <h3> etc.) define your content’s hierarchy. These headings (and subheadings) work along similar lines to when you wrote essays in school.
Proper heading structure:
- Goes in order: a h3 doesn’t go directly after a h1.
- Describes the copy beneath it.
- Follows a sequence: if your h2 is “4 ways…” then the h3s would be each of those points.
When your writing is clearly structured it is easier to read, and easier to follow. It’s also easier for Google to crawl your content and understand what is the most important (starting with h1, and so on).
Good header structure can also your content appear in the featured snippets in the search engine results page (SERPs).
For users who have limited reading comprehension or cognitive impairments, clear and direct headings make it easier to read. Headings and subheadings let a reader know what’s worth reading and what’s worth skipping over.
And just like a reader skips heading, so too can a screen reader. Which only reinforces the need for a strong, clear heading structure.
An example of a website that has both good SEO and is ADA compliant is Enviro Safety Products. When you review this site you will see it ticks all the boxes, and provides the user a seamless, friendly experience.
Source: Enviro Safety Products
How making your website ADA compliant will help you win at SEO
By applying all the necessary ADA compliant elements to your website, you are helping the one in four Americans with a disability use your website. Additionally, you will also greatly enhance your website’s SEO.
If you would like to know more about how making your website ADA compliant will help you win at SEO, you can throw questions in the comments section below.
Abhishek Shah is the co-founder of Ally Digital Media, a leading voice in digital media and marketing. He advocates for evidence-based marketing strategies to fuel the businesses. He can be found on Twitter @abiishek.
The post How to make your website ADA-compliant and win at SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
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