E-mail Campaigns: Do’s and Don’ts of Producing E-newsletters
For catalogers who want to retain contact with customers via a regularly scheduled, opt-in e-newsletter, there are several recommended strategies to be aware of, said Mark Priebe, president of Proximity Marketing, an e-mail services provider, during his session “E-Newsletters: Ways to Make Them Work” at the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ meeting held last month in Cleveland. While Priebe’s comments were earmarked for editors, his insights also will prove useful to anyone, including direct marketers, who want to produce e-newsletters for customers.
Don’t assume that all recipients will read every word of every edition. On average, 57 percent of recipients skim e-newsletters for relevant content, 11 percent read every edition thoroughly, and 10 percent save their editions for later, said Priebe. The trick, he continued, is to make each edition as relevant to your audience as you possibly can.
Do determine a realistic goal for your e-newsletter program. Do you want to drive traffic to your Web site, alert customers to an upcoming catalog mailing or special offer, or impart information about complex products to your customer base? In short, start with the goal in mind.
Do determine how you will measure the e-newsletter’s performance. Based on your stated goals, discern what you will measure and how you’ll do it. For example, will you measure clickthroughs, sales, leads or simply how many newsletters actually were delivered? “Choose metrics that will demonstrate an actual return on investment,” Priebe suggested.
Do run periodic trend analysis reports. For example, have your IT department or e-mail delivery provider give you reports on what readers actually are clicking on in the newsletter, as well as how many customers are opting in and opting out, and how many are deleting their copies unopened.”Take a longer view of subscribers’ behaviors, responses and actions,” said Priebe.
Don’t ignore filtering technologies and the impact they will have on your e-newsletter program. Ask your IT department or third-party delivery provider the following questions: What happens to the newsletter on computers that have image blocking and spam filters installed? Does the e-newsletter get corrupted or only partially delivered? What can we do to circumvent that?