By Evan Varsamis, founder/CEO at Gadget Flow.
When it comes to newsletters, it's always been tricky to live up to your subscribers' needs. It's a form of online marketing that still requires a lot of A/B testing to get maximum results and, for that reason, can be daunting. You can't stick to a single design or format and expect your click-through rates to increase over time. While newsletters have always been in demand for highly popular brands and businesses, for crowdfunding campaigns, creating a subscriber list even before you launch has gained popularity. Doing so can benefit your campaign and grab your potential backers' attention prior to release.
At Gadget Flow, we focus on working on our newsletters as they give us a significant amount of traffic. But the key to a great newsletter lies in A/B testing. We've been A/B testing design and message with our newsletters ever since the beginning. What interests your subscribers most? Based on those results, you should work on developing your newsletters and aim for the click-through rate you desire. During the first phase of your pre-launch crowdfunding promotion, being gathering newsletter subscribers. The next phase is about leveraging your userbase and making the most of it during (and even after) your crowdfunding campaign is over.
Create a Drip Campaign
First, create a newsletter calendar within your team. It should focus on the types of newsletters you're going to send. This could be anything from announcements, giveaways and deals to industry-specific news covered on your blog. Find a proper balance of topics and make sure you're not spamming your subscribers with too many emails. One important difference between popular brands and crowdfunding campaigns here is the fact that your newsletter is going to focus entirely on a single product or project that needs to be in their inbox during a specific time period. That said, examine when you send out each newsletter. You can't send a newsletter every day and expect a high click-through ratio from your subscribers. Coming from a single product brand, this might look too spammy. Worst case scenario, it lands in their spam folder. Be particular with the frequency. Sending one or two newsletters in two weeks should work well to begin with. Educate and nurture your subscribers so by the time you launch your project, they are convinced that they actually need it and they know how it works.
Choose a Proper Service
With many services available, it often becomes difficult to choose the right newsletter service for your campaign. MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are great options for beginners. These services provide guided instructions on how to optimize your newsletter for maximum exposure, which makes the job easier for you. Start testing your segregation of subscriber lists from the beginning as well. This will enable you to target the right audience based on the information you provide.
Identify an Ideal Call to Action
You get your clicks from call to action tabs in a newsletter. Determine innovative ways to create interesting CTAs while keeping them in line with your campaign tone. You need not stick to the traditional "click now" and "pre-order now." Instead, think outside the box.
Optimize Deliverability and Inbox Placement
There are many services that you can use in order to increase your inbox placement rates. I recommend getting a dedicated IP and making sure that you've nailed the authentication with SPF, DKIM and DMARC records before sending you your first email.
Personalize Your Approach
Brands are now taking a personalized email approach to increase engagement. Doing so allows your subscriber to connect with your topic from the beginning. Whether you're introducing your campaign or just giving away a sample, how you begin your email draws their attention to the content inside. With all these tactics, you can build on a consistent email marketing strategy and create a loyal group of subscribers who, if attended well, will be your most active audience in the long run. Make sure you utilize the power of emails because, undoubtedly, they are more powerful than any other online marketing approach.
Evan Varsamis is an entrepreneur, founder/CEO at Gadget Flow, investor and marketing advisor at Qrator Ltd.