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E-mail Marketing | 4 Ways to Attract & Retain Subscribers

In today’s plugged-in society, e-mail marketing is an important component of your overall marketing strategy. Done right, you attract and retain loyal customers. Done wrong, however, you risk losing subscribers and tarnishing your brand. Here are four tips for sending effective, engaging newsletters.

1.) Don’t clog up inboxes. We all receive too much e-mail. Don’t turn off customers by sending newsletters too often. This is the number one reason people unsubscribe. Start by sending one to two e-mails per week. Then, using metrics provided by Constant Contact or Mailchimp, analyze your unsubscribe rate. If it seems high, you’re probably sending too frequently.

2.) Make content relevant. If you want customers to read your newsletters, you need to provide relevant information. Talk about things your target market is interested in. Answer questions your clients have. Offer special promotions that resonate with potential customers. Knowing your market and who your customers are will help you develop relevant, engaging content, so constantly get to know them!

3.) Provide the right amount of content. In a similar vein, your content must be short and succinct with a direct call-to-action. People don’t have time to read long e-mails. E-mail customers only when you’ve got something important to say, and keep it short and sweet. Readers should be able to scan your e-mail for three seconds and know what it’s about. If it takes longer than that, it’s too content-heavy.

4.) Send at the right time. Open rates vary depending on when your newsletter is sent. You don’t want your e-mails getting lost in overcrowded inboxes, so focus on sending at the right times on the right days. Think about when your target customers are most likely checking e-mails. Trial and error will help determine the best times and days to send your e-mails. Analyze your open rates and adjust mailing times accordingly.

For additional assistance with e-mail marketing, contact our Iowa Western SBDC office at (712) 325-3376. We are a free resource for small businesses and start-ups in Southwest Iowa. We serve seven counties – including Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby – and provide counseling services to help businesses start, grow, and prosper.

(Photo credit: Jeroen Bennink / Flickr)

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