How do I advertise my company newsletter

Gaining newsletter subscribers: This is how you can reach more customers by email

The larger the mailing list, the greater the chances of success for email marketing. But how do you get your customers to subscribe to the newsletter? 5 tips from the marketing expert.

Since the General Data Protection Regulation came into force at the end of May, e-mail marketing has been on the floor in many companies: Those who, for fear of high fines, asked their customers to give their consent for the newsletter again, are struggling with dramatically reduced mailing lists today .

Does your company only have a few dozen people on your recipient list? You can change that. "But please not by buying email addresses," says email marketing expert Nico Zorn. "This not only threatens legal problems, it doesn't make sense either: After all, you want your newsletter to reach real prospects and not just anyone who might have wanted to win a BMW and therefore took part in a competition."

Those who use the following strategies will soon reach a significantly larger group of potential customers with their newsletter.

1. Make your newsletter more visible.

"Many people think of their own website first when it comes to attracting new newsletter subscribers," says Nico Zorn. An important lever here, the expert advises, is that the newsletter is so hidden on many company websites that interested parties hardly notice it: maybe tiny in the footer navigation or even as a sub-item on the "About us" - Page.

"Put the registration form prominently on the start page, place it in the sidebar or refer to your newsletter directly under articles in the company blog," advises Zorn. So-called layovers, which open over the page content, are also an option - but you should make sure that they do not keep popping up and annoying visitors.

Just as important as the placement is the design of the note: Link or button? What size, what color? And what is the phrase used to ask users to subscribe to the newsletter? You can find out what you need to know about effective calls to action in our article: “Call-To-Action: How to get your customers to click, order, buy”.

2. Make your newsletter attractive to customers.

What advantages do your customers have by subscribing to your newsletter? You should be able to answer this question - and emphasize the answer clearly, advises Zorn: "Advantage communication, that is the keyword."

Before the GDPR came into force, it was also a popular method to make the newsletter appealing to customers with a gift: In B2C, companies lured them with vouchers or discount codes. In B2B, interested parties were given access to free studies, e-books or checklists if they subscribed to the newsletter.

This coupling is now regarded as a legal gray area: vouchers for new customers are less problematic because the companies "pay" for the data with discounts. However, there is great legal uncertainty with regard to free downloads, so-called "freebies". If you have to register for a newsletter (and thus give out your email address) in order to receive a download, consent is not voluntary, argue data protectionists (more about the ban on coupling in our article on the declaration of consent under GDPR). "If you talk to three lawyers about this topic, you get three opinions," says Zorn. He therefore advises restraint - at least until the courts have clarified this issue.

In any case, Zorn does not consider this type of address collection to be very promising: "If users only sign up for the newsletter because they want to download the whitepaper, they'll probably unsubscribe quickly." Instead, one should consider what real added value the newsletter offers could bring the user. "For example, you could offer an e-book to download for free and then promise: 'We will inform you in our newsletter when there is an updated version of the e-book'."

3. Focus on the DOI process.

If you subscribe to a newsletter, you will first receive an email and must click on a link to confirm that you really want to receive the newsletter. This is to ensure that the owner of the email address has signed up for the newsletter himself. In e-mail marketing, this is referred to as double opt-in (DOI), meaning a double declaration of consent.

But by no means everyone who wants to subscribe to a newsletter clicks on the confirmation link, as Zorn explains: “The proportion of those who do not respond to the DOI mail fluctuates a lot. In my experience, it is between five and 60 percent. ”However, if the link is not clicked, the company is not allowed to send a newsletter to the address.

Zorn therefore recommends checking the drop-out rate. If it is noticeably high, the following should be checked:

  • Does the DOI mail end up in spam?
  • Does the subject immediately make it clear that the recipient has to take action?
  • Is the e-mail formulated in an understandable way?
  • Does the confirmation link immediately catch your eye?

You can find detailed tips for optimization in our article on the subject of "Optimizing the double opt-in procedure".

4. Make login easy.

Nobody feels like clicking through endless pop-up dialogs or reading long paragraphs of small print in order to subscribe to a newsletter. You should therefore design your login page according to the KISS principle (keep it simple and smart) and make sure that the form can also be called up and sent via mobile devices without any problems.

Also, do not ask for too much data when registering - this will be a deterrent. “The only mandatory information in the registration form is the e-mail address,” recalls Zorn; because the principle of data economy applies: companies are only allowed to request the data that is necessary to provide the service. All other data can be provided voluntarily (or not) by the customer.

5. Use all contact points.

The more people find out about your newsletter, the higher the chance that you will generate new subscribers. “Ask yourself: Where do I have contact with my customers? And how can I communicate the newsletter at these touchpoints? ”Advises Nico Zorn.

In online communication:

Whether surveys, competitions or order processes: Whenever customers give their e-mail address online, you should ask whether they are interested in your newsletter. Important: Consent must always be requested separately.

Via social media:

Nico Zorn recommends referring to the company's own newsletter on your own social media presence, for example on Facebook or Twitter. And not just once: "You can post the link to your newsletter registration page every few weeks or months."

For field service appointments:

Your salespeople can also help to attract new subscribers to your newsletter, says Nico Zorn: “Provide your sales force with a form that interested parties can sign. It should also explain the advantages of the newsletter. "

Regardless of whether it is a trade fair, congress or a customer appointment: Afterwards, the employees return the signed forms and enter the e-mail addresses directly into the distribution list. Important: The forms must be formulated in a legally secure manner and kept for as long as the recipient has subscribed to the newsletter.

On the phone:

The procedure for field service appointments can also be transferred to customer service over the phone, says Zorn: "Ask your customers on the phone:‘ May we send you our newsletter? ’"

Important: In this case, do not simply enter the addresses in the distribution list, but first send the customer a so-called double opt-in email. This is the only way to prove later that they agreed to the receipt. Further information on the subject of double opt-in can be found here.

For deliveries:

If you send your customers goods by post, you can enclose flyers with the packages that refer to the newsletter. "That works particularly well if you promise a voucher or discount code in the first newsletter," says Zorn.

In printed mailings and brochures:

A reference to the newsletter should also be included in printed advertising material such as mailings and brochures. It can make sense to work with QR codes here: If they are photographed with the mobile phone, they redirect the user directly to the newsletter registration page. In addition, a memorable Internet address such as firmenname.de/newsletter should always be given.

In the shop:

Whether hairdresser, café or boutique: Anyone who has their own shop can also refer to their own newsletter there. For example, signs with a QR code are conceivable (works particularly well in waiting areas and in connection with a discount promise!). You can also simply add a list to the checkout in which customers can enter their email address if they are interested. Then don't send a newsletter straight away, but first confirm your consent with a click (see above).

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Our expert

Nico Zorn is co-founder and partner of the management consultancy Saphiron GmbH. Zorn has been active in the digital economy since 1999 and focuses on the topics of email marketing and CRM. He is also a speaker at congresses, seminar leader and lecturer for online marketing topics.