Email remains one of the most effective marketing avenues of 2014, but let’s face it, there are some really awful newsletters out there. You need to give your reader some motivation to open up your email, especially if you’re a small brand. The subject line is only the beginning: email length, content, and design all play a huge role in a successful email newsletter. In this article, we won’t be focusing on design; instead, we’ll dig deeper into the content to help you create a great email newsletter.
Tip #1: Catchy Subject Lines
The subject line of the email is one of the most important elements. You need something catchy, though not painful, that grabs your readers attention so that they open the email. Bland subject lines such as “October Newsletter” don’t really add anything of value to the newsletter, and all elements should. If you must use “October Newsletter” in the subject line, tack something else on such as “The Crazy Cat Edition.” Make sure the content of your newsletter delivers on what the subject promises. No one wants to open “The Crazy Cat Edition” only to meet sane dogs.
Tip #2: Simplify The Topic
It’s very important for your newsletter to have one topic. This way your subject line will be simple yet full of promise. Obviously there will be links in your email newsletter, as that is the point, but don’t link to every rabbit trail you mention. If you’re talking about cats and you have a paragraph mentioning some pet store food promo, don’t link to it! Keep the focus on your company and your services. If you are a very large company with multiple topics you want to include in your newsletter, try creating multiple newsletters each with their own subject instead of linking to everything you do.
Tip #3: Simplify Your Goal
Before you start writing up your content, ask yourself, “What’s my goal?” Are you looking for blog sign ups? Trying to sell some tuna? Choose one goal and design all your content to work towards it. This includes all your Call To Actions (CTA). It’s also completely acceptable to have secondary CTAs such as Social Media share buttons and things of that nature. Just make sure the goal is clear to your user.
Tip #4: The 90/10 rule
Basically, you want your newsletter to be 90% educational and 10% promotional. Think about it, what do you want when you read a newsletter? Chances are you want to be informed, enriched, maybe humored. You certainly don’t want to read line after line of shameless self-promotion. However, it is your newsletter, so you’re entitled to a bit of self-promotion. After all the goal may be to increase sales. Just don’t overdo it.
Tip #5: Focused Content
A good test of your content is to read over it and ask yourself “so what?” All the content in your newsletter needs to provide something of value to the user. The content should also fit in the newsletter; don’t include anything that doesn’t contribute to the topic or your goal. Images, just like the rest of your content, need to be relevant. You also need to make sure to include alt text just in case the images don’t show up. Try to avoid using generic stock photos. Choosing great images really will help create a great email newsletter.
Newsletters, if done right, will do great things for your company. The basic rule to remember is simplify! You want to create a newsletter focused on one topic that educates your user and accomplishes your goal. Connect with your audience. Don’t be too serious or boring; sometimes a little humor or informal language can go a long way. Follow the tips in this article and you’re on your way to creating a great email newsletter.