How To Stop Your Email Newsletters Going In The Trash
It’s unsurprising that email newsletters flop. More often than not, these marketing messages are a dull mash up of irrelevant content that people automatically ignore, delete, or, god forbid – unsubscribe from! This has a negative impact, not just on your metrics, but your company reputation too.
Having said that, there are some fantastic and engaging email newsletters out there. So if you’ve decided that you want to start an email newsletter, or you want to improve your current efforts. Here are some tips to bring it up to scratch.
What is an email newsletter?
An email newsletter is an email from a business that contains a mix of content. This could be event reminders, surveys, educational information about your products and services or industry, and promotions and other offers.
It’s this mix of content that makes email newsletter so hard to get right. Because it’s not an email designed to serve one purpose, email newsletters have a difficult time trying to get readers to complete a call-to-action.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them – you just need to do them right!
Some advantages of newsletters
- Brand awareness – By consistently communicating with your subscribers they will recognise your brand.
- Leverage existing content – Many companies include summaries of relevant blog posts and link to the articles from their newsletter, this promotes your content further.
- Guaranteed reach
- Engage existing customers – If you continue to engage your existing customers they could become advocates for your company.
So, do I need to send one?
You shouldn’t waste your time working on an email newsletter if it isn’t right for your marketing strategy. So do some research. If your industry isn’t interested in email newsletters, your goals don’t align with what a newsletter could accomplish, or you don’t have the internal support to send them out, you should probably focus your efforts elsewhere.
But if you have decided your company would benefit from an email newsletter then continue reading for six tips on how to get them right…
1. Make sure it’s relevant
As with any email marketing, your prospects expect personalised, relevant content from your email newsletter. The problem is, email newsletters are usually generic and can apply to all your subscribers! Instead, your email newsletter should only go out to those recipients who are interested in the subject matter.
The best solution is to tailor content to each of your target segments. You have a few options to achieve this:
Segment your data and create a newsletter that is relevant to each segment
As your number of subscribers increases you can start to segment them based on their interests. By doing so you can send out highly targeted emails.
Let subscribers opt in to newsletters about specific subject matters
Be as clear as possible about the content of each newsletter, then people will only sign up for what they truly want to receive.
Use dynamic content
Many marketing automation platforms offer dynamic content. This is HTML content on your website, forms, landing pages, or emails that changes based on the viewer. As people match the criteria you set for your dynamic content (like an industry, job title, or even a score or grade), a variation of content will display that’s relevant to that viewer.
2. Give your emails a theme
Leading on from the point above, one of the biggest problems with email newsletter is that the breadth of information covered is too wide. Email needs one topic to hold it together. By grouping together content under one title, the email newsletter will be much more focused and engaging.
Just as you should also limit the amount of text in the email. If any of the content requires more than a couple sentences you should include a link to read more on your website so your reader isn’t overwhelmed by the email text. Not only is this easier to consume, but it also drives visitors to your website, and improves your SEO.
3. Demonstrate value
Companies often make the mistake of including too much self promotional content in their email newsletters, which your readers don’t care about!
It’s not that you shouldn’t ever talk about your product, service, or company — that’s the idea of an email newsletter. But this information should be presented in a way that is of value to the reader. Announce the feature, and then explain the benefit of that feature for your reader. If you can’t think of any benefits, then cut the content!
If your emails provide value to your readers, they’ll be opened. If you fail to provide value, your emails will be deleted.
So what is of value to your audience:
Your readers will appreciate any Information that shows them how to do something they’re stuck with!
If you can entertain your audience in any way, that’s value!
If you make your readers feel good, and they’ll keep reading your emails!
4. Pick one primary call-to-action
The more calls to action you include in an email, the less likely your readers will take action. That’s because they’ll be confused about what to do. To solve this, let there be just one main thing that you would like your subscribers to do, and the rest of the calls to action are added extras.
5. Update the design
A newsletter can easily feel cluttered because of its mix of content.
Your copy must be concise because you don’t actually want to have your subscribers read your email all day. You want to send them to your website or a landing page to read on. Concise copy gives your subscribers just enough information that they want to click and learn more.
Another tip is to include lots of white space. This helps make the email look less cluttered, and on mobile, makes it much easier for people to click the right link.
Also make sure you use a standard format for every single newsletter so it is recognisable to your subscribers. That means the same layout, the same image alignment, and the same placement of links and calls-to-action so your reader can quickly scan and find the information they want.
6. And finally….test, test, test
We have given you some tips to help you get you email newsletters right, but you’ve also got to find out what works for your company and your target market. Run an A/B test on subject lines. Change up your calls to action. Try a variety of images. Experiment to find what works for you.
To find out more about effectively engaging prospects take a look at The Five Rules For Marketing Success.