Because Spam Sucks - Making A Great Email Newsletter In 4 Steps
We’ve all received them. Those completely useless, spammy, newsletters from a company that we had subscribed to in the hopes it would be worthwhile.
Well after one message from them, you’ve decided that’s enough, unsubscribed and banned them from your inbox.
Not the greatest experience for you or the business.
Here are four tips to make sure your newsletters end up satisfying your customers, not driving them away.
1. What’s Your Subject?
There’s no point in beating around the bush when you are contacting your newsletter subscribers.
Your reader is going to want to to know exactly why you’ve contacted them, from the get-go, so don’t waste their time.
Your first chance to explain why you’ve written is in the subject line, so you want to get to the point. And quickly.
If you were promoting an exclusive 24 hour online sale, which gets the point across more clearly?
Save 25% Off Everything For 24 Hours!
You Won’t Believe What We Are Doing!
Both subject lines are short and might get your attention but #1 gets directly to the point (we are having a sale and you need to act NOW!).
Whereas #2 might pique someone’s curiosity, but if your subscriber is in a rush, they may not have time for games.
2. Think With Your Eyes
People don’t read emails the way they would read a book or even a magazine.
They are going to glance through the photos, headlines and maybe a line or two of text. Writing a gigantic wall of text is going to scare off even the most bookish readers.
Do everyone a favour and make your information easy to digest.
Headlines and lists are great tools to get your point across quickly and easily. Add complimentary photos to the email that highlight what you are contacting everyone for.
Pictures are great, but don’t go overboard with the photos, one or two is a good number - consider that many email applications will block photos, or render them differently and can cause your email to look all jumbled up.
3. Tell A Story
Give your audience a reason to follow through on whatever it is you are contacting them about.
If you are promoting a sale, provide a short reason for the purpose of the sale, or what they could be doing with the products you are selling.
A dry, purely informational, message, while not confusing, isn’t going to tap into someone’s emotions. But a message crafted with a story can be more persuasive and engaging.
It’s certainly not as easy to write, but it will provide more life to your message and give your brand a personality that people will keep sticking around for.
4. Tracking Your Calls To Action
UTM codes look complicated, but don’t worry, they are simple to make and help you out big time.
As we have mentioned before, one of the greatest benefits of using digital communications is everything is trackable. Understanding which buttons, images or links are the ones which your customers are clicking is a major piece of information that you can learn and improve your next newsletter with.
Everything on your newsletter should be clickable and direct the reader to the same page. If you are selling a product, the description of the product, the images of the product and the main button should all direct the person to the page for them to buy it, or sign-up to buy it.
Using tracking codes, known as UTM codes, allows you to understand which of the links is the one most people are clicking on. You can create UTM codes for free from Google and they will automatically be tied into your Google Analytics account.
This doesn’t just help you out, it also helps your subscribers. They will find that each newsletter they receive is better suited to work for them.
You may find out that a majority of people are clicking on the image of your product, rather than the button. This could tell you that the button’s location needs to be changed, or that your images are great and should be continued to be used.
The information you glean from your newsletter should help you to optimize your newsletter to generate more leads or sales.
What Should You Do Now?
Find a Service
Designing newsletters from scratch can be a tricky business. Ensuring they look great on all screen sizes and devices is a difficult job, so it’s best to use a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
They will also ensure you are abiding by the increasingly strict anti-spam laws which can be difficult to navigate.
Creating a standardized template will help you in creating your newsletters more quickly but also give you a consistent look that your readers are used to.
Build Your Subscription List Before you can send your newsletter out, you first need to build a subscriber list. You can’t just send out your newsletter to random people or customers whose email addresses you possess - this is not just spammy, but now illegal and costly. Ask for people’s permission to send them cool or helpful information and have them opt-in to receive more.
Carefully curate your list and ensure it’s being updated frequently. People will unsubscribe and resubscribe regularly so make sure you playing by the rules.
Don’t Know Where To Start? We would be happy to help you out with that! Hope Media House have years of experience in successfully creating, writing and tracking newsletter campaigns for online stores, subscription services and major public announcements. If you have questions on how to start your newsletter or how to improve your messaging, we would be happy to help you out. Let us know if you need a hand below: