A quick read of highly relevant, bite-sized portions of information – that’s what successful email newsletters offer. They help cut through the clutter of online information with highlights of what’s important to a specific target audience. When it comes to email newsletters, are you doing everything possible to meet your subscribers’ needs? Is your publication one they look forward to receiving and reading? Here are some tips to help you create a newsletter to do just that.
Popularity of Email Newsletters on the Rise
Email newsletters are actually growing in popularity these days, despite dire predictions of the inevitable demise of email. Why? A recent New York Times article summed it up nicely: “Newsletters are clicking because readers have grown tired of the endless stream of information on the Internet, and having something finite and recognizable show up in your inbox can impose order on all that chaos.” In other words, email newsletters are something subscribers have asked for, providing links to information they consider relevant.
In one study by Quartz Insights, for example, executives reported using email newsletters as their primary news source, with 60% citing email newsletters as one of the first three news sources they check daily. In addition to The New York Times, other email newsletters that are hot today include those produced by Fast Company, Politico’s Playbook, Bloomberg Briefs, and Atlantic Media’s Quartz Daily Brief.
Consider Using a Newsletter to Build Relationships and Credibility
B2C companies should consider using newsletter content to help build a relationship with their subscribers. We’ve seen conversions grow substantially for B2C clients by incorporating high-value content emails sent in-between their promotional emails. And, for B2B organizations, a newsletter is a critical tool for building credibility. A newsletter demonstrates your expertise and reminds prospects and clients of the many tips and tricks that you, the expert, have learned from real-world experience. In B2B, it may take a few months to see a return on investment. But when it comes in, the payoff can be huge, making the cost of a newsletter seem like pocket change.
Tips for Crafting a Top E-Newsletter
So what can you do to ensure your organization’s e-newsletter is something your target audience considers valuable? These tips will help in that quest:
- Set goals for your newsletter. This is the first and most important step in crafting a successful newsletter. Do you want to generate more leads? Send people to your website? Boost sales or donations? Educate about your products/services? Increase event attendance? Having a primary goal will help you create, select, and prioritize content to meet your overall content strategy.
- Really get to know your subscribers. This is the best way to be sure your content is relevant and valuable, meets subscribers’ interests and needs, and keeps them anticipating your newsletter.
- Create a content calendar. This will help you stay on track and meet production deadlines. Be sure to allow some flexibility in your calendar, which will help keep the content fresh and current.
- Be mobile-friendly. How many of your subscribers are opening and reading your e-newsletters on their mobile devices? Based on current trends, likely a significant portion. Check out a recent NewsLever feature that highlights important mobile email-marketing best practices to help ensure that once your e-newsletter is opened, mobile prospects and customers can easily read it and respond.
- Keep the newsletter design professional and the copy catchy and concise. A simple layout that’s easy to navigate, gets right to the point, and drives readers to click through to your website is what you’re striving to create.
- Put in the time to get your subject lines, headers, and headlines right. You may have fabulous content, but people won’t know that if they’re not motivated to open and click your e-newsletter. Think in terms of brief and actionable value propositions to capture readers’ attention. Testing to find what “clicks” with your audience is the best way to ensure optimum response.
- Use images to help grab attention to copy and highlight important calls to action. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Consider using animated GIFs, too, that can be can be even more effective than a static photograph. Click here to learn more about how to use GIFs proficiently in your e-newsletters.
- Be sure your e-newsletter is CAN-SPAM compliant. Give subscribers an easy, one-click option to unsubscribe, for example, and always include a mailing address in your footer. For more information on this topic, check out our articles on the CAN-SPAM Act and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
- Make it easy for subscribers to share your content. One important way to do that is by including social sharing buttons in your e-newsletter, including links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, as well as any other social sites you know are popular with your subscribers.
- Ask for feedback. Use your newsletter to strike up a conversation with subscribers. Keep in mind that email newsletters aren’t necessarily a one-way conversation.
- Send on a regular schedule. Knowing a day, time, and frequency of when your newsletter will show up in their inboxes will help subscribers expect and look forward to it.
- Watch the frequency. You want to stay top of mind, so depending on your industry, content, and audience, a newsletter sent at least monthly is desirable. But be careful not to bombard subscribers with too many emails; you want to avoid crossing that line between being wanted and becoming annoying and spammy.
- Test your newsletter before sending. Test it in different email clients, different browsers, and different devices to ensure it renders correctly. Plus, keep it professional by carefully proofreading your copy before hitting the send button.
Does your organization regularly send out an email newsletter? If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to stay top of mind with current subscribers and customers, generate leads, and ultimately grow your business. From helping to align your e-newsletter to meet your business goals, to developing an effective editorial and design strategy, to optimizing frequency and deliverability, FulcrumTech’s experts can help in all e-newsletter aspects – start to finish.
Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 to help you design and implement an email newsletter from scratch or improve and optimize your current publication.