Thursday, July 21, 2016

6 strategies for writing a successful email newsletter

Social media may be popular, but email still performs better as a marketing tool for engagement. Experts agree: For conversions, an opt-in email subscriber list is much more valuable than a group of Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

So you want to send an email newsletter but you don't know where to start? After you have determined your goals (e.g., increase revenue? attract more visitors to your website? connect with customers? grow your social media following?), you'll need to follow some basic next steps, such as build your subscriber list, find a vendor to help you deploy your messages, set a schedule that you can consistently keep, and work on its design.

Woman checking phone
While you're completing these set-up tasks, don't forget to allocate time to plan your messaging. Email newsletter success is hard to achieve without strategic copy. Your messaging, if crafted with care, will help you build trust and loyalty with your potential customers—and, trust and loyalty will help convert potential customers into fans. Here are some editorial secrets for email newsletter success.

Get personal.

If you don't know who you're targeting, how will you write copy that appeals to them? The better that you know your audience, the easier it will be to write effective messages that help build more valuable relationships with them through your email newsletter communications.
Capture as much demographic information that you can about your potential customers and use it to target your communications. Customization leads to increased engagement and loyal subscribers.
Protip: If your email newsletter deployment system allows for it, consider segmenting your messages for additional customization.

Keep it germane.

Valuable content is relevant content. Successful email newsletters don't fluctuate when it comes to consistently providing pertinent information. Not sure what content your subscribers would most appreciate? Figure out where to start by collecting information via polls or surveys.

Pay attention to the numbers.

Analytics are your friend. Making a habit of reviewing email newsletter performance will help you know what is working and what isn't. Don't be afraid to make content adjustments.
Protip: When you're looking at stats, here are key aspects to look at on a consistent basis:
  • How many people opened the email newsletter?
  • Did those who opened it click through to any links?
  • Which links did they click on?
  • What path did they take after clicking on the link?

Make it easy to skim.

51 seconds. That's the average amount of time that a reader will spend on your email newsletter. Subscribers are busy. Trim out the filler. Skip generic introductory text. Eye tracking reveals that most subscribers will just skim your content, so make sure you include clear headlines and CTAs where appropriate.

Man checking email

Don't forget your subject line.

First impressions matter, especially in email newsletters. If you want people to open up your communications, you have to write a subject line that will get past spam filters. Your best bet for success is to keep things straightforward.

Most readers will only see the first half dozen words in your subject line (or about 45 characters) so make sure your most important words appear at the start.

Avoid things like spammy language, ALL CAPS, and exclamation points. Keep it simple and direct. As the experts at Mailchimp say, based on analyzing the data of their customers' most successful subject lines, "don't sell what's inside—tell what's inside."
Protip: Subject lines aren't the place to be clever. Emails with the highest open rates feature simple subject lines that clearly set expectations for what is inside the message.

Always edit and proofread.

It's an obvious step, but it's one that some marketers forget to include as part of their process. When you are still in draft mode, make sure the copy has the right consistent voice that matches your company's brand. Before pushing your content into development, run spell check and review for typos and other errors.
Protip: Don't let a typo or misspelling be the reason people unsubscribe from your email newsletter. If time and staffing permits, have another person review your work before deploying to hunt for any inconsistencies in tone and grammar errors and misspellings.
How do you plan to leverage the power of email newsletters to engage your customers? If you're looking for help planning and writing effective emails, TBH Creative is here for you. With our wide range of services and years of expertise, we can help you develop a plan to make this year a successful one for your company. Contact us to learn more about the latest trends in email marketing.
Joy

About the author | J.O. Miller

Joy is the creative director at TBH Creative and helps companies use their online communications to build, design, and manage their brands. She likes to blog about latest trends, social media, conferences, and share tools.

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