For many marketers, this is going to sound familiar. You're sitting in a conference room, trying to find the best way to anchor your leads and customers, sell more products, or just stay in the head of your target audience, and then someone decides that there is a solution to all those problems at the same time: An email newsletter!
What is a newsletter?
A newsletter is a type of periodic email that spreads news about a brand through new content from the blog, commercial offers or the launch of a new product. A newsletter is only effective if it fulfills its objective, and for that, you must first understand what it is. You send this type of emails for 3 fundamental reasons:
- To spread your content to increase our brand awareness.
- To turn subscribers into qualified leads.
- To build user loyalty through useful content, thus improving their engagement with our brand.
- To spread, convert and build loyalty.
Characteristics of a newsletter and how to create newsletters
- It is periodic. Depending on the relevant information and the industry of your company, you will decide how often to share news with your subscribers.
- It is friendly to its readers. Once you establish your voice and tone, make sure to use simple, direct, and friendly language. When it comes to newsletters, there is no point in using complicated words: the important thing is that the message arrives.
- It aims at subscribers. That’s why you have to request a contact email in exchange for sharing content and special offers for those interested in your brand.
The frequency you'll send your newsletters will depend largely on your ability to generate content. In other words, don't send a newsletter if you have nothing new to share. In general, an effective strategy establishes a fixed periodicity. The most common ones are:
- Daily. This frequency is perfect for those businesses with a high volume of content.
- With the publication of a new article. How many times have we seen a message like this in a blog subscription box? This is usually one of the most common options and is useful to boost the number of visits to your new content.
- Weekly. You can also send a weekly email with a summary of the contents published (or at least the most important ones) during the previous week. This is a good option if your content generation capacity is not very high. Besides, it doesn't fatigue your contacts: nobody has a big problem receiving an email a week (as long as they still find the content interesting).
- Monthly. It works for sending a summary of the contents of the last month. This type of newsletter usually contains a powerful mix of content. It could be an interesting option if the contents are evergreen, but not for those of current events.
Do you want to master your new newsletter project or rejuvenate an existing one? Below are 10 tips you need to apply if you're looking for some inspiration.
1. Evaluate whether or not you need a newsletter
To figure out what to do, do a little research first. In your industry, are there cases of successful newsletters that people prefer to subscribe to? What content do they have? If your industry doesn't use newsletters, or if your goals don't coincide with what a newsletter can achieve, it is better to spend your time creating something more suitable, such as lead nurturing emails or content for your blog.
2. Find out what type of newsletter you want to send
One of the biggest problems with newsletters is that they are often unfocused because they talk about all aspects of your business. A way to reduce this chaos is to try to narrow it down to a specific topic. So instead of doing it about your company in general, maybe it's dedicated to just one area.
3. Balance your newsletter content
Subscribers to your newsletter may not want to read about your products and services all the time. While they may adore you and love hearing from you, you'll soon hit the ad limit before they start ignoring your messages. Imagine that you love shoes and you love a special place.
Happily you sign up for the company's mailing list, but now he sends you messages two or three times a day for you to shop, shop, and shop. When you see it appear in your inbox, you just want to run away. If they sent you educational content - maybe something about the latest shoe trends or how to match certain styles with certain outfits - you'd be more inclined to buy from them or at least open their emails.
Don't be that company. In your electronic newsletters, ditch your self-promotion for most of the time and focus on sending your subscribers educational, relevant and timely information. Unless you have some really important and exciting news about your product, service or company, save it for the promotional sections. Only with the right content, you'll achieve your goals. First, understand why your subscriber allowed you to send them emails. They expect to receive emails that are interesting to them, no more junk mail in their inbox.
Fulfill what you committed to in that first welcome email that the user received at the time of their subscription. For instance, to increase the awareness of your brand and boost your web visits, the most appropriate option is to share the latest published content. This is a very effective accelerator when it comes to capturing visits, network shares and even backlinks.
4. Set expectations on your subscription page
Once you've figured out your newsletter's focus and content balance, make sure you're communicating it in the best way possible on your subscription landing page.
Be specific. Tell your potential subscribers exactly what information the newsletters will contain as well as how often they should expect to hear from you. As a subscriber, it's great to know exactly who you would be receiving the mail from, what they will send and how often. As a marketer, having this input information helps decrease unsubscribe and spam rates.
5. Write creative subjects in emails
Even if your subscribers sign up for your emails, there is no guarantee that they will open them once they reach their inboxes. Many specialists try to increase familiarity with their subscribers by keeping the same line in the subject box each day, week or month that they send their newsletters.
But let's face it, it gets boring for subscribers. Why? Because there is no incentive in the subject to click on that particular email at that precise moment. The best thing is to try different, creative and attractive copywriting for each newsletter you send. In fact, the first challenge is to get our subscribers to open our emails. Creating subject lines that capture the user's attention is an art and requires a certain amount of creativity to get the curiosity of our subscribers.
The name of the sender of the mail is also an important factor that affects the opening rate of emails. So, the user must trust the source of the emails he receives in his mailbox. There are 3 main ways to generate that trust through the name that will appear as the sender:
- Using the name and surname of the sender. If the user doesn't know the name of the sender, there is no reason to open the mail (unless the subject line is attractive).
- Using the brand name as the sender. The newsletter is a communication (with few exceptions) sent by the brands. So, putting the brand name as the sender is a good idea because users will recognize the origin of the email. However, this formula doesn't take advantage of one of the most interesting characteristics of e-mails: the ability to deliver personal communications (even with automation).
- Using the name of the sender + the name of the brand. This is undoubtedly the current trend and the most recommended option. It is because it is capable of generating greater closeness.
Finally, make sure that the email address you use is consistent with the sender.
6. Choose a call to action (CTA)
An essential part of a newsletter is that you present multiple pieces of content with relevant CTA’s. Select a CTA relevant to the main action you want your subscribers to take. Whether it's a simple click to view a blog post or forward the email to a friend, make it super easy for your subscribers to know that's what you expect them to do.
7. Make sure your images have alternative text
Most of the time, people don't have images enabled in the mail, so you need to make sure that your images have an essential component: alt text. It's what appears when images don't upload in an email. This is especially crucial if your CTAs are images - you're going to want to make sure people click even without the image enabled.
8. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe
This seems counterproductive, but it is key if you want to maintain an active and engaged subscribers’ list. Avoid detours with phrases like "Modify your communication options with us." Also, don't hide an unsubscribe button behind an image without alt text. In addition to maintaining a healthy list, having a transparent unsubscribe process will help ensure that your email doesn't end up as spam.
9. Test, test, test
You also need to find what works best for your business and your list. Just as people from different backgrounds prefer different things, different groups of email subscribers prefer different content.
So, use these newsletter best practices as a starting point… and then experiment to find your secret recipe. Here are some things you can try:
- Create short and fun topics. Make short subjects because they work best that way. But have you ever tried adding a little humor to your copy? It could put a smile on your recipients' faces and potentially improve your open and click-through rates.
- Find your copy and design for calls to action. Maybe your readers want bright, bold colors in your CTA. Or maybe they are looking for other more discreet and light ones. Perhaps they prefer a very fun, exciting, and action-oriented copy. Or maybe a simple "click here" works well. You definitely have to test your CTA and copy language to see what resonates with your audience.
- Experiment with newsletters without images. Many of the emails that appear in this post have loads of captivating images… but that doesn't mean that you need them in your emails. Try to remove all images to favor a well-written copy.
- Don't forget the mobile version. More and more people surf the web and check their emails on mobile, so you have to make sure that whatever design you work on is visually pleasing and functional on any device. That will ensure that your email is captivating to all types of users.
- Keep things short. Don't overwhelm people with too much text or images. Even if you choose a newsletter without photos, keep your message fast and direct to the point so that the email is interesting and effective.
- Make valuable content. Nobody likes to open an email with a lot of ads. So include fun facts, tips, and helpful blog posts so readers feel like they're really learning something. This will make the subscription much more valuable to them.
- Always test your emails. It's embarrassing when a link doesn't work or a design looks crooked. So, send test emails to yourself and a colleague who can give you feedback. Review them on your computer and your smartphone so you can confirm that the desktop and mobile designs look good.
10. Harness the power of postscripts
The postscript allows you to mix messages aimed at meeting different objectives without being at odds with each other. Use it to add something that is not directly related to the body of the message, or to remember something you already communicated before. Or simply to keep communication open by offering your contact.
The possibilities are wide and, without a doubt, it is effective, especially in emails with a flat design and with a lot of text.
Jump on the newsletter bandwagon!
Start creating your newsletter! Once you have put together your newsletter, confirm that you followed the steps already mentioned and you will increase the effectiveness of your newsletters.
We are specialists in marketing strategies. So, if you need some help. Don't worry! We got your back. Give us a shout and we'll get back to you!