Email marketing explained simply - how to increase your chances of success in newsletter marketing

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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As a self-employed person, you may not have an extensive marketing budget at your disposal. All the more reason to make sure that you only invest in campaigns that are as profitable and effective as possible. The motto is: achieve a lot of success with little effort. This is of course the goal of many marketing campaigns - and with the optimal email marketing strategy, this is even realistic. It has been shown that the costs in email marketing are significantly lower than in many other areas of direct marketing. So what does an email marketing strategy need? Find out more about the basics of newsletter marketing here.

Creating email newsletters - does it make sense for every company?

You may be wondering whether it's worthwhile for your company to set up a newsletter mailing list for your customers. The answer is clear: yes! In principle, it doesn't matter which industry you work in. The only requirement for email marketing is that you work with customers.

The newsletter is used to provide your customers, prospects and clients with valuable information in the simplest possible way. While email marketing campaigns were once mainly launched by large companies, thanks to easy-to-use newsletter software, it is now possible to do it yourself without any problems. In most cases, no basic IT knowledge is required. The software available is often self-explanatory and allows you to reach your customers in an intuitive way.

What do you need to consider when choosing newsletter software?

Before you can send your first newsletter, you need the right software. It's not so much about finding the cheapest possible product, but about getting aspects such as reliability and functionality in a price-performance ratio that meets your requirements. It is best to pay attention to the following key points:

  • Unit price: In email marketing, the costs are paid per email sent. Also check whether a high mailing volume goes hand in hand with discounts.
  • Shipping capacity: A high sending rate per hour is particularly important. A good guideline is to send around three million emails per hour.
  • Data protection: The server location of your email marketing provider is of crucial importance. As with any activity involving the processing of third-party data, email marketing must also comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). A server location in the USA could already lead to legal complications, which could even make you liable to prosecution.

Once you have decided on a suitable product, nothing stands in the way of launching an efficient and GDPR-compliant email marketing campaign.

The recipient list as the most important pillar

As an entrepreneur, you probably have a lot of customer email addresses in your database. But be careful, you are not allowed to simply send your online marketing newsletter to every contact, as this is advertising material.

You need a list of legitimate recipients, generated in a reputable manner, who authorize you to send your newsletter to them. The basic prerequisite for sending the newsletter is that your customers expressly give their consent to receive a promotional newsletter.

If you offer services or goods, you can integrate the registration for the newsletter as part of the ordering process. If you would like to use existing lists, first send an authorization email so that your recipients can consent to receiving newsletters.

However, mere advertising without any benefit for the recipients is only perceived as annoying. So think about the crucial question: Why should your customers voluntarily subscribe to your newsletter? After all, they don't know in advance whether they can expect high-quality or even useful content. In this situation, enticing offers that provide added value for your users are helpful. Occasional voucher codes sent via newsletter are a tried and tested method.

Content and design of B2C and B2B newsletters

Once you have your recipient list, the next step is of course to create (regular) content that will help your email marketing strategy fulfill its purpose. Proceed on the basis of a few key questions:

  • What is/are your target group(s)?
  • Are you planning an info or sales newsletter?
  • How do you present your messages to the audience?

On the one hand, your content should offer relevant messages for your target group, but on the other hand, it should also be presented in an appealing way. In terms of colors, imagery, fonts and font sizes and, of course, the choice of words, orient yourself to the corporate identity with which you want to appear to your customers. The end result must be a newsletter with real added value that you yourself find appealing and that would arouse your interest if you were to receive it.

Step by step to newsletter email marketing: Sending your first newsletter

You have generated suitable recipients, you have created a targeted newsletter - now it's time to create the optimal conditions for sending it. You can significantly influence the success of your email marketing campaigns if you consider a few essential basics for sending:

  1. The right time: It may not seem very relevant, but the time period in which you send your newsletter plays a major role in the success of your campaign. In the B2B sector, you will reach significantly more customers on weekdays, while Fridays and weekends are the best time to reach end customers with your email newsletter.
  2. Interesting subject: You only have a few words with your subject line to ensure that your recipients open the newsletter and don't put it in the trash. The key to success is their curiosity. So find wording that directly signals the relevance of your email to your target groups.
  3. Responsive design: The use of mobile devices is growing continuously, and the importance of mobile marketing is increasing accordingly. Around 50 percent of all newsletters are now read on a smartphone rather than a PC. It is therefore important that your emails are displayed on both large desktop monitors and small smartphone displays in attractive, easy-to-read designs.
  4. Matching newsletter: In order to reach the right target group with the right content, you should divide your recipient group into different subgroups. This type of target group selection (existing customer, prospective customer and the like) ensures more targeted marketing.
  5. Spam-Check: Nothing would be more annoying than sending (and paying for!) a newsletter that ends up in the recipient's spam folder. Therefore, carry out checks beforehand and check whether your emails are arriving correctly or how your email program reacts to them.

For sustainable success: monitoring the newsletter marketing strategy

Simply creating one advertising or info mail after another and sending it out into the world is not enough for sustainably successful newsletter marketing. It is important that you always keep an eye on the impact of your campaign. Ideally, you should use marketing software with a tracking tool that gives you an insight into key parameters such as click, open and unsubscribe rates. This allows you to see directly what your customers actually do when they receive your newsletter.

Thanks to the marketing tracking software, you can identify weaknesses and address them in a targeted manner. If you manage to optimize performance and effectiveness in the long term, you can use email marketing as a valuable strategy to increase your brand awareness, leads and sales.

Online marketing strategies are complex. If you are new to this field and have not yet gained any experience, this is all the more true. However, original, target group-oriented email marketing is one of the best ways to strengthen your brand. The right tools, optimal content and an eye for the right design are the prerequisites for addressing new and existing customers comparatively cheaply but also effectively.

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