How to build a database and write a letter that will be opened
Email marketing is not a new tool but only gains popularity yearly. According to Statista forecasts, up to 4.5 billion users will read letters by 2024 - these calculations were carried out even before the blocking of social networks.
While users are flowing from one platform to another, we tell you how to create and set up a stable channel for brand communication with the audience.
And yet: why mailing lists?
Blocking email is complex and one of the most stable channels. Even if your sending service stops working one day, you can always transfer the database and switch to another one.
The app pushes, social media ads, website banners, and pre-rolls on streaming services can come as a surprise, but email today is a more intimate space. Here you and the user agreed to stay face-to-face regarding compliance with information hygiene - what you need.
Most likely, the user will give you a personal email if you are a niche perfume store and a work email if you are a strategic session organizer, and both are pretty private and long-term. And on average, the worker is checked a couple of times a day - a good attendance so that you are noticed.
By mail, you send a "personal-mass letter" - for everyone, but with the opportunity to speak humanely and confidentially. And if your audience has different interests and needs, offer them additional content for mailings.
With newsletters, you can work at different levels: create general knowledge about the product and its interest, warm up to purchase, and maintain loyalty. Or, for example, you can divide the branches of letters between those who have already bought a subscription to your service and those who are just thinking about it.
In a good way, you need to build a chain of the interaction of all channels and test where the user most warmly welcomes the "Buy" offer. The path follows: a blog article with a call to subscribe to the newsletter ->, an email with a "learn more" button ->, lead, or purchase.
The average email open rate across industries is 22%, and the average click-through rate for most companies is 4%. For comparison: the engagement rate (the same ER) in the social networks of brands is, on average, 0.6%.
How to build a base?
The main thing is legal. So it's not worth it.
Use the customer base for an automatic subscription.
It is both illegal and deprives the potential subscriber of choice. The second is psychologically unprofitable: even if the user would like to subscribe, he will not subscribe in the future because "I was married without me" - this approach most often causes resistance.
Buy ready-made bases
It is even more questionable because users may not know about your brand. No one likes such a "first touch" with an unsolicited letter.
You can try these options:
- Site subscription form
- A neat push can briefly tell you how many goodies the user is waiting for if he subscribes.
Registration form for personal account
The user has already left an email address; it remains only to ask if he wants you to use his contact to send awesome emails.
It is a separate page that can be promoted on social networks or through media. It's cool if the landing page not only talks about the benefits of a subscription but also offers a lead magnet.
The main thing is not to cheat: tell about what kind of subscription you offer and remember to set up sending a gift automatically.
What content can be in the newsletter?
Now, just being honest. Tell us about your business or project in the new environment. It does not mean that you need to show the whole internal kitchen - it is enough to broadcast what concerns the audience openly: we are working, we are with you, the situation is with prices, with supplies and logistics - this is what we are now in social networks, but here is what we have undertaken.
"Slow," personal , and valuable. Articles, interviews, and instructions - long read, really read and study in letters. If the topic is hooked, then even when the user does not find time for the entire text at once, he will check the box or "Unread" and return to it later.
"Snack content." Digests and collections where you can quickly snatch out only what is interesting. It can be news for the professional community, bestsellers among books on self-help, and the leading promotions of the week.
Important news. A letter is a quick and direct way to say there has been a change. It's not just about the current situation. It's always great to be warned that prices will go up, and instead of courier service A, our new partner B will contact you.
Promotions too, but with a caveat. According to Marketing Sherpa, 86% of users don't want to receive ads more than once a month, so don't overuse your special offers and sales alerts.
How to send a newsletter?
Take some time for the concept and answer the question: what could be interesting, valuable, and essential for the brand's audience now? The benefit can be identified as follows: you see a massive problem - you launch a mailing list to solve it.
It's great if you already have a lot of material on the topic - examples, cases from life, mistakes - all that remains is to pack it. Test yourself with another question: Why does your brand need to talk about this? Decide on the tone of communication, and outline the range of topical topics at least for the near future. Suppose you manage to develop a rubricator - super. Choose the formats for the headings and the frequency of their release.
- We can send a selection of plants to the audience: for example, rare or the most unpretentious ones, talk about the exclusive developments of our nursery, offer checklists for plant transplantation or growing microgreens, arrange a sale once a month, and a flower swap once a season.
- The tone is caring but expert; we are still a laboratory. We do not use complex terms or explain them and do not understand humor, but we write quickly.
- Topics for frequent requests from our customers: whether to turn on classical music with flowers, whether to use those same pink lamps, how to choose the size and shape of a plant for the interior ...
- But we do not write about abstract and narrow-profile topics: how photosynthesis works, ecology, or caring for cut flowers, and it is not for us.
- In total, we write letters every week and send them on Wednesdays:
1 week - compilation
2 week - a checklist
3 week - article from our expert
4 week - sale
And once a season - an additional letter with an invitation to a swap.
Sounds like a plan.
Based on the strategy, creating a content plan is no longer as difficult as starting from scratch. The main thing is to stick to it. The content worked out in advance will help not disappoint the audience with a long silence or a hastily prepared low-quality letter. But this does not exclude flexibility: something significant happened - prepare an urgent letter, that's okay.
Since you have already decided on the newsletter, do not duplicate content here from the blog or other sites. Exclusive content should be a privilege for those who have trusted you with an email address. It's also good practice to have your email subscribers be the first to know about something.
Address and name
Do not be stingy with registering a corporate domain; use one address and introduce yourself in the first line. Mailings from unknown mailboxes cause irritation and an impulse to click "This is spam."
Subject and preheader
It is the first thing a user sees in a push, and you have three seconds to hook it. You don't need to use clickbait – it's better to reflect the essence and benefits of the letter in the subject line.
Navigation in the letter should be convenient: headings, buttons, gifs, and pictures are the friends of perception. Do not forget that you can read from a mobile device: small paragraphs, checkpoints, minimalism, "air" between elements, and neat frames for the most important things are synonymous with care.
Gifts for download
Remember when we suggested launching a lead magnet? So, it is suitable for attracting new subscribers and the regular encouragement of loyal ones. It is a nice bonus and additional motivation to stay with you further or, for example, fill out a feedback form.
Each letter should have a purpose and an appeal to the topic. Be sensitive: "Learn more about the offer on the site" often works better than "Buy now." Please don't use more than one call and link unless it's a multi-sentence digest.
Here the options depend on the goal. If you are writing on behalf of the brand, leave general contacts; if it is essential for you to indicate the author or editor - accompany the photo signature or even a personal touch for communication; if signing the letter seems inappropriate - limit yourself to a warm wish.Convenient unsubscribe
The user must see that he is with you voluntarily and can unsubscribe at any time. Leave the "unsubscribe" button in a visible place and set up a reaction for those who click it. Do not dramatize, but do not pretend that you do not care: we are sorry, but you know where to find us - a good message.
How do you know what worked and what needs to be fixed?
You can't figure it out without analytics, so keep an eye on the following indicators:
Open Rate - The percentage of open emails that shows engagement. It signals whether the topic is exciting and how you revealed it in the preheader.
Click Rate - what percentage of people clicked on at least one link in your email? So you check whether the offer is attractive and whether the letter's content warmed up the user well enough for a click.
Hard Bounce - letters that did not reach the addressee due to the wrong mailbox name or errors during sending.
Soft Bounce - letters that did not arrive due to the box overflow or the temporary unavailability of the recipient's server.
Unsubscribe Rate - the percentage of unsubscribes from the mailing list. The most unpleasant but also the most telling indicator. Correct the content if there are a lot of unsubscribes, and build hypotheses about what exactly worked when there are none.