Today’s email marketing programs also include tracking. Take the time to review these reports, because they will give you valuable information about how your readers are responding. If you see a lot of people opting out, you may be sending information too often, or you may not have a good match between your content and your readers’ true interests. Are people clicking to open your newsletter? That’s a good sign, but it may not tell the whole truth about the number of people who are actually reading the newsletter, since many people can preview an email without clicking to open it. Look at your report to see how many people are clicking through on the links you provide. This will give you insight into which offers and what kinds of information are of greatest interest. Refine your newsletter by eliminating the parts that don’t work well and doing more of the elements that are capturing your readers’ attention.
Building your opt-in email newsletter list is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. Offer a free, downloadable bonus item on your Web site and on your social media sites. This might be an article, white paper, case study, tip sheet or quiz. Make it clear that receiving the free bonus item also includes a free subscription to your monthly newsletter, with the ability to unsubscribe at any time. Change your downloadable bonus offer every few months to keep it fresh and to entice new visitors to subscribe.
Ideally, you want to build a list of people who like what you have to say and have given you permission to stay in touch with them via email. Never purchase or borrow an email list compiled by someone else. Sending mass emails to people who did not request to hear from you is spam and it can reduce your businesses’ credibility and even get you dropped from your Web hosting platform. If you want to reach someone else’s email newsletter audience, work out an arrangement for that person to feature an article with your by-line, or run an ad with an affiliate link to your product. You gain credibility by being recommended by the list owner, and you keep yourself out of trouble.
Excerpted from 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success, coming in November from Career Press and available for pre-order now on Amazon!