An email newsletter is a great way to reconnect with your current and prospective clients regularly. It’s a vital part of inbound marketing, which offers you the opportunity to remind people of your existence, highlight new products and services, deliver content they might have missed and generally speak directly to them. As long as the user opens and reads the newsletter, that is. If not, you’ve wasted your time and effort sending it. Creating the perfect email newsletter isn’t a mystery; by following these tips you can ensure your newsletters get the eyeballs you want them to have.
Grab the Imagination
You have less than 5 seconds to capture your reader’s imagination before s/he hits the Delete button, so your subject line is the most critical aspect of your newsletter. Some best practices for successful subject lines include:
- Using a different subject line for every issue. This will help you to avoid the spam filters and makes you think of something interesting to say to get the reader’s attention.
- Making it specific. Vague subject lines like “weekly newsletter” don’t do anything to generate interest. No matter how good your newsletter is, if your subject line doesn’t tell the reader what it’s about then he can’t be expected to want to read it.
- Keep it short. Most email clients can’t display more than around 70 characters including spaces, so if the interesting stuff is at the end of the subject line it could get lost in cyberspace.
Lose the Clutter
Information overload can kill the interest of your most avid fan. Don’t try and tell the reader everything in the email newsletter; choose from the information you have available and offer focused subject matter. Select secondary information based on its relevance to the main topic of the newsletter and leave out the other stuff. And don’t try to put the whole article into the body of the newsletter—that presents a solid block of text that is enough to make the most interested reader yawn off.
Make your newsletter uncluttered and simple so that it doesn’t boggle the brain of your reader. Keep the design clean by publishing your headlines and introductory blurbs on the newsletter, and linking to pages on your website for the remainder of the content.
Build a Relationship
The newsletter is your opportunity to build a marketing relationship with your reader, without being there in the flesh. That begins with personalization. Readers are far more likely to open an email addressed to them by name than one that sounds generic and standard. Most email newsletter programs can personalize your communications so that they arrive in the user’s inbox saying something like: “David, are you making the most of your…?”
Encourage feedback via email, social media profiles or comments, which gives your readers a chance to interact with you directly.
Keep a consistent design for your email newsletter. Changing it up regularly might sound like fun, but it takes a chunk out of your time and could confuse the regular readers on your email mailing list. Use a layout that clearly directs your reader where you want him to go, starting with a main feature section for the primary content you want to deliver. Publish category headings such as “industry highlights” to help the reader scan the newsletter and decide what he wants to read in detail, based on the prominence you’ve given to each topic. When the reader sees your email newsletter in his inbox, he’’ll know that it will only take a minute to scan and decide what to read. And that will increase your open rate.
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