Most companies send both types of emails because they serve distinct functions. Mass emails are sent on a schedule of the marketer’s own making, either to every email address on your mailing list or subscriber list, or you can send email to only a targeted segment. The message itself might be an email newsletter or promotion. Transactional emails, on the other hand, are triggered by a customer action (say, a password reset or abandoned cart). Whether it’s the customer or the marketer prompting the send, the usefulness of your emailing software hinges on successful delivery.
The pervasive nature of email is clear. 91% of Americans use email every day, so there is a 91% chance that your email will be seen in some form. Social media marketing does not provide that rate of exposure to a target market. Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media according to McKinsey & Company. Since the end goal is to convert into sales, this number is meaningful.
Mark Sallows is a writer for Fit Small Business specializing in sales and marketing topics. Before helping other small business owners, Mark was co-founder and CEO of a successful digital publishing start-up called Turtl. Mark has also served as a non-executive director in several early stage media, marketing, and tech businesses. Before this he was an early stage venture capital investor for a global investment business. Mark lives in New Forest, a scenic area in Southern England.
According to research from Clutch, newsletters are the most popular type of email, with 83 percent of companies sending them. These emails are typically sent on a consistent schedule (weekday mornings tend to be the most popular with brands) and will often contain either content from the company blog or website, links curated from other sources, or both. A newsletter might also contain upcoming events or webinars, news from your company, or other updates. Whether you create or curate your newsletter content, it should first and foremost be relevant and valuable to your audience.
After re-launching our website, we saw bounce rate decrease and conversions increase; but we continued to iterate through homepage variations, optimizing calls to action and messaging even further to narrow to our target customer. Now, the website is the top generator of leads for our sales team, and has drastically reduced our marketing costs to acquire a customer.
Do you maintain a business blog for your company? Are you a magazine or media outlet? No matter which of these categories you fall into, many companies choose to send a roundup of stories or articles published weekly or monthly. And if you truly want people to read these email roundups, it's critical that you share them in a visually appealing way.
As popular as newsletters are, they have a drawback. When you send multiple links or blurbs in an email, you weaken your main call-to-action. Your subscriber may click on the first link or two in your email but may not come back to the others, or they may skim your email and move on. So, if your main goal is to drive a specific action – sign up for this webinar, buy this product, read my latest blog post – you may be better off with a standalone email. These emails are dedicated to just one topic and put the call to action front and center. Your readers’ attention won't be diverted, so they’re more likely to take the action you want them to.
Your About Us page. As marketer Bob Frady writes, “Customers don’t sign up for email, they sign up for your brand.” Email is merely a mechanism—your brand and offers are the backbone of your value proposition and a subscriber’s incentive to give you their email. If your About Us page is doing its job selling your company’s vision, it’s a great place to encourage customers to subscribe.
Design: With newsletters, the layout becomes a much more complicated task than it is with dedicated email sends. You’ll have to spend some time deciding on the right placement of images and text, alignment and prioritization of information. Thankfully, there are a bunch of websites out there to help you with these efforts. MailChimp, for instance, offers a package of 36 basic, flexible templates you can use to get started.