Lets face it customer acquisition is hard and most likely expensive. Of course new customers are important, but what your store really needs is sales - no matter the source. Reaching out to your existing customers is THE way to raising your bottom-line without upping your marketing budget. Some studies have even found that it costs 4 times as much to get a sale from a new customer as from an existing customer.
One way to connect with old customers is sending out a monthly newsletter. While it may seem like an 10-minute task, a successful newsletter takes time and thought. Many stores think they have this covered, but its important to review your content to make sure you are converting as many customers as possible. Ask yourself these five questions to better plan your newsletter.
How does my content fit into our overall marketing strategy?
The best marketing campaigns leverages multiple touch-points with a consistant message. Remind customers about promotions you're running, newly added features, and exciting company news! Don't assume they have already heard it. Think about it: Do you read every tweet in your stream? Check a fanpage everyday? Even open EVERY email? By share your marketing resources across different channels, you'll reach more your customers!
Am I just taking about my company or am I offering engaging content to readers?
A lot of merchants are apt to create a newsletter solely focused on company news—but the best newsletters also include relevant and engaging content. If you have a blog, feature a post somewhere in the body of the newsletter. Include promotions and coupons. Feel free to work in some company news, but feature your most interesting content at the top of the newsletter.
Can I use shared content or should I focus solely on original content?
While you want your newsletter to include mostly original content, including a link to a relevant article from a renowned media outlet is another great way to boost readership. Consider adding Must Read Articles from your industry with a snippet preview. It conveys thought leadership and industry knowledge and your readers will appreciate that you saved them time trolling through every related article. Solid content, original or not, incentivizes customers to to keep reading your newsletters.
Am I being as concise as possible?
No one wants to waste time, so don't waste your customers. If you can consolidate two paragraphs into two sentences, do it. You're not going to win any points for being long-winded. Your newsletter should provide short descriptions and link to most of the featured content. You may only have a split second to grab a reader’s attention, so take advantage of that second!
Am I being strategic?
While knowing general facts about the best time of day for open rate is good information to have, your customers are unique and need to be treated as so. Services like MailChimp and My Emma help you blast out stylized emails and deliver analytics on your readers so you can tweak your newsletter to be more effective based on reader response.