What a newsletter is, how it works and how it can increase your online shop’s sales

We are going to describe a situation to see if it rings a bell.

You wake up, you turn off your mobile phone’s alarm and you go to have a shower. While you have breakfast, you open up your inbox to have a look at your new emails.

Suddenly, you read something that catches your attention. It’s an email from one of your favorite shops saying that the new model of the camera (or whatever product fits your case) that you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

You click it, read the analysis, and decide that you can’t wait any longer. You are buying that camera.

This email is the so-called “newsletter” and it is one of the most important elements within an email marketing strategy.

Do you want to know why these emails have so much selling power and how you can use them for your shop?

If so, keep reading because today at Doofinder we are going to show you how to boost your sales thanks to newsletters.

Let´s go.

What’s a newsletter?

A newsletter is an email sent to our subscribers informing them about the news related to the brand. They are normally sent on a regular basis.

What do you have to extract from that definition?

Basically, it is an informative email that we send to our subscriber list. We want to highlight that aspect because it is important not to confuse them with other types of emails that we can also send.

Differences between a newsletter, mailing, and email marketing

These three concepts are often used as if they were the same thing. However, although they are all related, they cannot be used as synonyms.

  • Mailing: it is about a massive sending of promotional information to databases that are not from the brand.
  • Email marketing: it is a strategy that tries to connect to the audience through email. 

So?

Email marketing is the term we use to refer to communication with clients via emails. And, within this strategy, we can find different types of emails, such as mailing and newsletters.

Why is it so important to send emails to our clients?

Although this strategy has been “buried” more than once, the truth is that not only is it not dead, but it’s more alive than ever.

Let’s have a look at its advantages.

  • Trust: one of the biggest advantages of this communication channel. Email is more personal, it is the modern version of traditional letters. Besides, as we are going to see in the next point, if you add a lot of value, it improves your brand image.
  • Added value: an inbound marketing strategy is based on this. Our content has to attract visitors and make them become clients. A good way to send all that information is through email.
  • Reduced cost: it doesn’t imply big costs. Actually, until you have a large number of subscribers, you can work with the free versions of some tools.
  • Loyalty: you can use email to send special or VIP content to your clients.
  • Web traffic: right from the newsletter you can send your subscribers to your content or products. 
  • Return on Investment (ROI): we can tell you beforehand that this number will surprise you. According to a Direct Marketing Association (DMA) study, the ROI is 122%, four times higher than with any other channel.
  • Stock rotation: you can send information about the least known products or the most difficult ones to sell. 
  • Segmentation: email marketing tools can automatically segment your database depending on the users’ interactions with emails. This will also help to make your campaigns more effective.
  • Selling: you can send specific sales emails to promote new products. But be careful -- this doesn’t mean that all of our emails have to be commercial. That wouldn’t work at all.

After having seen all these advantages, we think that you must have it pretty clear that sending a newsletter to your subscriber list is more than necessary.

It’s time to put it all into practice.

How a newsletter works: what do you need?

This is easy. To start sending newsletter to your subscribers, you need three things:

  • A strategy
  • A list of subscribers and clients
  • An email marketing tool

Let’s take them one by one.

1. The strategy

Here is where 99% of shops fail. People subscribe to a blog’s newsletter (also known as subscribing to the blog), and the shop doesn’t do anything more than sends discounts, offers, and promotions.

The most likely scenario is that after the second newsletter, the open rate starts to decrease.

As we told you before, it is all about the value, and for that, you need to create interesting and practical content focused at your buyer persona. 

With that clear idea in mind, you have to define:

  • Which content will be publicly published in the blog and which will you reserve for the list.
  • How often and at what time you’ll send the emails.
  • The goal of each email.

We are not going to go deeper into this topic because in this post about email marketing everything is already explained in depth.

2. Subscriber list

If you don’t have people to send emails to, there’s nothing you can do. Here you have some ideas for you to start “fattening” up your list.

  • Create a lead magnet: literally, a “magnet for leads”. This magnet can be an ebook, a course, a template, etc. that you give to your readers for free in exchange for their email addresses. 
  • Forms: a lot of e-commerce shops add these forms in the weirdest places. They always have to be visible spots. For example, in the home page, the sidebar, within your posts, in the 404 error page,...
  • Pop-ups: they are the emerging windows that appear after you’ve spent a few seconds on the website. They have an incredible conversion power, but they can also be very annoying. Deactivate them in the mobile version because Google could punish you and jeopardize your SEO positioning.  

If you don’t have a list yet, that is the first thing you need to do. A subscriber is a potential client with whom you have a direct channel of communication.

That is exactly why email marketing has such a high ROI.

3. Email marketing tools

There is a ton of software available for sending your newsletters. Here we mention some of the most well known ones.

  • Mailchimp: this is the benchmark in this sector.  It offers a free, but very limited version.
  • MailRelay: the free version lets you have 15,000 subscribers and create an autoresponder message system. A good option to start off with.
  • Active Campaign: it is really useful because of its automation system with which you can auto-segment your list.  It has a 15-day trial version.

Another important function that you must take into account when choosing an email marketing tool is the one that allows you to automate the emails to recover abandoned carts.

How to sell more in your e-commerce with your newsletter.

You have everything already. Your list is growing day by day and every two weeks you send your newsletter so that subscribers are updated with what’s going on in your shop.

Perfect.

Now you just need to improve it so that it also helps you increase your sales.

  • Segmentation: one of the keys. Sort your subscribers by interest and personalize the emails. This will keep your subcribers’ interest high because you will only send them information they care about.
  • Sales funnel: combining a sales funnel with an autorespond message is one of the best ways to improve conversion when selling. For example, it is always good to tell your shop’s story and to talk about who is behind it in the first few emails. This will help you build trust with them.
  • Foster loyalty: make being subscribed to your newsletter worth it (and so that they want to buy your products again). Send all kinds of special content with tricks about your products. For example, if you sell an iPhone, you can send tutorials with the apps or the best accessories that you also sell ;). 
  • Discounts: yes, you can send discounts and offers -- just don’t make all your newsletters only about that. They are a good strategy to foster clients’ loyalty when they have already bought something.
  • Subject: check the number of characters so that the subject doesn’t get cut off. It has to be direct and catch the reader’s attention. Remember that if you don’t make them click on it, they will never read what’s inside.
  • Responsive design: check how your emails are displayed on mobile phones. Three lines are well read on a computer, but they are too much on a small screen. Check the font readability too.

The secret is finding the right combination of how much commercial information you add compared to the content that actually adds value. 

So you get an idea, it is usually said that the balance should be 80/20: 80% of quality valuable content and 20% of promotional emails.

Do you already have your newsletter ready to be sent?

A good email can become your best weapon to increase your sales and foster loyalty. Besides, you have one great advantage...

The large majority of online stores only send out commercial information. So, this is the perfect time to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

Don’t let that advantage go to waste!