They’re usually filled with feature stories (or short blurbs that lead to longer articles online) and generally don’t have a “hard sell” call to action, although selling or customer retention is usually the ultimate goal.
Step 1. Get Started with Deploying a Newsletter
Let’s get started with deploying a customer newsletter! Continue to engage and educate your customers to build brand advocates.
1. Create an editorial calendar
- You will want to have consistency when sending your newsletter. Having a set date for when your newsletter will be sent as well as a few bullet points of what to include and the person responsible will help make the creation process all the easier.
- If you have already sent a few messages take a look at your Marketing Calendar. This can be found under Automation > Marketing Calendar within the Act-On dashboard.
2. Identify the types content you want to use
Everyone is busy these days, and the best way to make sure your newsletter gets read is to make it as relevant as possible using dynamic content. It can include customized content like:
- Tech support and troubleshooting for recently purchased products
- Lifestyle features focused on the products owned. For a mobile phone, the recipient would get an article about extending battery life. The owner of an eBook reader would receive an article about new bestsellers available for download.
- A targeted up-sell and cross-sell promotion. For example, “Here’s why your smart phone needs a protective case,” and, “Your universal remote control should really have a rechargeable battery.”
- Finally, there would be a geographically relevant feature. Readers in colder regions got an article about space heater safety tips. Readers in sunny climates saw information about portable air conditioners.
3. Design the look & layout of your newsletter
- Use the message composer to build the structure of your layout and to tweak some CSS to create a newsletter that matches your branding.
Alternatively, you can create a newsletter using the RSS feed from your website or blog. This will be a bit of a different setup, so you should check out the RSS to Email article to learn more.
4. Test and optimize your newsletter
Step 2. Increase Newsletter Engagements
Take your newsletters to the next level! Send over time or in the recipient’s time zone to quickly optimize engagement rates.
1. Add the Time Zone info to the list
Time Zone Send allows you to send your message over a 24 hour time period that hits your contacts inbox at a set time based on their location.
If you want your message delivered to your recipients inbox at 1:30 PM you can use Time Zone Send to drip your emails out over a 24 hour period. When your recipients time zone comes into focus, your message will launch to that set of contacts at 1:30.
To use Time Zone Send:
- If your contact list(s) don't have time zone information in them, then you will need to add them. The correct format is the *TZ column below. If you already have a Time zone column in your list, skip ahead.
- Select the list you would like to add time zone information to and click the down-arrow > Maintenance > Change List Columns.
- Add a new column called Time Zone (or whatever else you would like).
- Click the down-arrow on your list > Maintenance > Identify List Columns.
- Make sure your Contacts Time zone has been mapped to your Time zone column.
2. Create a list maintenance program
- Click the down-arrow on your list and choose Maintenance > Setup Maintenance Program.
- Click Add Step > Change Field Value
- Specify the field and select Set Value to Contact Timezone
After starting, the maintenance program will look at phone numbers, zip codes, and addresses to set the time zone when possible. If a particular send has recipients in all time zones, the (time zone) launch can take up to 24 hours to complete. Because of this, once you schedule a time zone launch, it will figure out when emails need to start sending, and then show up in the Sent Message Listing. If a recipient does not have a time zone associated with it or the time zone value is improperly formatted, then the email is sent using the account’s time zone.
3. Send your newsletter!
Once you have chose how you are sending your message, click Submit Launch Request.
If you need to cancel a Launch Request, navigate to the message and click the drop down box for this message and select Stop Launch.
Step 3. Gauge Your Newsletter Success
The Sent Message report provides the statistics of how both individual emails and campaigns are performing. Using this data you are able to make tweaks to content and delivery to ensure your messages are optimized and being seen at the right time.
- Click Outbound > Sent.
- Hover over any of the sent messages, click the down-arrow > Report.
- You will see the unique counts of recipients who have been sent the email, who did not open the email, who opened the email, and who clicked through the links within the email.
- In addition, you can see the unique counts of bounced emails, spam complaints, and opt-outs.