This morning I should be writing a media release for The Butterfly Temple and a media strategy for a client, but all I can see are 64.3% and 45.8% swimming before my eyes (a few days later it was 77.1% and 49.3%). What’s to be so excited about?

Open rates. In 24 hours. These stats are Mailchimp’s little gems telling me that people are opening, reading and clicking on our enewsletters.

The lovely IT blokes I share my office with don’t believe me. “That’s unheard of?, they tell me. Well my computer doesn’t lie.

Way above industry open rates

As an industry rule of thumb, if we’re getting a 30% open rate we’re doing well, if it’s at 50% that catapults us into a happy dance with jiving feet and glittering flares. As for 64.3%, we want to kiss the screen. And extend the chocolate rations for the day.

I can see that with these levels of engagement – strong click-through rates and repeated opens – and the great feedback emails and tweets we get, how important it is to continually build relationships and stay in contact.
But it’s contact with quality.
Offering something of value.
No blasting with advertisements.

Original content, that’s well written and gives people a useful takeaway.
So what makes a great enewsletter? One that people actually open?

The enewsletter content should have not more than 30% sell, otherwise it reads like an advertisement. Content is king
It must have quality, original ‘value-added’ content that encourages recipients to read the articles and – importantly – to share them. It keeps your project in constant communication with potential customers and makes you top of mind – it reminds customers about your business.

Great design that’s easy to scan and navigate. Who doesn’t like being absorbed in a beautiful looking glossy magazine? Well, an enewsletter is like that.

From a sales perspective – for the majority of businesses – an enewsletter is the strongest online sales tool. Much more so than social media.

Many people are surprised to hear this. Why?

An e-newsletter gives your business the best chance for immediate conversion of interest to sales (or giveaways or whatever you’re promoting), as well as a strong vehicle to co-promote with other organisations and businesses – and to access their customers.

But we do live in an information saturated world and most people have inbox overwhelm. So if you want your enewsletter to do its Sunday best as a sales tool, make sure it’s good.

An enewsletter needs

• A good editorial plan that supports your overall promotional strategy
• Clarity about your brand and its values
• Regularity so people expect to hear from you and read it
• An authoritative, non-waffling and unique voice
• Well-written, spell-checked copy
• A clean list. Repeat – clean list. With up to date contacts. This will dramatically impact the accuracy of your analytics.
• Analytics that give you insight to campaign progress and potential sales as well as showing you who are the hot targets for your business (remember the 80/20 rule)
• A strong Call to Action so readers know what to do after they have read/scanned or glanced at your enewsletter
• A ‘forward to a friend’ mechanism
• Social sharing buttons, so it becomes content for your social media channels

Soon we’ll be outlining how you can create a great enewsletter editorial plan. What types of stories work and how to navigate through the seemingly endless possibilities to find a unique and creative voice – one that’s yours!

I’m in an interesting position of being a ghost writer for some businesses. I write from the business owner’s point of view, and often these are quite personal articles and opinion pieces. These articles have brought a lot of sales (of high end products) to these business and build customer relationships.

Ghosts can’t divulge their identity, unfortunately, and whilst I really wish I could show examples of my work, I cant’s. BUT I’m so happy to share HOW I do this.. stay tuned.

If you need some help with editorial planning for your enewsletter strategy or a lively writer whose pencil case is over-brimming with ideas, work with us. This simple tool will build your business with minimal cost and strong branding.

Now back to a media release for The Butterfly Temple and a media strategy for a client. Tea’s now cold in my favourite Mullum café but my fingers are not!

Photo credit: PhotKing ♛ Foter CC