Creating a newsletter is an ideal way to drive repeat traffic to your website but its design, format and implementation need to be carefully considered in order to achieve the desired results.
Before you begin creating a newsletter itself attention needs to be paid to the way in which your website will facilitate the capturing of customers' email addresses and other information. Though many sites opt for the quick and simple approach of placing a "Name & Email Address" box on their homepage this is not always the best solution.
Although such an approach makes it extremely simple for users to provide you with their basic details it leaves little scope to sell the newsletter's benefits. Neither does it provide your business with the opportunity to simultaneously capture vital demographic information from its customers. A balance needs to be determined between the ease of signing-up for the user and the quality/quantity of information captured by you.
Format and Frequency
Your website visitors need to be made aware in advance how often they are going to receive a communication from your business. Failure to provide such information may deter people from giving their permission to be contacted in the first place. Stating the newsletter's frequency up front will also benefit your business in the long-term as customers signing up to receive it will all share a common understanding of the expected volume of email they are going to receive - this will lower the number of customers who unsubscribe.
The format of your newsletter is also important - you should either state the format during the sign-up procedure or provide an option for your customers to choose their preferred delivery format. Most newsletters are delivered in standard text format though HTML is being favoured more and more as it enables greater use of images and links but beware - not all Internet users can view HTML newsletters. There are various ways to combat these issues of compliance including delivering a newsletter in both formats based on customers' chosen option at the sign-up stage.
Content is King
This phrase applies equally as well to newsletters as it does to a website's content. Your newsletter may be well-designed, easy on the eye and technically sound but if it doesn't contain information that recipients find of value it is worthless.
Creating a newsletter can achieve many objectives and therefore you must decide on which are most important to you. Do you want to use the newsletter to facilitate increased traffic, enable capture of marketing information, push direct sales, improve public relations, generate product feedback or foster loyalty? Your newsletter needs to be tailored to the needs and objectives of your business in this regard.
Generating repeat traffic is one of the easier objectives to attain via a newsletter - including relevant links to certain areas of your site, or featuring competitions / special offers can all drive traffic to your site.
Engaging in newsletter activity is the electronic equivalent of knocking on your customer's door - your business has the potential to sell, whether this be selling products, services or the ethos of your company - the potential should not be overlooked.
About The Author
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