Don’t let your email marketing leave home without reading this blog
It’s your email marketing newsletter, not your luggage to Palma de Mallorca. Cramming it with unnecessary stuff is only going to confuse your reader; learn how we keep things lean and tight at Sookio.
Newsletters, or regular mailings, are your way of saying, ‘hey, don’t forget about us! This is what we’ve been up to’ to customers without directly banging on their door with unwanted salesy messages.
But here’s the deal. Putting together a newsletter seems like a straightforward job, right? Well, actually… You already know what I’m going to say. As with all aspects of digital marketing, you can make it spot on, or get completely derailed.
So, let’s explore what makes a great newsletter, review your newsletter packing list, and throw in some examples while we’re at it.
Lure them in with an appetizing subject line
Think minimalistic, straightforward and intriguing. Get their attention with a sharp, well-written sentence. A sentence – that’s all it takes. Think about what they’ll find inside the email. What’s the most exciting, informative, or fun part? Where’s the focus of what you’re offering? What value does it add? Use that in your subject – but don’t overcolour it.
There’s no point making up a gripping subject if it doesn’t reflect what’s actually inside the email. Being straightforward here will earn the appreciation and loyalty of clients who are tired of clickbait, the honesty is like a breath of fresh air.
If you can make it fit without breaking it off with an ellipsis, then you’ve found that sweet, sweet subject line haven.
Oh, and definitely stay away from words feeding our hungry spam filters, such as free, win, bonus, 100% satisfied.
Entertain your reader with a compelling copy
What’s the raison d’etre for your newsletter? Your readers need to know why you’re sending it. Are you pointing them towards an item to buy, a link to your blog or tickets to an event?
Be clear about what you’re saying and how you want to say it. Is your tone of voice appropriate to the format of the text? Sure, you want to be consistent across the channels you’re using, but you don’t want to write in the exact same way everywhere.
A newsletter should be as condensed as essential oil. Keep your copy punchy and clear, make sure it’s short and sweet. Give them just enough to keep wanting more and they’ll click through – just like they did when they opened the email.
Enchant their minds with an eye-capturing imagery
Social media posts with images get at least 3 times more engagement than text-only content. Newsletters are no different; you can write the most witty, easy-to-digest and overall rocking copy, but a majority of openers won’t even read it.
Once you captivate them with a subject line, give them something pretty to look at. We like to think that we’re deep, complex creatures, but in reality, our attention usually gets captured by shiny objects and eye-pleasing imagery. And puppies… but that’s less likely to be relevant to your industry.
If your email body is wordy, throw in a relevant image to break things up too. Make sure your imagery, however beautiful or funny, is still relevant.
And speaking of eye-pleasing…
Delight them with a clean, user-friendly design
Alright, aesthetics control – how’s the whole thing lookin’?
Does your newsletter have enough breathing room between images, body content and sections? You want it to feel uncluttered and easy to read.
Let’s look at fonts: you don’t want to distract your readers with a plethora of different fonts in varying colours and sizes. Keep it simple, ideally with no more than two fonts. Keep the subheadings and body text - font, colour, size - consistent.
Once everything’s looking good and in shape, check it again. Test your emails in different browsers as they don’t all look the same. Open the email on different devices, see if the layout is what you want it to be on a smartphone.
Don’t forget about the alt text and plain text! Add alt text in case your images don’t load and to provide better UX for those who can’t see them clearly, with plain text for those whose browsers don’t support HTML. That way all your subscribers will still be able to read and click through to your content.
Guide your customer with a clear call to action
Let’s go back to the very beginning. What are you trying to accomplish with this newsletter? Ideally, what’s the outcome you’d like to see?
Establish a clear call to action and make it the focus point of the email. Make it simple for the reader and try not to have too many CTAs to avoid confusion. Don’t be afraid to blatantly ask them to buy your product, follow you on social media, or even just read your blog.
Finally, double and triple check all the links are working so that your customers can be smoothly directed to exactly where you want them to be.
Leave it behind
Not everything is newsworthy. Stuffing the newsletter is tempting, it shows off your company’s accomplishments and outstanding team culture… But that doesn’t mean you should do it. Sure, celebrate your accomplishments, but not every little internal musing will be interesting to your client base.
Think about what subscribers want from you. A bit less ‘look at us playing with branded paper airplanes around the office’ and definitely more ‘you should know we’ve started offering this – oh, and you might find this useful for your challenges.’
We want your clients to see and value your work. We want you to grow those luscious subscriber numbers. We want your email marketing to be a solid pillar in your marketing strategy.
Measure your success to check how awesomely you’re doing
All this won’t stick or present you with useful insights if you’re not measuring what you’re doing. Some of the metrics that indicate how your newsletters are doing include:
· List growth rate – how is your email list growing?
· Clickthrough rate
· Conversion rate – the percentage of recipients who clicked on one of your links
· Bounce rate – the percentage of emails that could not be successfully delivered
· Email shares or forwarding rate – the percentage of those who shared with a friend or posted to a social network
· The overall return on investment calculated by the amount of sales made vs campaign spend