I hear regularly that I should be using email as a marketing tool, however I have to say I am not a huge fan of email so maybe this is the reason I have taken a long while to get onto doing our newsletter. I am game for any initiative that gets me more hits/sales so I forced myself to do our second ever newsletter.
Recently we have been suffering from a downturn in hits mainly due to Google messing around with their algorythms, as in my previous post about it. I have another post coming that will also venture on to this subject, which I will link to when done. The short story is that with the recent hot weather and poor rankings, hits have been low and sales have been slow. So in this situation what do you do? Well apart from sitting around moaning about the panda updates you have to try new things. We are regular users of Twitter and Facebook and we couldn’t use these to see any short term improvement as we were already running two competitions so we resorted to a newsletter and some extra Google Adwords. The Adwords is good as it is instant, it puts you back up top in front of everyone, but if you are not careful it can get expensive especially if you do not monitor the conversion rate.
The newsletters’ benefit is that we already have a database of subscribers that we can email, so as we were coming up to the Easter break I thought it the perfect opportunity to remind our previous customers that there was two long weekends together…perfect for DIY! After creating a newsletter using Campaign Monitor I sent it out to our database and we had a significant amount of people opening the email and going to our website from the email. 22.72% of our database opened the email, half of those re-opened the email a second time and 20.68% of those clicked on a link, so far no one has made a purchase using our discount code. When you analyse these figures you can see that whilst the current sales are zero and therefore there is no return on the investment of the cost of the newsletter, it shows that just under a quarter of people are interested enough to open the email and therefore be marketed to. I see the next process as doing another newsletter in a few weeks and doing a few test variations to see if the opens can be improved and the conversion rate increased. Though the analytics from Campaign Monitor are great they seem to have coincided with a marked increase in hits and sales on the website so it may be that some people are also going to the website after reading the email and not clicking on the links in the email.
So do email newsletters work? This post shows you that although we haven’t had a massive return on our investment, we have had a lot of people look at our email then our website and this is long-game marketing. So I believe email can make a difference to your overall marketing campaigns and with some fine tuning could be a significant weapon in your arsenal.