Email newsletters are a great way to nurture leads. However, for this method to work, you have to actually offer information that is of value to your subscribers, otherwise you are bothering them rather than fostering a relationship. Coming up with the right newsletter content can be a challenge. Here are a few tips on how to customize your newsletters for successful relationship marketing.
1) Profile your target readership. Consider the demographics of your existing readership, or define your theoretical target reader in as much detail as possible, including factors like their industry, job role, location, etc. Based on these parameters, what are their likely needs, problems and interests that you can address with your content? Don’t limit yourself to content that bears directly on your business. Instead, think of the needs, problems, and interests that come up in your broader context. Don’t just speculate; talk to the service and sales staff who deal with customer and prospect questions, problems, and complaints for insights into the issues and concerns shared by your readership.
2) Ask your audience directly about what kind of content they’d like to read. As well as formal quantitative or qualitative market research, make the most of your existing readership and solicit feedback through your newsletter through a formal online survey or a request for feedback to an email address. Invite specific feedback on a specific issue, as requests for general feedback tend to go unheeded. Offer incentive for participation.
3) Review other sources of information. Monitor the newsletters, magazines, newspapers, websites, and TV and radio programs followed by your target readers. What are the hot topics and features? What information might you add? What advice and opinion might you offer? What’s not being covered? Is there a new angle or content niche you can pursue? Offering valuable content is good, but offering valuable content that is unique is even better.
4) Invite readers to provide content themselves. They can be an excellent source of articles, tips, ideas, questions (for you to answer), and so on. Interviews with customers or prospects on topics of interest to the readership make excellent content. It gives you the chance to market in a more credible context (“so how do you use the new Brownlow ZXT?”), encourages a sense of community, and boosts a few customer egos.
5) Track everything. By tracking click through rates and ROI, you can determine which newsletter topics and formats work, and which ones to scrap. According to a study on newsletter optimization done by GetResponse, only 39% of e-newsletter senders split test their messages on any feature (title, FROM field, content, CTA, etc). Likewise, only 61% of senders check and analyze stats on the newsletters they send. These two tactics don’t take much effort and offer a big return when it comes to engaging your readership. You have the technology at your disposable, so use it.