Whether you are a solo practitioner or a large-sized firm, an email newsletter is a building block of a solid digital marketing strategy. In the past five years, the number of email marketing tools and programs has grown. Previously just a few options for managing an email newsletter existed; now there are many options.
It can be easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of these programs. After all, it is important to ensure your email marketing tool fits your firm’s needs (we will cover how to choose the correct tool for your firm in a later post). We often find clients will get so focused on testing the features of a newsletter tool that they forget the basics of what makes a good email newsletter.
Remember that bells and whistles can’t overcome a poor email newsletter strategy. Below are some basic do’s and don’t’s to help you keep quality top of mind in your email newsletter.
1. Do Make the Unsubscribe Button Easy to Find
Sometimes a client or customer wants to unsubscribe. Make it easy for them to do so. Nothing will make a client run away faster than a complicated, difficult to navigate unsubscribe button. Along with that, make sure you check the unsubscribe function for mobile devices to ensure its ease of use.
2. Do Optimize for Mobile
We can’t say this enough, and it’s funny how often this is ignored. A mobile or tablet device is how many of your clients will view your newsletter. Make sure you check the optimization by using the mobile or tablet preview mode in your newsletter tool. This is especially important if you are switching to a new e-communication tool, are going through a rebrand and have a new template, or if you are just diving into email marketing for the first time.
3. Do Segment Your List
Segmenting clients and prospects based on factors such as demographics, job title, industry, or geography will help hone in on client specific needs, increasing the chances of engagement. Segmenting your email list allows you to create a message that resonates with a specific group’s needs and interests. This will make them more likely to respond to an offer, engage with you, or even to pass information on to other prospective clients. At a financial services firm, you might have clients at different life stages – one group might be interested in retirement planning while the other is thinking about their first investment. Each group will find a different set of content relevant.
4. Don’t Just Send Mass Email to Your Whole List
Segmenting your list is a best practice, so it’s important to understand why the opposite – a mass email – is not advised. Aside from the fact that it’s incredibly tacky, a mass email could break spam laws and put your firm in a bad light. Another way to keep your distribution list clean is to have a clear, easily executable process for email and list creation. Again, this is a great activity for your outsourced marketing team to tackle.
5. Don’t Send Your Clients a Novel
You are an expert in your field and your firm is well regarded, so of course you have a lot to say. This doesn’t mean you should write a 1000-word email newsletter. The point of an email newsletter is to encourage the reader to visit your website or engage with your content. This is not achieved by a lengthy newsletter. Keep text short, call-to-actions clear, and make sure the content is written in easy to read language. The goal is to make sure the newsletter inspires additional engagement, not frustration and abandoning the newsletter half-way through.
6. Don’t Forget Content
This may seem obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in fancy tools and creating email flows – and forget that content matters! The best email marketing plans have a content creation plan that flows into a well-executed email marketing strategy. If you lose sight of what is in your e-communication, and thus what your list segment wants to read, then your newsletter will fall short. Strategically tying your content to your email marketing efforts (and even aligning content creation with campaign planning efforts) is critical to your overall success. If your content is simply an afterthought, it will show.
Keep in mind that there are more best practices for an email newsletter strategy, so it’s wise to discuss your vision or questions with your outsourced marketing team first. They can guide you in making sure the prep work is done and the execution is flawless. A well-executed email marketing strategy can be a huge benefit to your clients and to your firm. Such a strategy can allow you to get your content – from videos to white papers – in front of your clients’ eyes and stay top-of-mind, not to mention it’s always good to remind clients why you excel in your areas of practice.
If your firm has not considered email marketing, then it’s time to reach out to your outsourced marketing team at PSM. Professional marketing Minnesota are experts at crafting content that shines and developing the strategy to help you broadcast your message. Get in touch today!