29 July 2015

How to Market to the Military: E-Newsletters

David Yoo, RallyPoint Civilian Careers.

Enewsletters Marketing to the Military

Since the advent of the internet, email marketing has been one of the most popular ways that businesses, organizations, and companies have shared their content and connect with prospective consumers.  Sending e-newsletters has remained an effective way to help maintain both customer engagement and business-consumer relationships with existing customers.

What are e-newsletters?

The Content Marketing Institute defines e-newsletters as the following: "A permission-based means of regular communication with current and future customers, usually distributed monthly or weekly. Available electronically, via text-based or HTML pages, they can include complete articles or brief descriptions with links to articles on your Website."

Business-to-business, business-to-consumers, as well as business-to-military organizations should look into the prospects of having their online newsletters and take advantage of some of the benefits that come with this email marketing campaign. 

Why use e-newsletters?

  • E-newsletters are a great way for you to direct some of your users' attention to other content you've created, such as webinars, ebooks, white papers, blogs, live events, podcasts, etc.
  • An e-newsletter will help you to stay in contact with your clients and customers. You can keep them informed of the newest updates regarding your business, new lines of product and services, new general developments, etc. 
  • It will help you improve your relationships. Your consistent content development and new offerings will make people turn to you first when they need something. After all, you are the subject matter expert. 
  • You can give valuable tools to your loyal customers. You can share tips that can help your customers become more successful in their own business ventures or in their own lives more generally. 
  • Customers may spread your content. If your content is valuable, your customers and clients may share your e-newsletters with others who may find the content useful, helpful, or just valuable.

Some ways to make your e-newsletter valuable

1. Create a catchy subject line

Email Marketing to the Military
Think about how much attention you pay to your emails when you open your inbox. You log in, and save as much time as possible by first skimming through who sent you the email and then the subject line. Emails from business or organization tend to receive less attention and are thus a second priority. You don't want to give your consumers any more reason to unsubscribe from your newsletter by creating what may seem as impersonal, spammy subject lines. Your subject line should speak to your customers and pique their interest. As Michele Linn from the Content Marketing Institute suggests, "tease [your customers], ask a question, but don’t give away the answer. Use 50 characters max." The trick is to interest your customers; make them want to click on your email. Don't drive them away with a generic "Hi Customer, look at current deals today!" 

2. Layout

There are two ways you want to think about when deciding on the layout of your e-newsletter. You want to think of your design and the content itself. 

It’s rather easy to send out mass online newsletters using a template from a generic software. It may be useful to consider investing some resources in a professionally designed newsletter to make your content stand out and to shape the customers' perception of your brand.  it. However, consider investing in a professional design. Your content will stand out and lend a hand to creating a positive opinion of your brand at the same time. A great design can also go a long way in helping create a more visually appealing newsletter that will make your customer want to read through all of it. 

In addition to design, your content is crucial. No one will read your newsletter, regardless of how flawlessly it is designed, unless they think it's worth reading. But don't put all your eggs in one basket; try saving some interesting bits and tease your customers to click on links that will direct them to the full story or development that is being written about on your website. That way, you can encourage users to revisit your site after reading through your newsletter. 

Check out an example newsletter below by Litmus, which combines design and information to entice its viewers' attention.

Design Enewsletters Marketing

3. Call to action 

Make your CTA loud and clear. "Click here to read the full story" or "check out more deals like this now" or "browse our new product line" are great ways to entice your viewers to explore your site. Your calls to action requires some experimentation to see what type of buzzwords make your content more likely to receive clicks and backlinks to your website. When done correctly, you will boost more traffic and, in the process, gain valuable feedback as to what you can do to help improve your next batch of newsletters. 

4. Archive your newsletters

Archive Enewsletters Marketing
As with most content marketing strategies, e-newsletters can be a powerful way to help improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Like keeping an archived video of your webinar allows anyone interested in your topic to find your presentation online, archiving your informative newsletters can be a great way to increase some more backlinks to your site. One way to integrate your newsletters with your actual website can be creating a dedicated page or corner for your past newsletters. Those who haven't subscribed to your newsletters may stumble upon it on your website and think it's worth subscribing to more weekly or monthly newsletters because they think the content is worthwhile. 

5. Promote your newsletters

Once (and if) you've decided to set up your e-newsletter landing page, you want to start promoting your content to drive up some more traffic. Make sure you include subscription buttons wherever you can in a tasteful and non-obstructive manner. Your home page may seem like an intuitive and obvious start; ask new registered users whether they would like to receive weekly/monthly newsletters. Advertise your newsletters to your followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets and make sure you add a feature that allows your newsletter to be shared with others. 

Stuck? Want to make sure e-newsletters make sense for your business? Check out this HubSpot post that goes over some more tips to create valuable newsletters. 

For more information about creating valuable content for marketing to general audiences as well as for specific military audiences, check out some of previous blog posts about content marketing and using video campaigns.

Check out some of RallyPoint's unique Business Services here and have access to more than 740,000 members of the military and former military on our social network.

1 comment:

  1. As I recently found out when working on marketing assignment for homework service (visit our website) James Tiptree Jr described a system like this in "The Girl Who Was Plugged In' in 1972. In that world, explicit advertising was forbidden, so companies marketed their wares through social media stars. Prescient and a great story too.