How to Build an Email Newsletter with Real ROI

If you’re like many business owners (especially if you’re a B2B service provider), a lot of your business comes through referrals from past clients and repeat business. One of the easiest ways to encourage referrals and repeat business is with an email newsletter.

Why Have an Email Newsletter?

An email newsletter lets you get your message out to people who are already listening. By sending one out, you’ll be able to:

  • Connect and build trust with the same people who recommend you to their friends and share positive reviews about your business.
  • Stay involved in the community. Showcase the causes you care about and how you’re helping.
  • Share company news. When you update your website or post on your company blog, a newsletter is a great way to share the news and help drive visitors to your website.
  • Strengthen partnerships. Newsletters allow you to keep in touch with your strategic partners and industry connections. If you have a new service to announce, let your partners know about it and if an industry colleague has a big announcement to share, have them break the news in your newsletter.

Email newsletters are often more effective than offline marketing campaigns.

Did you know the average ROI for an email newsletter is about $50 for every $1 spent? Above all else, email newsletters are profitable.

1. Start with a Good Email List

Only send your email newsletters to people who actually want to read them! Here are a few tips for building an email newsletter list:

  • Asking current customers if they’d like to receive your email newsletter as they come into your office or store
  • Allowing customers visiting your website to sign up for your e-newsletters
  • Placing an email signup form on your website
  • Adding newsletter signups as a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of blog posts or writing whitepapers or eBooks and offering them as free downloads to anyone who signs up for your newsletter.

Remember that the larger your signup list grows, the more money it will cost you. When someone signs up for your newsletter, give them a chance to opt out.

2. Choose the Right Email Newsletter Service

I always recommend MailChimp because it is easy to use, reports important stats and metrics, has a free tier that includes up to 2,000 subscribers, and offers great deliverability. Some e-newsletter services aren’t trusted by Google and other major mail providers, meaning your messages might end up marked as spam. While MailChimp doesn’t have this problem, be careful not to send spam. Just a few spam reports from newsletter subscribers can be enough to get your MailChimp account suspended or even canceled.

3. Create a Newsletter Template

By building a newsletter template, it’s easy for you (or a member of your team) to update content every month and send out a new newsletter in minutes! Here’s what your template should include:

  • Make links easy to see (bold, underline, or include them in buttons)
  • Include your company logo at the top and link back to your social media profiles
  • Feature a large button for your main call to action. Your CTA might be a link to read more about a new service, watch a new video you produced, or even schedule an appointment to take advantage of a limited time special offer.
  • The physical address of your business and its contact information (as required by the CAN-SPAM Act)

4. Strategize Your Content

Don’t send newsletters just to send them. Create a strategy for getting value out of your newsletters and highlight the following areas.

  • Upcoming events
  • Completed projects or exciting news from your clients
  • Blog posts or new services
  • Industry news or advice

5. Track Statistics

When sending email newsletters, track results to make sure you’re getting positive ROI. While sending an email every month might just keep your brand in the front of a customer’s mind and may not directly lead to a sale, you should know if readers are opening your emails and interacting with them These metrics, known as open rate and click through rate, are two important ones to monitor.

  • Open Rate – Aim for 20% or higher. This varies by industry, but research shows that most email newsletters will be opened by 20% of recipients. If you’re seeing numbers well below that, experiment with a more enticing subject line.
  • Link Clicks – The more clicks to your website you can generate, the better the chance you have of selling your product or service. You may have better results by using fewer links in each email (maybe even just one link), using underlined text links instead of clickable button links, or by enticing clicks with a special offer or coupon code. The bottom line is simple: you need to get newsletter readers into your sales funnel and that starts by getting them out of their inbox and into your website.
  • Conversion Rate – Use Google Analytics to track conversions (like contact form submissions) driven by your newsletter. Experiment and try different tactics to improve your conversion rate!

Dan DelMain is the founder of DelMain Analytics, a full-service Digital Marketing, Web Design and SEO agency in Portland, Oregon. DelMain Analytics helps small businesses get more leads and sales through their websites. Dan has over 10 years experience in digital marketing and loves sharing what he’s learned over the years. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn or follow DelMain Analytics on Facebook.