As a marketer, you need to keep your business at the top of your customer’s minds. Simply put, you must strive towards lead generation, conversions, and sales acceleration. Wondering how you can do that? This is where email newsletters come in handy.
All in all, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that email marketing newsletters can be your go-to strategy for:
- Communicating with your customers regularly.
- Increasing customer engagement.
- Accelerating website traffic.
- Encouraging customers to take action.
We will walk you through the nitty-gritty of email newsletters in this post. We also throw light on various ways to create a top-notch email newsletter.
Let’s get started!
What is an email newsletter?
It is a type of email that keeps your subscribers informed with the latest news, tips, and updates about your business. You can use it for a plethora of purposes. An email newsletter can be your go-to strategy for taking your brand to the next level, from promoting your products to updating your customers with the latest news about your business.
10 best practices to create a stellar email newsletter
- Make your newsletter relevant
Are you trying to cover every aspect of your business in your newsletter? Then chances are your newsletter might look cluttered and messed up. This, in turn, will confuse your customers, and they might unsubscribe from your newsletter.
So, make sure to bind your newsletter with a specific message. So, what are the topics you should cover? If you are having a hard time figuring out the type of content, you should create for your newsletter, better ask your subscribers about it. Conduct a survey and ask your customers what they would like to read in your newsletters.
You can take some inspiration from Buzzfeed’s weekly newsletter named “The week in cats.”
This newsletter primarily aims towards cat lovers and leads to high customer engagement. Why? Because it is relevant to Buzzfeed’s cat-loving community. In other words, the newsletter is specific to a niche that Buzzfeed’s audiences love. This, in turn, strikes a chord with the brand’s audience base and accelerates engagement.
- Avoid making your newsletter sales oriented
Remember the age-old cliché’ saying, “Excess of anything is dangerous?” The same goes for promoting your products and services through your email newsletter. It’s okay if you do it once in a while, but keeping your newsletter sales-oriented all the time can be a deal-breaker for your customers.
So, instead of sending your subscribers self-promotional content all the time, try sending them informative and educational content that’s relevant to them. For instance, if you have a digital marketing company, do not keep sending them newsletters about how your brand can help them ace their digital marketing campaign. Instead, send them tutorials that help them create top-notch content themselves.
Sure, you can include promotional content in your newsletter if you added a super cool feature in your product/service, but if that’s not the case, steer clear of promotions.
- Come up with stellar subject lines
How can you entice your customers to open your email newsletters? The answer is – an intriguing subject line.
So, you must create a creative subject line for your newsletter. Here’s how you can do it:
- Include the benefits
Tell your subscribers what’s in store in the email. Simply put, if they already know what value they will get through your newsletter, they will move ahead and read it. See how Jot nails its subject line:
The brand kept the subject line relevant to its email copy. Take a look:
- Keep it precise
The average character length of a subject line should be 50 or less. It makes it easy for users to get the hang of your email copy even if they view their newsletters on a mobile device with limited screen space.
- Incorporate numbers
Including numbers in subject lines makes it more specific, evoking subscribers’ excitement and curiosity.
- Make your subject lines action-oriented
Include such phrases and words in your subject lines that can leverage users’ fear of missing out (FOMO). In other words, creating a sense of urgency with words like “start now” “final chance” will entice your subscribers to take action immediately.
- Steer clear of ambiguity
Make sure your newsletter subject line is in sync with your email copy. If the subject line claims something and the email copy is entirely different, your readers might unsubscribe from your newsletters.
- Include a solid call-to-action (CTA)
It is essential to let your subscribers know what you want them to do.
- Are you encouraging them to purchase tickets for your event?
- Do you want them to browse your e-commerce website?
- Do you want them to subscribe to your podcast?
This is where a CTA can come in handy. With the proper placement of CTA, you can make sure that your audience takes the desired action.
If you promote a product or service, you can place the CTA above the fold just like Google Store did. It will encourage users to take instant action.
However, if you share an informative article in your newsletter, it is better to place your CTA at the end of the email. You can take some cues from The Atlantic for the same.
- Go ahead with a minimalistic and relevant email copy
So, you have done everything mentioned above, and your subscribers click-through your newsletter. Now, what’s next? Make sure your email copy grabs the customer’s attention quickly.
Remember, the average attention span of customers is as little as 8 seconds. So, if you can’t keep them engaged in the first few seconds, your subscribers might just leave your newsletter midway.
Hence, make it a point to create a compelling and concise email copy. You can do so by striking a question, highlighting a benefit, or sharing a story in the form of an infographic.
You can take some inspiration from hers. See how the brand uses an infographic in its newsletter to strike a chord with its subscribers.
- Keep the design and formatting proper
Apart from the subject line and email copy, the design and formatting also play a critical role in the success of your email newsletter. Let’s take a look at how you can do it:
- Steer clear of a massive chunk of texts. Keep your sentences short. It will make it easy for your subscribers to read and understand your newsletter content.
- You should underline, italicize, and bold the important information to draw the subscriber’s attention to it.
- Use a specific font and color for the newsletter. It will make your newsletter visually engaging. You can use a variety of email marketing software to help you with formatting and editing your newsletter.
- Use numbered lists and bullet points to break long paragraphs. Listicles make reading easy and understandable.
See how The Washington Post does an excellent job with its newsletter. It has abundant white spaces, a bulleted list, and a consistent color and font – a perfect recipe for a fabulous newsletter!
- Work on customer segmentation and personalization
So, it makes sense to segment and personalize your email newsletters. It will help you send relevant content to your subscribers. You can segment your subscriber list on criteria such as buying behavior, location, purchase history, browsing history, sales funnel stage, open rate, and more.
For instance, if there’s a new subscriber on board, you can send them a welcome newsletter and give them a sneak peek about how you will add value to their life. You can take some inspiration from this welcome newsletter from Wild.
- Include alt text in images
Sure, adding images helps in making your newsletter visually appealing. However, at times, people keep their email images disabled. In that case, it becomes imperative to add alt text in your images. Alt-text is alternative texts that are visible when the images don’t load in an email.
It ensures that people know what the image is all about even without seeing it.
- Keep the unsubscribe button handy
It becomes imperative to let customers unsubscribe from your newsletter if they want to. There’s no benefit in keeping uninterested customers in your subscriber list. It will only increase your bounce rate and affect your email deliverability.
So, if a subscriber wants to go, let them go. It will save you money and effort while improving your newsletter’s performance. After all, you will be engaging with only such subscribers who are genuinely interested in your newsletter.
You can do it the way Atlas Obscura does:
- Always A/B test your newsletters
A/B test is an excellent way to find out the kind of email newsletters working for your business. All you need to do is send two versions of a newsletter to two small subsets of subscribers and see which newsletter performed better. It will help you understand which aspects of your newsletter resonate with your customer base.
Here’s a look at the newsletter elements that you can use for A/B testing:
- Subject line
- Sender name
- Email copy
The strategies mentioned above can accelerate your email newsletter campaign. From aligning your newsletter to your brand’s goal to including specific yet relevant content, a well-structured newsletter will make your subscribers fall in love with your newsletter.
Also, make sure to get creative with the subject line, segment your customer base, and send them personalized content through newsletters. It is also essential to A/B test your newsletters to increase click-through and open rates.
In a nutshell, a top-notch email newsletter can help you establish regular communication with your customers. This, in turn, can increase your website traffic, conversions, and customer engagement.
So, go ahead, and nail your marketing strategy, one newsletter at a time!