Email newsletters have a place in your overall email marketing strategy. This is what good email newsletters help you achieve:
- Helps nurture email subscribers, existing customers, and potential customers
- Email newsletters are primarily “information focused” -- leading the way forward in the relationship by “informing, educating, and inspiring”
- Email newsletters are treasure troves of exclusive information, packed into easily digestible bits of information.
- Newsletters are “non-sales oriented” mostly. This gives your potential and existing customers some breathing room.
- Email newsletters are also focused on “community building” and “brand equity”.
Many of these are almost impossible to achieve with sales-oriented emails, welcome sequences, and transactional emails.
What Are Newsletters? How Are They Different?
Newsletters are primarily information-rich emails that “don’t sell”. Instead, these emails are usually filled with tips, insights, resources, ideas, and more so that your potential customers stay informed: about your brand, the causes your brand cares about, topical information on products you sell, and more.
While newsletters might still have links, calls-to-action, and prompts urging people to visit your eCommerce store and buy products, that’s not the main goal.
Make Email Newsletters a One-Person Affair
Email from the founder? Email from a specific person, with a face and links to social media networks?
Even if you are an eCommerce brand, people connect with people. Newsletters always had a personal angle to them. These are much like writing to a friend (from a friend).
Despite the size of your eCommerce business, make email newsletters personal. Write in “the first person”, use “You and I”, and make it simple but convincing.
Good email newsletters are always personal -- a single person’s view. Write on issues that matter, brand ethos, exciting things coming up, “behind the scenes” information, upcoming events, and more.
5 Knowledge-based Emails; 1 Sales Email
If every email is a “sales” email, you’ll put off people and they’ll unsubscribe (never to hear from you again).
Just sending newsletters and information-based emails? You won’t be able to sell products or services this way.
You need a balance.
The way you get there is to experiment with one sales-type email for every four or five regular newsletters (information-rich).
Experiment. Try the best combination that works for you.
No you need ideas?
Keep Newsletters On-brand, But Minimalistic
Since newsletters are all about information, fancy design only hurts the readability of the email, the deliverability (HTML messages might not deliver), and visuals should match the message.
Keep newsletters minimalistic.
White background. More text. Some images. Done.
Most eCommerce brands don’t do as many email newsletters as they should. Meanwhile, brands that operate in SaaS and technology space are very good at using email newsletters to their advantage.
Take Hylo Athletics for instance. The brand was founded by Michael Doughty. Among others, some of the email newsletters that go out are sent as “first person accounts”. It’s directly from Michael himself, written in a story format. Here’s an example of how their newsletter is written and sent:
Michael writes like he’d write to a friend. His story comes in complete with photos (himself, his team, and more).
Can your brand take on this minimalistic approach, with story-telling added for good measure?
Include Call-to-action Buttons & Prompts
Just because you are sending out email newsletters -- and while the focus is still on information -- it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t nudge your customers to buy.
Somewhere within the email (at the very bottom of the email maybe) or interspersed between the main body of the email newsletter, do include calls to action, prompts, or blurbs to nudge your newsletter readers to visit your eCommerce store, to buy, or to check out new products.
While you are free to include these, make them as inconspicuous as possible by using a few links to your store, buttons, or links to your best-selling products.
Email Marketing Best Practices Still Apply
Most of the email marketing best practices still apply while sending newsletters.
- Finding a cadence or frequency to send email newsletters.
- Responding to comments and sharing newsletters on social media (more reach).
- Effective and short subject lines.
- Using and testing subject lines (with emojis?)
- Adding a prominent “Unsubscribe” button
- Segmenting newsletter subscribers (as against other usual eCommerce segments such as “existing customers”, “VIP customers”, “Downloaded coupon but never bought”, and more.
Measure open rates, click rates, and all other key metrics you’d normally measure when you send out typical email marketing campaigns.
Use Panoramata to see how thousands of eCommerce businesses use email marketing -- complete with email frequency, subject lines, and email design.