Most of the marketers will be familiar with this. You are sitting in a conference room, trying to find the best way to engage your customers and leads, sells more items, or just “stay top-of-mind” for your target audience, and someone decides there is a solution that can solve all kinds of problems at a time: an email newsletter.
Suddenly you are “volunteered” for doing it. And should make sure that clickthrough and open rates don’t fall. Oh, and the first one must go out tomorrow. Sounds good?
Even though email newsletters are one of the common kinds of emails to send, they are some of the difficult tasks to do it right.
Want to ace your email newsletter project, or rejuvenate the old one? Here are a few things that you must do. And if you want some inspiration, check out these tips on how to write an email newsletter.
- Evaluate whether you need an email newsletter or not
- Find out what type of newsletter you want
- Your newsletter content should be 90% educational and 10% promotional
- Set your expectations on the Subscribe page
- Be creative with you’re the subject lines
- Choose one primary call-to-action
- Keep design and content minimum
- Ensure the images have alt text
- Make it simple for readers to unsubscribe
- Test, test & repeat
Evaluate whether you need an email newsletter or not
It may be scary pushing on your senior about a project that you have been assigned, but if an email newsletter is not right for your marketing, it is better not to waste your time on that. To figure out what you must first do some research. In your industry, are there successful newsletters that people love to subscribe to? Try to find out what is unique in them? With the resources you have available to you including time, internal support, and budget- could you achieve success?
Next, re-examine your business’ objectives. Are they trying to increase the number of leads? Close a greater number of leads? Retain more customers?
If your industry is not interested in email newsletters, or if your objectives don’t line up with what a newsletter can achieve, your time might be better spent on creating something else like a lead nurturing email workflow or content for the blog.
So, collect some data, make a plan-of-action, and go discuss with your superior. Even if you disagree with his or her vision in doing an email newsletter, your boss will be happy to see you have a plan of success. Okay, let us say you have decided to draft an email newsletter. Now, what next?
Find out what type of newsletter you want
One of the biggest issues with email newsletters is that they are most often cluttered and unfocused as they are supporting each aspect of your business. Product news goes next to the PR stories, blogs go next to event week…… It is altogether a mess. Email-whether it is a newsletter or not- requires one single thread to hold everything together.
One way by which you can reduce the randomness of email newsletters is by keeping it to a very specific topic. So instead of it being about your organization in a general way, maybe it is dedicated to a single vertical.
Your newsletter content should be 90% educational and 10% promotional
There are chances that your email newsletter subscribers won’t be interested in hearing about your products and services. While they may love you and may want to hear from you, there is only so much you can do from your end before they tune in. While writing an email newsletter, you should get rid of self-promotion and must focus on sending your subscribers relevant, educational and timely info. Unless you have an exciting, or something big news about your products, services or company, you should not bother about the promotional parts.
Set your expectations on the Subscribe page
Once you know the focus and content balance of your newsletter, ensure that you are communicating about them on the subscriber’s landing page. Be specific Tell your potential subscribers what the newsletter will have and how often they will hear from you. Subscribers will find that awesome. They will have an idea what the newsletter will contain. From a marketer’s perspective, having this info upfront will help in lowering the number of subscription and spam rates too.
Be creative with you’re the subject lines
Even if your subscribers sign up for the emails, there is no guarantee that they will open your emails once they receive them in their inbox. Many marketers try increasing familiarity with their subscribers by keeping subject line the same every day, week, month that they send. Those subject lines get old for those subscribers- and fast. Why? Because there is no incentive from the subject line to click on that certain email subject line. One of the best approaches would be to have a creative, engaging, and different subject line for every newsletter you send.
Choose a primary call-to-action
The special thing that makes a newsletter work is that it features several pieces of content with different call-to-action. However, that does not mean that you should allow those call-to-actions to share equal importance. Instead, keep one unique CTA, just one that you expect your subscribers to do. The rest of the Call-to-action should be “in-case-you-have-time” choices. Whether it is just to click through to find a blog post or simply to forward an email to a friend, make it very simple for your subscribers to let them know what you want them to do.
Keep design and content minimum
Like discussed before, a newsletter can feel cluttered due to its nature. The trick for email marketers to appear uncluttered revolves mainly around two things: crisp copy and too much of empty space in the design. A crisp copy is very important- as you do not want your subscribers to hang out and read your email the entire day. You want to send them somewhere else, for instance, to your blog or website, so that they can consume the entire piece of content. A short and crisp piece of content gives your subscribers a taste of your content- just enough that they want to click and know more.
White space plays an important role in email newsletters as it helps in alleviating the cluttered feel and makes it much simpler for people to click on the right link.
Ensure the images have alt text
Considering that visual content is very important compared to other marketing activities, it would make sense that you would want to include them in your email newsletters…. Right?
Correct. But emails are a bit trickier. Most of the time, people won’t have enabled images, so you should ensure that your images must have one important component, i.e. alt text. Alt-text is an alternative text that appears when the images are not able to load in an email. This is mainly important if your Call-to-action is an image and you want to ensure readers are clicking even without enabling the image.
Make it simple for readers to unsubscribe
This seems to be a kind of counter-intuitive, but it is significant of you to want to maintain a list of active and engaged subscribers. Avoid weird language like “Modify your communication with us.” Do not place the unsubscribe button behind an image without using an alt text. Having a proper subscription process will help you to ensure your email newsletter is not marked as “spam” before it hits the inbox of your readers.
Test, test & repeat
The above-mentioned points will make sure that you are doing the email newsletters in the right way, but you also must check whether it works for your company and list of subscribers or not. Similarly, like people from different cultures prefer different things, different groups of email subscribers prefer various things.
So, follow these practices and be ready to see a positive change in the results.