It serves as a reminder of happy memories and puts people back in a ‘happy’ state of mind. It also shows that you care about them enough to keep them informed and up to date and we all love to take holidays…
This blog post is a contribution from Dan Oshinsky, Director of Newsletters at BuzzFeed and expert email marketer. Dan and his team manage dozens of email newsletters and series each day around the world and have millions of thriving, actively engaged subscribers.
So, what is email for?
In my four years running the newsletter team at BuzzFeed, we’ve launched more than 50 different newsletters and sent nearly 500 million emails. We’ve tried and tested every format we can think of. We’ve used dozens of different templates. We’ve launched newsletters that worked, and many that just didn’t. (We still miss you, “An Occasional Bunny” newsletter.) The point is: We’ve spent a LOT of time thinking about email, and what it should actually be used for. And we’ve gotten it down to three big things:
1. Email is for distribution
It’s one of the best distribution channels that exists today. All these years later, email is still an incredible 1-to-1 channel, a direct line into people’s inboxes — and when you think about where we open email, that means it’s a direct line into every part of our lives. You check email in bed when you wake up, and at work, and in front of the TV at night. When someone subscribes to your email list, they’re letting you into their inbox, and that’s a space reserved for family, friends, and maybe a handful of trusted newsletters or brands. Those subscribers are asking for your best ideas and your best content, and it’s on all of us to reward that trust by sending great emails every time.
2. Email is for action
There may not be a better social tool for getting people to actually do something. Whether you’re trying to get people to buy a product, to join a cause, or — like my team at BuzzFeed — asking someone to read, view, or share a piece of content, email is an incredible way to get people to act.
3. Email is for unique voices
It’s a place where you — the writer, the marketer, the brand — can actually have a relationship with someone else. I’ll share a secret with you: When we first started sending newsletters at BuzzFeed, each new product had a very specific recipient in mind. Even when we were sending an email to tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers, we wrote the newsletter with that single person in mind, because we wanted every email to have the personality of an email you’d get from a friend. And today, some of our fastest growing newsletters are ones that come from a specific BuzzFeed personality — not the brand at large.
So what’s email for? That part’s easy: Distribution, action, and to broadcast a unique voice.
How do we know it works?
The stats are fully there to back this up. We see this not only in our yearly benchmark reports on all email sandiest every year but we also see the results of increases in stats in the hotel websites in direct correlation with the email send out days and several days there after.
Some Key areas to adhere to:
1. Keep emails brief
2. Provide click throughs to your website for more detail
3. Keep image sizes small - 50% of your audience will be on mobile
4. Use a responsive email template
5. Encourage and continually grow your email database, keep your lists up to date
6. Segment your lists, keep your email more niche focused
7. Always test your emails internally or with your agency to be sure
8. Spend time on your subject line - it matters.
Email continues to be one of the most powerful tools for any publisher or marketer.
Email is such a powerful tool — and if you’re using it as a core piece of your business, it means you’re already doing something right.
If not, give us a call to help you out.