A good newsletter is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your clients. If used correctly, your newsletter can entice customers to come into your store, provide them with valuable information, let them know about a special offer that appeals to them, or just keep your company's name on the tip of their tongue.
It's difficult to consistently send out a good newsletter. You want is to promote your own business, but you're also try to do so while providing valuable and intrusive content. The best kind of advertisement doesn't seem like an advertisement at all. Achieving this is no simple task.
Send your newsletter only as often as you can produce interesting content. Nowhere is it written that you must send a newsletter weekly or monthly. Be self aware enough to realize when you have nothing to say. You'll start to see recipients unsubscribe left and right if your newsletter becomes boring. It's a real struggle to regain interest once someone on your list decides your email is boring or unhelpful.
Create multiple versions of your newsletter based on customer interests. You can gather this information by giving people the ability to designate their own interests on your sign up form. Not only will you be able to use this data to target groups in your newsletter, but it can serve as a small sample of your overall customers interests. Sending multiple newsletters is more work because you may need to produce content for several different newsletters but the result is well worth it.
Many websites will have the default action of signing up as a user of their site or using their checkout form result in the user signing up for their mailing list unless they opt-out by removing a check from a selection box. This is a common practice that you should avoid. Considering that sending email isn't free, why waste your money on sending to people who don't care about what you are sending them? These types of practices increase complaints and can cause you big headaches in the future. Why risk having people click the "spam" button in their email client because you tricked them into signing up for your mailing. Building trust with consumers is far more important than building your mailing list.
You really can't expect your customers to give you much of a response if you don't ask them to. If you want them to do something in response to your email, you have to ask them and then make the action as easy as possible. If you want them to make a comment, give them a simple way to do it. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to go through with it (duh). Make your call to action clear. Ditch subtlety in this case, straightforward is the way to go.
Hopefully these tips will help you create and execute a better newsletter. For more email marketing best practices, check out this post.