eNewsletters – hints and tips

29 Apr 2015

Billions of eNewsletters are sent every day, and if you’re like me, it feels like you receive all of them.  The benefits are easy to see – it’s an efficient way to keep in contact with your vendors, buyers, landlords, and renters.  It’s also a way that you can be seen as a thought leader in the industry.  But when there are billions of eNewsletters going out every day how do you cut through, stay relevant and be read?

So for those starting out here are some quick tips.

1 – Stream of consciousness is not good

Before you start writing sit down and think about not only what you are going to write about but why you are going to write about that topic – what are your opinions and why do you hold those opinions?

Keep yourself on track by choosing an overall message that you want to send to your customer and pick stories, feature pieces and pictures that adhere to that message.

Like building great content for your platforms, your eNewsletter probably won’t immediately translate into sales, but it will help form the basis of a relationship with the customer or potential customer.  The more times you keep in contact with that person, the stronger the relationship becomes and increases the likelihood of a future purchase.

Having an overall message allows you to easily decide what content to include and what to remove.  Remember when someone sits down to read your newsletter they are not going to spend all day on it, so you have to know when your newsletter is getting too long.  The easiest way to keep yourself on track is break your overall message down into categories, classifying content into categories each time you write a newsletter builds a pool of content to draw from.

Overall remember to keep your information light, informative and relevant.

2: Audience driven relevance

Who are these people you’re spending all this time creating an eNewsletter for?  Do you know?  Who you are targeting plays a huge role in what you put into it.  The information a renter would like to read will be very different to the information someone who is looking to buy will want, so it makes sense to tailor the content to the audience, to keep it relevant.

By using customer success stories, company updates or more ‘personal’ ideas, you can develop a stronger relationship with your customer. Keep your information timely and up-to-date to ensure it’s always informative and engaging.

You have to be subtle when emailing potential customers.  The best approach is to keep your newsletter focused on building the relationship. The connection you forge is what will get you the sale in the future.

3: Be prepared for problems

It’s almost a guarantee that your eNewsletter will have a problem…..or 20. Chances are, if you’re having a problem, someone else has had it too.  So ask.  If you use EAC’s Communicate Newsletters you can always ring us and we will help you.

Most often the problems occur in 2 situations.

Firstly, within the first couple of eNewsletters you won’t be entirely comfortable that what you have down is correct, as you will be getting used to the technology.

Secondly, when you are rushing to get something out to your customers in a hurry.

Both instances have the same solution, slow down and ask for help.

4: The legal bit

Try not to go to sleep in this part, it’s important.  In Australia we have the Anti-Spam Act 2003.  The Act is there to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

The Act classifies an electronic message as ‘commercial’ by considering:

  • The content of the message
  • The way the message is presented
  • Any links, phone numbers or contact information in the message that leads to content with a commercial purpose.

In general terms, your eNewsletter is ‘commercial’.

So who can you send it to?

The Spam Act 2003 states that for all commercial electronic messages sent by a business or organisation, meeting the consent requirement is mandatory. There are two types of consent—express and inferred.

Express Consent:

When an individual or organisation first provides their email address, and you plan to send them a commercial electronic message, you must first get their express consent.

Express consent comes in many ways—filling in a form, ticking a box on a website, over the phone, face-to-face or by swapping business cards—as long as the recipient is aware they may receive commercial messages. You cannot send an electronic message to seek consent—this is in itself a commercial message because it seeks to establish a business relationship.

Businesses should keep a record of all instances where consent is given, including who gave the consent and how. Under the Act, it is up to the sender to prove that consent exists.

Inferred Consent:

Inferred consent can occur:

  • via an existing business or other relationship, where there is reasonable expectation of receiving commercial electronic messages
  • via conspicuous publication of a work-related electronic address because it is accessible to the public, or a section of the public
  • if the address is not accompanied by a statement saying no commercial messages are wanted
  • the subject of the message is directly related to the role or function of the recipient.

For more information on the Anti-Spam Act 2003 please visit www.acma.gov.au




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