Newsletter: from concept to success management

A newsletter is a powerful and low-cost online marketing tool, which can be used for both internal and external business affairs.

If you are pursuing specific aims and have both strategical and conceptional questions sorted, then you will be successful. We advise you to keep the following five steps in mind:

1. Concept: Mailing-strategy and selection of a newsletter solution

In a first step, you must define the marketing aims that the newsletter-project should fulfil. Does your newsletter intend to increase sales, or is it used for advertising, or are you using it for internal marketing strategies? To define your aims, you should apply the SMART-rule (aims ought to be precise, measurable, reachable, relevant, and contemporary). If applied, you can measure and analyse the results.

Operational questions need to be answered as well: How often do you want the newsletter to appear? Who takes care of the content and mailing? Do you need external help from an experienced ad agency?

Moreover, you have to pick one of the many newsletter-solutions. We create our Rocket-Newsletter with the easy to handle, free, and popular online software “MailChimp”. However, there are many others to pick.

Ask yourself: Whom and what you want to reach with your newsletter?

2. Design: Create your template

In a next step, you have to design your newsletter. Your newsletter should be both appealing and corporate-design-compliant. Do not forget to keep in mind your concept and contents. If in doubt, follow the rule “design follows function” in online marketing.

The graphic guidelines (the screen design) will be used as a template. Flawless programming of the template is of utmost importance, this work can take up 0.5 – 2 days, depending on the templates complexity.

Ask yourself: Is the template programmed without fault and designed according to the corporate design guidelines.

3. Contents: The right text for the right audience

Next, the content needs to be written. Make sure to use different subjects that suit your target group, images that underline the content, and write short but precise texts. Do not just state facts, invite the reader to participate and include call-to-actions: place opportunities for ordering goods, offer download opportunities or ask the reader to make a reservation by including your phone number.

In the case of targeting different groups it makes sense to use more than one newsletter. Sometimes it is enough to just exchange certain subjects. Have a look at newsletters sent by book stores: They do not send one newsletter, they send several ones according to their customers likes, such as a newsletter about fantasy, novels, travel guides, et cetera. Subcategories or a combination of subjects are possible as well.

Ask yourself: Are the contents aimed at the right target group? Do they include call-to-actions? Is the newsletter informative, relevant, and interesting?

4. Mailing: Opt-in version and mailing list

Create or import a list of email recipients for your newsletter-mailing. Make sure that you do not anger potential customers with unwanted emails. Even if you consider certain contents to be relevant, customers might regard it as spam. Therefore, only interested customers, who applied for a newsletter, should be put on the mailing list.

Now you are almost done! But before you press the button “send newsletter to 500 recipients”, a test run is necessary. Simply send the newsletter to yourself and to colleagues. Correct possible spelling mistakes and make sure that all the links included work!

Ask yourself: Does the newsletter appear correctly in your test run email?

5. Efficiency review

After sending the newsletter to all your recipients, the exciting part follows: Measure the success of your campaign! How many people opened the newsletter? Which articles were read the most? Were you successful in reaching certain conversions (such as ordering of goods)?

Due to the precise efficiency review you can measure the marketing-ROI.

Ask yourself: Did you reach your aims? What should be improved next time?

Would you like to know more about newsletter marketing?

Mathias Schürmann is looking forward to personally advising you: +41 41 500 10 11, mschuermann@rocket.ch