Email Marketing: How to Write a Kick-Ass Newsletter That Works

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With 91% of consumers devouring their Inbox daily, it’s no surprise that an email newsletter is one of the most effective marketing strategies known to mankind. Having an email newsletter isn’t exactly rocket science, but keeping your subscribers interested, now that’s a whole new world of challenging. In fact, what to put in, how to format and delivery patterns can all combine to a lot of mess if you’re not careful. Yes graphics, no graphics, too much content, not enough, above the fold, below, mobile-optimized, desktop. There are so many questions, that you might give up on the newsletter before you’ve even begun. Fortunately, we’ve got a few first rate tips that will help you create the most engaging, enjoyable and even productive newsletters that your customers will be waiting to see in their Inbox each week.

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Design

Keep a few things in mind when designing your email newsletter. You’ll need plenty of whitespace to break up the content and soothe the bubbling attention span that’s flitting from one piece of information to the next. Also, keep your content as brief as possible. Give subscribers just enough to pique interest, but not so much that they never end up clicking through to your actual site (which is really the goal of the newsletter, right?) Finally, optimize your newsletter for both mobile and desktop.

Content

In terms of what you should put inside your newsletter, try to follow the 90/10 rule. That is, your newsletter should provide about 90% useful information for your readers and only 10% promotional content. This doesn’t mean every newsletter has to be formatted this way. If you have a sale, product launch or specific promotion that you want to send out, by all means, send it. However, the next email you send should be loaded up with quality content for your readers.

In addition, creative subject lines are golden. Fall Sale is enticing for someone who already knows your products, enjoys your sales and is looking for a cute autumn wardrobe. But that’s limiting your open rate by a lot. Instead, use eye-catching titles that combine humor, intrigue or provocation with your subject to hook your readers and make them want to see what’s inside that newsletter. Just be sure to keep those headlines under 30 characters, as you’ll improve CTR if you do.

Images

And let’s not forget about images. Images are a tricky subject since they take a lot of power to load but, as everyone knows, a picture is worth a thousand words. The generally accepted practice is to use colorful and enticing images, but to add alt text to your images for subscribers who have images disabled (which is a lot of them).

More General Tips
  • Using a subscriber’s first name is statistically proven to generate significantly higher click-through rates.
  • Focus on one main CTA or run the risk of people getting distracted or overwhelmed. While you don’t have to do this all the time, placing your main CTA above all the rest of the information can be extremely effective.
  • Email newsletters with social buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate than ones that don’t, so be sure to include these in yours.

Tip: Cast a farther reach net with a newsletter signup sheet on your website. Give subscribers a breakdown of what to expect, so there are no surprises (except the good ones, of course!)

Read more about  the 4 Reasons Your Business Need an Email Newsletter Now. You can also read Why Email Marketing is Key to Your Business’ Success.

Ready to boost your email marketing? Check our behavioral email marketing guide: Behavioral email marketing: Email Marketing Meet On-Site Optimization

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