Newsletters by email are a modern continuation of the newsletters by post. These would get sent out to existing customers and would be customized only by adding the name of the customer on the cover letter. The design would vary according to what company was doing the promotion.
Give the customers what he/she wants
Mail order companies would usually send out product information to better acquaint the customer with what they had on offer. This would normally arrive in the shape of a catalogue of the goods offered. These days, most of this information is available online which means there is less need for glossy catalogues with attractively lit pictures of products and clothes. Instead, these pictures go online in a web shop that is ideally easily searchable for the customer, enabling him or her to immediately zone in on what he or she wants. This is good in that it enables the customer to immediately find and check out the required item. The downside is that the customer is no longer exposed to the entire range of products that your company offers. In the old days, flipping through the catalogue would give customers the opportunity to identify wants and needs they may not previously have thought of.
Therefore, it is important for web shop newsletters to try and incorporate the idea of increased exposure in their emails. Once a customer has signed up to a site, bought an item and chosen to subscribe to the newsletter the web shop needs to customize the offers it sends the customer for best possible results. A customer will not want random items marketed to him – if he bought a lawnmower, he is probably not interested in a silk dress. If you have a large range of products it is important that you tailor your offers. Your customer has bought a lawnmower – perhaps he is interested in other gardening tools? Alert him to these offers. A good example is Amazon, that regularly updates customers about for example book releases that the customer might like based on what they have previously bought from the book store. This has the added benefit of keeping the customer up to date while simultaneously increasing sales.
Less is more
So much for structuring your offer, but what about the design? Simple is always better. An overcomplicated HTML-coded email with lots of pictures, links and sidebars will only serve to confuse the customer. The best way of grabbing someone’s attention is to employ the “less is more” approach. Keep the background nice and plain, use a minimum of pictures (most email clients will block them automatically anyway). Use a nice readable web font like Verdana or Arial. Send only a few offers, but make them stand out. Your lawnmower-buyer is much more likely to respond positively to an email that lists a small number of high quality products that may be on sale than an email that lists 2000 items. At the same time, an email that simply states “click here to find more gardening tools” is also not going to get a lot of attention. Do the work for the customer – identify what they want and then make it easy for them to get to the desired item with one click. That will net you sales.