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11 Ways to increase the readership of your eNewsletter...

Written on the 1 March 2007 by Tracey Voyce

eNewsletters are a great way for businesses to make contact with their clients online, to keep them informed about new products or services and most importantly, keep them coming back to your website to actually generate revenue.  But when clients can potentially receive a lot of emails each day, it's not easy to actually keep clients interested.  So how can businesses make sure their eNewsletter is actually read, and not simply moved from clients' inboxes to their trash?  Here are some tips to increase your eNewsletter readership.

Spend five minutes online and it soon becomes apparent that offers to subscribe to eNewsletters are plastered all over the Internet.  Whether they are the online form of magazines, or in the case of most small businesses, a way of communicating services to potential clients, Internet users are inundated with offers to subscribe and it can be too easy to subscribe to them all.  So how can businesses ensure that once their eNewsletter makes it to someone's inbox, that their readership is increased?  Here are some important things to remember:

1. Gain permission
It's essential to ensure your eNewsletter is lawfully sent to the right clients - that is, your business has produced SPAM compliant material.  Businesses require permission from the recipients of the eNewsletters before they send any information to them.

If you gain permission from the beginning, then there is a much greater chance that your client will be expecting your eNewsletter and more importantly, be more inclined to read it and return to your website.

2. Define your target market
Before you send out an eNewsletter, think about your clients - who they are, their demographic, and their possible interests and concerns - then focus your material on that.  If you choose content that is interesting to them, then your eNewsletter will actually work for you.

3. Give your newsletter a purpose
It's easy to fall into the trap of just sending articles that could possibly be of interest to your client.  But if you want to make an impact, and create a memorable eNewsletter that clients will actually remember and refer to in the future, give your eNewsletter an actual purpose that's in line with your business goals. 

This means including articles centred on essential aspects of your business, or that feature clients who are associated with your business and are happy with the service or product offered.  If this is done, your eNewsletter will actually generate results for your business.

4. Properly structure your eNewsletter
It is essential that your eNewsletter is clearly structured, with a set template that does not change from edition to edition.  That way, your clients can expect the same format each time, making it easier for them to read new material and ultimately increase your readership.

5. Get it done professionally
Business owners should know from personal experience that there is nothing worse than receiving anything that is poorly structured or unprofessional in both material and appearance.  Keeping this in mind, it's a good idea to have your eNewsletter templates designed by a professional graphic designer, so the look reflects your company.

Why not also consider employing a professional copywriter who can create perfect articles for your eNewsletter?  Copywriters can work from your directions, notes or an interview, and will write in language that suits your target markets.

6. Tease your audience
Everyone has time constraints and don't want to waste time reading articles that aren't relevant to them.  To combat this, only give a teaser for each article in the main eNewsletter template that you send to clients, with a link to read more.  This makes it easier for clients to scan your eNewsletter and choose what articles they want to read.

7. Personalise your eNewsletter
Regardless of how large or small your readership is, make each and every one of your clients feel like your eNewsletter is personally addressing them.  This means including personalisation fields in your eNewsletter - for example Hi <Joe> - so it looks like your business has taken the time to personally address that eNewsletter to them.  A little bit of extra care can go a long way to impress potential clients.

8. Send your eNewsletter from a person
Continuing on the personal angle of eNewsletter, make sure your publication is sent from a person's email address, and not from somewhere distant like info@ or sales@ email addresses.  The whole idea of an eNewsletter is to make clients think that they are included in your businesses processes and are an essential part of their development.  A little personalisation goes a long way.

9. Make it appealing
Include articles that clients will actually be interested in - generally, people love people, especially when you consider that people don't actually deal with businesses, they deal with people and buy from them.  So include articles that have a personal side to them.  Profiles are an excellent article idea and an ideal way to introduce your team to your clients.

10. Give them an option to go further
There's no point putting all that hard work into creating your eNewsletter if you don't give your clients an option to go a step further.  Include any offers that your business has, with a link to your website or a specialised landing page for more information.  Give your clients a way to come to your business and generate results!

11. Measure your results
After your eNewsletters have been sent out, it's important that you measure the click through rates on your articles and analyse the results.  This allows you to know which articles have been read and which ones have not, and thus change the articles accordingly to boost your readership even further.  By keeping up with what your clients are interested in, you can increase their interest in your eNewsletter even more.

It might sound like a lot of work, but rest assured, a well-structured, interesting eNewsletter can generate more results than you can imagine.  And you don't have to do all the hard work if you don't have the time - why not contact us to find out how we can create that great eNewsletter for you?

Article supplied by WSA (Website Standards Association)


Author: Tracey Voyce
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