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Use newsletters and mailing lists to empower your site

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Servage

newslettersStaying in touch with your users is key to long-term success for any web project. The goal is to provide users a service which updates them on relevant information, while your real goal is usually to generate more traffic to your site – either for pageviews/ad displays or new orders/purchases. Sending the right newsletter to the right recipients can make a great difference, however, only if perceived well by your users. Simply spamming as many email addresses you can get your hands on will not help you. That tactic usually backfires and generates more trouble than good.

Sending to the right recipients

Generally speaking you should send newsletters to selected users instead of all at once. The selection depends on your project’s logic, and could even be customizeable by users to offer the highest possible flexibility. Many web apps nowadays allow you to create very specific settings to meet everyones custom criteria.

The common thing to consider is to send to users event-based for any notification-style content, whereas sending to all relevant customers for any campaign-style content. I.e. it makes sense to advertise additional products one week after a previous purchase, or send specific offers valid for a certain region only to users from that region. It does, however, probably not suit everyone to receive this information, therefore the event or campaign based sending, plus selection of relevant target audience. The more attention to you pay to this, the more accepted your newsletters will become.

Sending the right content

Content is king, and that is also valid for newsletters. Make sure to provide exactly the needed information, and try to avoid the temptation of overloading the email with too much other information. This is one of the most frequent mistakes, which makes users more prone to perceive the email as spam, thus disregarding it alltogether.

If your newsletter is a notification-style message, then remember to include the relevant custom information instead of just referencing a link to a website. Users will expect to see the relevant information in the email, and not wanting to go to the website and maybe even log in. Remember that the newsletters are not just about driving traffic, they are also about increasing overall customer satisfaction. Making the content relevant is highly related to that.

Sending with the right design

Choosing the right design can be just as important as choosing the right content. Plain text emails can be hard to read, which is annoying, while overdone designs can trigger users to think “junk” immediately. Therefore try to use your visual identity from your brand and website to make the content recognizeable. Doing so will allow the user to identify the content as something known to his eyes, and give it just a few more seconds before deciding about relevance. Those few extra seconds spend with the newsletter can make the difference between a happy user clicking a link to your site, or a disgruntled user being annoyed by your system.

Consider real life mailings

Whenever you send a newsletter you should do it for a clear purpose and to a defined target group. Consider how people would like finding this information in their real physical mailbox. Make sure you send relevant information that you can highly expect the user would really want to receive. Furthermore never make an assuption that you will be always right, and therefore let users specify easily what information they would like or not.

Happy mailing :-)




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