When it comes to crafting a successful email newsletter, there are many things to consider. At times, these considerations can be overwhelming, resulting in inconsistency in newsletter delivery and quality. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind that can help make for a successful email newsletter every time.
- Choosing your Email Template
The first step in creating an eye-catching, accessible, and successful newsletter is choosing an appropriate and most importantly, mobile friendly, newsletter template. You may be surprised to know that 51% of recipients unsubscribe from email newsletters that aren’t visually appealing (optinmonster.com). This means you can lose over half of your audience by having an unappealing template. Companies like Mailchimp allow you to easily create simple and effective email templates or choose from pre-made designs that are already optimized for mobile devices. Make sure to keep your audience and purpose in mind when creating or choosing your template; gear your design towards what will perform best with them.
- Create Engaging and Strong Content
After you have chosen your template design, you will need quality content to fill your newsletter for your readers. This content can be organized by predetermined newsletter subjects, such as having each newsletter cover a specific topic or content area, or just have each newsletter contain specific content types as press releases, event recaps, and thought leadership articles. You will want to develop organizational strategies and decide what works best for your purposes, but always make sure you have top-quality content. If readers aren’t interested, they will not engage and even worse may unsubscribe to future newsletters.
- Grow your Mailing List
If you are considering a newsletter, chances are you have a mailing list ready to send to. Whether you have a list already or plan on building one from scratch, you should always be willing to grow it further by gaining new subscribers. This can be done by implementing a newsletter sign-up form on your website. This can be a pop-up that greets visitors to your website or a form implanted on your homepage somewhere visible and easily accessible. Again, this form should be mobile friendly. You can also link people to your newsletter subscription through social media or physical email sign-up forms.
- Segmenting your Mailing List
Having an extensive mailing list could also mean you have readers that are interested in different policy issues, products and services, or information. You can design multiple newsletters that are geared towards these differing interests and can be sent to the subscribers who want to see it most. There are many tools to track reader patterns and activities (buying trends, demographics, etc.) so you can make sure the content these audiences are receiving is tailored to their interests and increases the chance they will want to remain engaged with your newsletters.
- Eye-catching Subject Lines
When potential readers are going through their emails, they are usually scanning subject lines to determine which emails to open and read. If your subject line lacks creativity and relevancy, it is likely to be skimmed over without a second glance. It is suggested that subject lines be no more than five words and use catchy and energetic words. Taking time to run your subject lines through programs such as CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Tester can help gauge how your subject line will do with your audience. Take time with your subject line, it will help drive open and click-through-rates!
- Mobile Friendly is Key
It may sound like a broken record, but in today’s mobile-driven world, it is of utmost importance that all of your newsletter content is geared toward mobile devices. More than 75 percent of people check email on their smartphones and mobile devices. If your newsletter is not optimized for mobile viewing, many of your readers won’t bother with it and could become frustrated and unsubscribe. Luckily, most templates offered on email newsletter platforms are mobile-friendly, but it is always a good idea to double check.
- Not Just Promotion, but Engagement
Your email newsletter should be more than self-promotion and advertising, it needs to help form a relationship with your audience. This is where the strong content comes into play in providing helpful and thoughtful information that communicates with the reader. One trick to building a strong bond with your readers is to send newsletters frequently as opposed to every once in a while. Weekly or monthly newsletters, as opposed to quarterly or bi-annual newsletters, help remind your audience why they subscribed and that you are interested in keeping the relationship going.
- Social Media Integration
If you have social media that you use to share relevant content or organization updates, integrate those platforms into your newsletter. Having links to your various social media accounts will help you gain followers there as well. Also, make sure to have your contact information and a link to your homepage for readers who may have questions or want to get in contact with you right away. This also adds to the relationship building by allowing your readers to keep track of the content and announcements you may release between newsletters.
- Create a Catchy Call to Action
Whereas your email newsletter shouldn’t just be self-promoting advertising, you do want your readers to take action of some sort. Whether it be going to your website, following you on social, taking part in a trial, becoming a paying member, or partaking in a survey you will want to have a call to action (CTA). Also, this CTA needs to be eye-catching and easy to engage with so readers will take the necessary steps. This usually takes the form of a button or link towards the end of your newsletter that stands out. If you have engaging content and have formed that relationship, readers are more likely to take action.
- Always Perform Test Runs
When your newsletter is looking finished and ready to go, there is one last thing you need to do before sending it out to your subscriber list; send a test. This will help you make sure there are no broken links, optimization issues, or any other problems. This will also allow you to see it from the reader’s perspective. You could easily do this by having a list of people on your team to send a test email to. It is usually better to send a test to more people than just yourself, this way, you get multiple sets of eyes to catch anything that you may overlook. Sending a test also includes sending your newsletter to specific subscribers to test things like send times, subject lines, and content success so you can see what works and what may need changing. In reviewing the test, don’t forget to review the email newsletter on your mobile device.
For more information on email newsletters and to find out how we can help you with your marketing campaigns, visit us at www.arc3communications.comor contact Patrick Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you and building successful email marketing strategies together.