Social media and Google AdWords might have emerged as the hottest methods of online marketing in recent years but when it comes to generating better engagement and building a stronger brand reputation, email is still and always will be the undisputed king. That’s why your company should be using email to communicate with customers, clients and leads whenever practical.
According to Statista, the global number of email users reached more than 3.7 billion people in 2017. By 2022, that number is expected to hit over 4.2 billion. Bearing that in mind, its hardly surprising researchers at the Radicati Group found that the average number of business and consumer emails that are being sent and received each day is now around 269 billion.
Those are huge numbers, and so it goes without saying, plenty of companies are already sending out newsletters and promotional emails to their customers. But why do they do it and more importantly, why should your company be emailing customers?
Above all else, its great value for money. In a 2016 joint survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email was found to generate a median return on investment (ROI) of 122%. That figure is four times bigger than the ROI of other marketing formats like social media, direct mail and paid search activity.
Why does email have such a great ROI? Simply put, because that’s what your customers want. HubSpot reckons 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes while 28% of ordinary consumers say they like to receive promotional emails from brands more than once a week. Better yet, customers who came to your site via email spent an average 138% more on your website than those who did not receive an email.
At the end of the day, email is a low-risk, high-reward marketing method that doesnt need to take much time or resource. That’s why you should be working email into your companies marketing mix and the best place to start is a regular company newsletter.
What should you include in a company newsletter?
Company newsletters are a fantastic way to reach out to existing sales leads, customers or clients, partner companies or anyone in between. Company newsletters can be either internally or externally facing, or both, depending upon the type of content you would like to share.
So, what sort of materials should you be including in an email newsletter for your company? When in doubt, think about what adds value to your company proposition, or what you like to know about the brands you shop from as a consumer.
Some of the topics that well-crafted company newsletters often include are:
- Upcoming sales or offers
- New products or services about to be launched
- Case studies or success stories about the company or clients
- Highlights of a few key FAQs
- Any changes to general information about the business
- New blogs or engaging content recently added to the company website
- Invitations to complete a survey
- Upcoming events the company may be involved in
When working your way through that list, just remember that you don’t want to overload your email recipients with too much information. A long and text-heavy email may not get read all the way through, and so you should always prioritise essential information with a strong call to action.
Just remember: no two companies are alike, and so no two company newsletters will be identical, either. Have a think about the sort of content that your consumers will find particularly useful, how often they’d like to receive it and how to share that information in a way that’s compatible with your brand.
For more tips on calls to action and digital marketing, check out the Blue Square Offices blog.
What are the best tools to build and send newsletters?
It makes perfect sense for your company to be sending a company newsletter, and we’ve hopefully helped you to start brainstorming in terms of the various bits of content you’d like to include in a company newsletter. But what about the tools you need to send those emails?
Most business owners are not email marketing gurus, and don’t have a lot of coding experience in terms of knowing how to create flawless and responsive HTML emails. Fortunately, thanks to a wide range of dynamic email marketing tools, you don’t have to know a thing about email marketing.
There are all sorts of brilliant web-based email platforms that will help you plan and execute email campaigns, draft email newsletters and manage your database of existing subscribers. The site you choose simply depends on what it is you need your email platform to do.
To help you sift through the competition and get started in reaching your customers, we’ve rounded up the top 10 tools worth checking out.
When it comes to email marketing, MailChimp is the reigning champion. Millions of businesses use MailChimp to send one billion emails on a daily basis. Why? Its an easy-to-use platform with intuitive drag-and-drop templates, automated marketing features like A/B testing to help you maximise open rates and fantastic analytics tools that will tell you how many people are clicking on your links and where they come from.
You can also integrate MailChimp with sites like Eventbrite and Magneto to tie your events and e-commerce functions into one, sleek marketing machine. But the best part of MailChimp is that its free to use.
The platforms freemium model enables you to send up to 12,000 emails per month to a list size of up to 2,000 people without paying to use the site. By paying a nominal monthly subscription fee, you can unlock more sends and extra reporting features.
In terms of sending out company newsletters, Emma stands apart from the competition because of its incredible user experience. Like MailChimp, Emma has a brilliant range of pre-built, customisable templates. Emma also comes with various industry-specific editions that cater to the marketing needs of various industries, as well as dynamic metric and guestbook apps that enable you to collect and catalogue new subscribers from any device even if you’re offline.
Emma’s range of services starts with its Pro package at $89.00 per month. This package enables your company to send to up to 10,000 contacts. If you upgrade to Emma’s Plus or Enterprise plans, you’ll unlock extra services like landing pages, Salesforce integration and asset and template sharing is available for an additional cost.
GetResponse is the perfect email newsletter tool for companies with marketing activities that evolve over time. The platforms flexible pricing structure allows companies to seamlessly add and drop various add-on services, including webinars, landing pages, autoresponders and other enterprise features.
GetResponse also stands out because it offers a great pool of free, professional images for you to use in your company emails. Its iStock integration means you can have easy access to up to 1,000 free images. Meanwhile, GetResponses advanced segmentation abilities enable you to better target your customers with campaign sends.
Email packages with GetResponse start from just 10.00 per month for lists of up to 1,000 subscribers.
If the idea of email marketing makes you feel a little nervous, Benchmark could be the perfect newsletter tool to help. Benchmark focuses on simplicity, with one of the webs cleanest interfaces.
For companies dealing internationally, Benchmark is also ideal because of its language accessibility. The site is available in nine different languages, and skilled international customer support is available out of Benchmarks 15 global offices.
Like MailChimp, Benchmark operates a freemium model. You can send up to 14,000 emails per month to a list of 2,000 subscribers absolutely free. If you’d like to upgrade to one of Benchmarks paid plans, you’ll be able to unlock additional features, like behaviour-based email follow-ups, analytics tracking and website engagement automation.
5. Constant Contact
If you’re looking for reliability, Constant Contact is a very affordable software service that does precisely what it says on the tin. Constant Contacts integrated email platform helps you create company newsletters with easy-to-understand list building tools, and all the basic tracking and reporting you’d expect from a top-of-the-line email marketing suite.
Constant Contact also comes with a useful marketing calendar tool, to help you plan how and when to send out newsletters to your customers or clients, as well as a built-in image library that gives you access to loads of free images to use in your emails.
Constant Contact is available from just $15.00 per month, which includes 1 GB of storage and unlimited email sends to your contacts base. You can also take advantage of a one-month free trial before paying.
6. Campaign Monitor
Its not hard to see why Campaign Monitor is trusted by 200,000 companies across the world including the Huffington Post, Topshop, Adidas and UNICEF. Its easy-to-use, intuitive campaign dashboard enables you to manage huge email marketing campaigns with trackable user journeys for each subscriber.
That being said, Campaign Monitors biggest unique selling point (USP) is its large number of integrations. You can download custom-built apps to tie together other platforms you may be using, including WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, GetFeedback and more.
Pricing starts from $9 per month for 2,500 emails but if you decide to move up to Campaign Monitors unlimited tier plan, you can send as many emails as you’d like for $29 per month.
Campaigner is a fantastic email newsletter tool for companies seeking to automate and finely segment their email marketing activities to generate better revenues. Campaigner enables you to develop nurture tracks that send pre-populated emails to members of your subscriber base, using specified triggers.
You can also take advantage of tools like Campaigners social integrations and email workflows dashboard to ensure all aspects of your email and social media marketing mix are working in harmony.
Prices start from $19.95 per month to send to up to 1,000 contacts. From there, cost increases incrementally, based upon how many additional users you’d like to be sending your newsletters to. Campaigner also offers a free trial.
Sendloop is a smaller player that packs a lot of punch and great value for money in terms of email sends. Sendloop is perfect for company owners with little-to-no-knowledge of building emails because its interface is intuitive and simple. You can choose from over 100 pre-populated email templates, take advantage of basic testing features and utilise Sendloops conversion tracking to calculate your campaign ROI.
A monthly subscription with Sendloop starts from $9.00 per month and will enable your company to send an unlimited number of emails to 500 subscribers. If you have bigger groups in mind, you can send to 2,000 subscribers for $19.00 per month. Just like Campaigner, Sendloop offers a free trial period.
If you’re concerned about scheduling and precise send times, Mailjet is the perfect email newsletter tool. Performance and reliability is Mailjets key focus, alongside personalisation.
Using Mailjets subscriber management tools, you can personalise each and every company newsletter down to the individual user level. That means content is automatically swapped out and amended, based on how many times a particular person has opened your emails in the past, where they live, or what they’ve purchased from your store.
Great personalisation capabilities and reliability make Mailjet an obvious choice when shopping around for an email marketing solution particularly bearing in mind Mailjet offers a freemium service. Companies can send up to 6,000 emails per month to an unlimited contacts base free of charge. If you’d like to send more frequently, you can upgrade to Mailjets Basic Package at $8.04 per month. This enables you to send 30,000 emails per month.
MailUp is another dynamic email marketing tool that is ideal for companies looking to bring together a wider marketing mix under one, easy-to-manage roof. MailUp also has one of the most unique pricing structures of any email marketing tool on the web.
Unlike most services, MailUp doesn’t charge you based upon how many emails you’d like to send. Instead, it charges are based on how quickly you’d like to send your emails to those individuals. For example, if you’d like to send emails to 6,000 contacts five hours after creating a newsletter, you would pay $39.00 per month. Alternatively, if you wanted to email a newsletter to 1,000 people in one hour, you’d be asked to pay a monthly subscription of $37.00.
The bottom line
When it comes to increasing your bottom line and enhancing your sales potential, email marketing is a no-brainer. Company newsletters are low-risk, high-reward marketing tools, and studies indicate your customers want to receive them. You’ve just got to think long and hard about the useful content you’d like to include in your emails and subsequently, the sort of tools you’d like to use, to share that content.
Fortunately, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to email newsletter tools. Just remember to do your homework and take full advantage of freemium platforms or free trial offers before jumping headfirst into a subscription with an email marketing platform. Company newsletters are often a case of trial and error, and it may take some time to find the platform and content that works best for you and your company.
And if you’re looking for more tips on how to grow your business, be sure to explore the Blue Square Offices blog. There, you’ll find tips on company formation, managing remote teams, outsourcing and more.