Hand drawing orange arrow as trend leader with many white arrows as follower

Email is the biggest marketing tool online today because everyone who uses the internet has an email address and we check the contents of our email inbox daily. This means that, on a daily basis, every email we receive gets our personal attention making email newsletter marketing one of the strongest and most powerful online tools if you own a website. When you attract more online subscribers to your email newsletter you are increasing your business networking potential

While Facebook may get you hundreds of Likes and LinkedIn might get you accepted into industry circles, email marketing directly links you to your own community of customers which you can nurture and grow along an every expanding network of communications that will build better business relationships.

How can you increase the rate of sign ups to your company newsletter? Take a look at the following checklist:

  1. Your call-to-action must be visible enough that it stands out from the page as soon as they land on your site. Depending on your website design and your industry sector, consider either a pop up box, a call-to-action at the top of the right hand side bar, placement in the comment section or at the bottom of your blog page.
  2. Offer a promotion, an incentive, competition or giveaway to entice them to sign up. Make signing up meaningful and worthwhile, for example: ‘Receive this one day Marketing 101 course for free when join our community of like-minded entrepreneurs’.
  3. Make the process of signing up as quick and easy as possible – an email address is all you need to ask them for.
  4. Communicate the added value they will receive when signing up to your newsletter. Step inside their shoes and consider what might be a benefit to being a subscriber? You may want to offer access to industry white papers, free download kits or additional workshops for subscribers only. Be sure to include an online archive of past newsletters so they will have idea of what to expect to receive from you in the future.
  5. Be honest about the frequency of your newsletter, whether you state it is weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or ‘periodically’.
  6. Give them guarantees and privacy policy sureties that you won’t sell or share their email address with anyone else.
  7. Make it easy for them to forward your newsletter to a friend by adding a ‘Forward to a friend’ link into your newsletter.
  8. Spring board sign-up offers on your other social media platforms. Post deals on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn that require an email signup in order to benefit.
  9. Include a newsletter call-to-action in your About section and Contact pages on all your social media platforms.
  10. Place a call-to-action link to your newsletter signup page in your email signature.
  11. Choose an attention-grabbing title for your newsletter and include the word ‘free’ somewhere visibly prominent.
  12. Compare two versions of your sign up form to see which one performs better, also known as A/B testing. Pay particular attention to button colour, placement on the web page, copy style, content and tone.
  13. Make sure the content of your newsletter is beneficial and stimulating to your readers on a consistent and ongoing basis. If your newsletter is badly written, long-winded or comes across as pure self-promotion, you will do more harm than good to your brand online.
  14. Use eye-catching images, short captions and excerpts in your email newsletter links to lead them towards the high points of your newsletter’s content online.
  15. It is worth using a professional writing service or freelance editor to ensure you maintain an ongoing and professional newsletter communication that both engages and stimulates your target market.

This article was written by Mercedes Westbrook of Firehorse Media. Reach me on C: 0789707633 or mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za; or visit www.firehorsemedia.co.za

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