Your Email Database May Be Your Strongest Asset … So, Are You Sending Newsletters?
eD-what now? Before you Google, electronic direct mail is also known as an email newsletter. They’re those things that land in your inbox at 7am every morning, from brands whose mailing lists you’re subscribed to. So, why do you need to send them? How do they help? Let’s break down why they’re so vital to any brand’s marketing strategy.By Molly Urquhart
We said it once about content pillars, and we’ll say it again about eDMs. Every single brand, if it wants to talk to their audience in an engaging way; build brand awareness; cut through the noise and increase website traffic and online sales, needs to send eDMs/newsletters. Your socials will do a lot of heavy lifting for you and your brand’s reach, especially if you’ve got a strong ad strategy under your belt, but to get real cut-through and talk to your audience intimately and directly, sending compelling eDMs should be front of mind.
Want a direct, algorithm-free line to your audience? Send eDMs.
So, how will sending eDMs help your business? Put simply: there’s no algorithm to worry about, as is the case with Instagram and Facebook. No one controls your content, your database, or your direct line to your customers but you. All you have to worry about is how engaging your content is. By sending eDMs you have the opportunity to speak directly to an audience that wants to hear from you, in their personal space (they signed up, didn’t they?). These people are keen to hear from you so give them what they want.
Don’t just sell, give your audience something back, too.
If your eDM isn’t opened, it’s not helping you. Your newsletters should offer subscribers products to buy, sure, but a little something else, too. In between the pushes to bookings, new menus and sales, offer something your audience is genuinely interested in and that feels natural to include. Once every few Ragazzi eDMs, for example, we include a crowd-sourced Spotify playlist. The playlist is gathered on Instagram via the Ask a Question feature and the compiled list is shared as a Spotify link via the newsletter. Fun, festive and tied neatly back to the brand, because the tunes are in the style played in the bar. For your brand, maybe it’s a listicle of your favourite must-try Japanese condiments or a quick how-to on the best way to store kombucha. As long as it fits within your brand values and messaging, whatever it is, ensure the little gold nugget is in there every time you send.
Keep it cross-platform
The excellent thing about the old eDM is its contents should slot right in with whatever messaging you’re already creating on your other channels. Your social posts can be woven into your eDM and your eDM content should DEFINITELY be woven into your social plans. While working on the overall content strategy for Cafe Bookkeepers we had to nail the symbiotic nature of social, eDM and long-form content, and nail it we did. (If your business is a hospo one and your tax situation is feeling a bit freaky, sign up to its newsletter for a little something called The Tip Jar.)
If you’re a restaurant, send newsletters about new menus, exclusive events or wine tasting with a cult producer. If you’re a premium pickle brand yours should be plump with exclusive recipes, interviews with retailers and collaborators or people within your community (check out our Coco Tribe eDMs for this in a beautifully-designed nutshell.)
Remember, sharing eDM content on your social feeds, Instagram stories with a swipe up to subscribe, Facebook and LinkedIn (if appropriate) is vital – just sit back and watch your eDM database grow. In our monthly Coco Tribe eDMs for example, along with recipes and Q & As from the Coco Tribe community, we like to cross-promote infographics shared on their social channels. While these graphics don’t require text to accompany them, they’re often a great hook for the subject line – who wouldn’t want to know why they should pivot to a plant-based diet?
Watch your frequency
As with any marketing plan, consistency is key. Send regular eDMs, in a manner suitable for your brand and for the love of focaccia ensure the subject line is enticing! (Think: what does a newsletter have to do for YOU in order for you to open it?) Own a restaurant or bar? Maybe send your newsletters once a month in-line with a menu flip. Is your business an online wine shop? Maybe once a week is more appropriate, in-line with new stock arriving and reminding everyone of weekend cut-off times. Whatever you decide, stick to it.
Take some space
Remember, an eDM is a space to write more longform, a bit of a relief when you just wanna say more stuff than a short caption or tweet allows. Also, you can link to more content you’re housing on your website, so it’s a huge push for website traffic.
Overwhelmed? Fair. We’ve released a suite of strategy options that tackle this very topic. Download The Channel Menu for all the information about how we can help your brand get to where you want to be, with ideas, copy and visuals that stick. Got more questions? We love emails.
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