Does your email newsletter stand out from all the others in your subscribers’ inboxes? Research from the Content Marketing Institute indicates more than 80 percent of marketers use email newsletters. That’s a lot of ‘noise’ on the email channel, so how do you avoid getting lost in the crowd?
Competing for attention in email marketing requires many of the same principles as competing in other areas of business. It requires knowing your customers and prospects, having a well-planned strategy, targeting your message and communicating clearly.
Keeping these marketing basics in mind, here are 9 tips that can help you increase the readership and results of your email newsletter.
- Provide value: Offer relevant, interesting and helpful information in a quick and easy to read format. Address ’what’s in it’ for the reader (for example, a mattress company writing about ways to overcome insomnia.) CMI suggests “providing your audience with one-of-a-kind conversations, tips based on your own experiences, or a glimpse behind the scenes of an unfamiliar process” as means to distinguish yourself from others. Promotional offers such as coupons available only to subscribers can offer value as well but direct promotions should be limited to 10 percent of your content.
- Be predictable: On your subscription page, set clear expectations about the content and frequency of your newsletter. Then follow through on what you have communicated.
- Be reliable: Sending your newsletter reliably on a regular basis can help keep your business “top of mind.” This increases the likelihood that the customer or prospect will think of you when they are ready to make a purchase. (See ‘Test before sending’ regarding determining the frequency of your newsletter.)
- Use creative subject lines: These can be the determining factor in whether or not a reader opens your newsletter. For best results, write a unique, engaging subject line for each newsletter you create.
- Keep copy and graphics short and simple: Using simple graphics, concise copy and intentional white space invites quick scanning and skimming. Avoid a cluttered look, and provide ‘read more’ links to your website or blog for additional information.
- Make it mobile-friendly: Ensure that your emails are readable and user-friendly on a variety of devices, as the number of readers using mobile devices for email is increasing daily. Use ample white space and sufficient button size for links.
- Offer flexible subscription terms and easy unsubscribe: Giving subscribers control of the content they receive is always a welcome feature. Consider offering a digest option for frequent newsletters, or offer content segmented by topic or geographic region, if applicable to your market. Make the unsubscribe process clear and easy; without this, your email may be tagged as SPAM and never reach your readers’ inbox.
- Simplify the Call to Action (CTA): Have a single primary response for your readers to take in each newsletter and make it clear and easy for them to take that action. Secondary CTAs are permissible, but avoid confusing the reader by keeping one of them prominent.
- Test before sending: Email newsletters are not one-size-fits-all. Learn what appeals most to your subscribers by testing subject lines, CTAs, graphic elements, sender names, and distribution days/times. Test one item at a time to learn which features trigger more response.
In the words of Content Marketing Institute, “ …if you fail to keep up with the topics of current interest, are unable to deliver on time, or aren’t giving readers the ability to choose the terms of their engagement, even your most faithful followers may start to overlook your e-newsletters in their crowded inboxes or opt out altogether.” Following the best practices in this post will help you create and send email newsletters your subscribers look forward to receiving and reading.
Need help with an email newsletter? Contact Page Progressive today!
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