Imagine a camping or hiking trip without your Swiss army knife. This one tool does everything from removing a splinter to opening bottles to cutting string. Its versatility makes it valuable. This is also true of the email newsletter — your hardest-working marketing tool.
A newsletter not only allows you to share valuable information about your industry and business, but it also invites your audience to engage with you through the content. Over time, engagement helps build relationships which in turn builds trust — and trust is huge when vying for a customer’s business.
The key to ensuring your newsletter’s versatility and potency as a marketing tool is to enhance its interactivity: Allow multiple ways for readers to engage with your content and, in turn, readers will engage with you. This doesn’t mean riddling your newsletters with promotional offers, but honing in on focused content that will appeal to your specific audience.
eMarketer Denise Keller knows that quality interaction is the goal:
“Long gone are the days when sending coupons and special offers was enough to provoke a response. Recipients get enough of this as it is, plus falling into that trap only makes it harder for you to stand out from the bunch … it’s all about engaging the reader.”
Here are six tried-and-true methods for getting readers to click through your content:
- Video downloads — Embed an interesting video clip and provide a short description of what readers can expect to see. Just make sure the clip is relevant to your audience.
- Polls — People love to be asked their opinion. Use your newsletter to conduct a simple poll about your business and its offerings, then share the results with your audience. You can benefit from the feedback, and participants may feel empowered that they had a hand in helping you evaluate your business.
- Contests — Instead of simply offering a discount or freebie to readers, stoke their competitive fires and get them involved through simple contests: industry-related trivia, best photo caption, 100th reader to respond, etc. Contests can add a fun element to your newsletter and generate a higher response rate than a simple offer.
- Requests for feedback — Invite readers to share their thoughts on your business and its products/services. As with polls, you can benefit from the results of the feedback and your audience will feel empowered by sharing their opinion.
- Links to contact pages of website — A newsletter is a vehicle, not a destination! Ultimately your newsletter should navigate readers via hyperlinks to more in-depth information about your industry, company, products and/or services, and how they can contact you.
- Downloads for white papers — White paper offers can be a powerful tool, especially in B2B marketing. Offering exclusive information in a well-written, highly focused white paper can get executive-level readers clicking and engaging in ways other tactics cannot. Make the download offer obvious and easy — a name and email address should be enough to permit access to the white paper.
Clearly, eNewsletters and interactivity go hand in hand. As you explore ways to make your newsletter more interactive, make sure you remember that relevancy, value, and timing are essential to a newsletter and its components. Simplicity and readability are also key, especially when you are asking readers to do something; they can’t act if they don’t understand what’s being asked of them.
“eNewsletters that are easy to read promote involvement,” says Pat Friesen of TargetMarketingMag.com. “Simplicity increases understanding. And consistency encourages brand recognition and anticipation for the next issue to arrive. It all adds up to more readership and more response.”
This may sound easy, but it requires a great deal of detailed planning and expertise to create an effective newsletter. Proven Systems is highly experienced in helping companies generate newsletter content that is relevant, timely, valuable, easy to digest, and of course, interactive.