Email newsletters: the secret to knowing your customers

Email newsletters: the secret to knowing your customers
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for, a company that offers online printing for business cards, catalogs, posters, brochures, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.

Email newsletters are a useful sales tool, but are highly underutilised as a way of creating conversations. Sending out a regular newsletter is a wonderful way to send information to customers, but communication is a two way street.

Collecting information at sign up isn’t the only way to obtain valuable information from customers; there are several other methods to glean wonderful customer insights from newsletters.

Imagine Every Newsletter is a Test

Sending the same newsletter to the entire contact list can cause valuable learning opportunities to be missed.

Segregating two groups of recipients and sending out slightly differing versions of the newsletter to each group is an excellent method for reading the differences in reception. This can assist in determining the most effective sales techniques to employ in future email newsletters.

Each newsletter offers an opportunity to test varying subject lines, titles, and images. Additionally, segregating customers from non-customers is a great way to determine which group possesses a higher read rate.

However, don’t change too many things between different newsletters. Doing so may make it difficult to determine what changes led to a higher read rate.

Never forget to take the time to determine what days and times of the week have higher read rates. (This might be one of the first tests to undertake.) In most cases, email newsletters sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays have the highest read rates, but this might be different depending on the types of customers served by a business.

This is why it is necessary to test sending newsletters on various days of the week to determine what might work best.

Always Allow Replies

Conversation is a two-way street. Preventing customers from replying to email newsletters is a mistake.

Sending responses to a no-reply or auto-response mailbox only results in valuable customer input falling on a deaf ear. Instead, encourage replies! Make it easy for customers to respond.

What if customers are experiencing issues viewing email? What if they have an awesome suggestion for improvement? What if they want to thank you for your service? Allowing newsletter recipients to respond to newsletters via email is a smart marketing decision.

Track Newsletter Links with Unique URLs

Another method for determining the effectiveness of newsletters is by tracking URLs. Generating unique URLs will make life easier for marketers to measure the number of visitors generated from a newsletter. If a unique URL isn’t included, all visitors will show up as direct visitors.

A common technique is to use Google Analytics to create custom URLs. When clicked, your site tracks the link and attributes the click to the email campaign. This gives you detailed information about how many clicks the newsletter received and can even track through to a sale.

Avoid attempting to track at an individual level. In some areas, this practice is considered illegal and a violation of privacy unless you included a notice when they initially signed up.

Start a Conversation with Surveys

Email newsletters are an excellent method for sending out surveys. While there may be surveys located on the company website, surveys in newsletters ensure that relevant questions reach customers and potential customers. Surveys are great conversation starters and can enlighten marketers on customer desires and needs.

Newsletters aren’t just about sending information. Email newsletters provide the opportunity for dialogue and enable marketers to know customers better, so take advantage of the tips above to make your marketing emails the best they can be.

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