Many organisations think that simply attaching a PDF Newsletter to an email sent via Outlook or equivalent is the online way to send a e-Newsletter
. This is not the way and you run the risk of it firstly not even reaching the recipient, but also causing undue 'effort' for the recipient. If you make life easy for your customer they will repay you!
The email newsletter (e-newsletter
) is a powerful marketing and communication tool that has various useful functions. It reminds your users about you; it informs users about your products; it tells them what you have been up to; and it helps you build a unique relationship with them. Users like email newsletters if the newsletters bring them value.
What are the basics that you require before you even start to produce the e-newsletter
1) An email marketing system that will target, and segment those recipients that want to receive the newsletter! (they must have signed up to receive it)
2) It must be personalised to each recipient
3) Must be able to send thousands at a time (not a limited amount)
4) Must be able to be scheduled
5) You must be able to analyse results. See who is getting it, who opened it, what they read and if any call to actions where actually addressed by the recipient
6) It must be Spam Act compliant.
7) The overral aim is always to drive traffic to your website. So ensure there is content to do that within the newsletter
8 ) Where possible allow the subscriber to change their settings.
Integration is necessary.
The best scenario is when your Email marketing system is integrated with the rest of your website platform and Content Management System. This means that all your recipients are stored centrally for purposes like statistics, sign ups, change of details, extranet entry, sales database, eCommerce records and so on.
Integration with your Content Management System also means that you minimise re-formating between your eNews and your website version of the same content.
What tools do you need to format your e-newsletter
• Personalisation – the ability to automatically address the individual recipient.
• WYSIWYG Editor – A “what you see is what you get” editor that allows control on the “look and feel” of the eNewsletter
• Scheduler – Allows you to create the eNewsletter at one time but have it sent at another.
• Approvals – Allows an administrator to view and edit the eNewsletter prior to send (also known as Workflow management).
• Statistics – Full data on eNews opens, forwards, click-throughs, etc.
• Plain Text option – Allows recipients who can’t receive an HTML eNewsletter a plain text version instead.
• “On the fly” build – Allows you to assemble a newsletter from pages already published on your website.
• Recipient detail access – Allows recipients to access their details online and be able to adjust them.
• Template design– You should be able to use a set template so you have consistency across your e-newsletter.
These are just a few tools that you will need, but obviously the more you have to make it an easier experience for you and improve your e-newsletter the better.
The only thing you need to think about now is the content. Remember the saying 'content is king' Make sure you get this bit right. You could have a fancy looking e-newsletter
but if it is boring to read or look at it wont get read and it would have been a waste of time!