Newsletters are an awesome tool for your business – you can grow your audience, get engagement, share news, and promote your recent accomplishments. But how do you make sure your newsletter is getting the clicks you deserve?
We’re going to walk through the crucial pieces for a successful newsletter and how to make sure your hard work isn’t going to end up recycled!
This seems like such an easy part of the puzzle; it is easy to overlook. But when you think about it, the subject line is the first thing your audience will see when your newsletter shows up in their inbox!
The key to a successful subject line is to be eye-catching without looking like spam. You want your reader to be eager to click in, but you also don’t want to stray into clickbait territory.
Lead with value... Give a reason for someone to open it, such as a limited-time offer or a promise (which you must deliver on). Consider adding an emoji to make it feel more personal, depending on your brand and the tone you deliver to your audience!
Speaking of personal… People don’t want to feel like they’re just another number in your CRM. They want to feel like you care about them and are bringing them something that will help them out.
An easy and obvious way to do this is to link your newsletter to your audience list so that their name appears in the newsletter rather than just being addressed "Hello Customer!" This establishes a bond between your reader and your content, making them want to continue reading.
You can also create a connection by letting your readers see something personal about you. If it makes sense for your newsletter, add a personal touch from your own life to create a more human basis to your customer interactions.
We already talked about “voice” and what it means for your brand. This needs to follow through to your newsletter as well.
Your audience signed up for you. While it can be helpful to the brainstorming process to see what else is out there, you need to stick to your branding and your promise to your customers when you’re putting out content.
At the end of the day, not only will your audience be grateful that there is alignment between all of your content, but it will also help you stand out in a sea of boring copy-and-paste newsletters.
A bit more boring, but if you put energy into this now, it pays off in a huge way later on.
When it comes to formatting a newsletter, you have a lot of options, especially depending on which emailing platform you use. You can play around with the layout and the modules to your heart’s desire… And it can be enticing to want to switch it up each time you go in there.
However, instead of burning yourself out by freestyling each time you need to create your newsletter, really sit down and think about what you want to highlight in your newsletter and the best possible way to spotlight that. Pick out a template and decide which “modules” you want to include; by setting this up early, it saves so much time down the road when you can just pop your content in and out as needed. This also ensures there is continuity in your newsletters, creating a well-planned series in the eyes of your audience.
While formatting, make sure to test out your audience's various modes of consumption. Send yourself a test and check it out on a computer, tablet, and phone, if possible. You want your newsletter to be easily digestible and well-organized in any format.
Along those lines, isn't a picture worth a thousand words?
Your newsletter can’t just be a wall of text. This fatigues your reader, and they will likely call it quits before they get to the good stuff. That’s why it’s important to not only break it up visually in the overall layout, but to also include images and graphics that really pop!
You want your images to match the tone and theme of the newsletter, while also highlighting and complementing the text you do have. Still images, clip art, photography, videos, and gifs are all good ways to draw the eye of a reader and keep them moving down the page.
The reason we all clicked in! Your “Call to Action” is how you get engagement; it’s the action you want your readers to take when they’re done reading your newsletter. Whether it’s going to your website to learn more, setting up a call with you, signing up for your product, or any number of actions you want your audience to take, you need a concise and appealing CTA to make it happen.
You can use a hyperlinked text or a more flashy button to get the job done; use active language to give control to your reader and make your pitch. If you’ve written your newsletter with this in mind, it should funnel them to wanting to take that action.
A good way to get your reader to actually take that action is to give them something exclusive for receiving and reading your newsletter. Whether it's a discount on a sale or simply a promise for a lead on upcoming events that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise, it adds an incentive for your reader to take action now and get this good thing you've promised them throughout the newsletter.
Finally... You could write and format your newsletter perfectly and still not get great engagement. Why? It’s all about timing.
Think about it... When do people check their emails? On weekdays, typically in the mid-morning. You want to strike a balance between getting in when someone is likely to be checking their email and not getting buried under a slew of other items vying for attention. It also depends on your brand, product, and audience. For example, if you run a very informal mountain-biking event company, your audience will be checking the email on a Saturday morning to see what's going on!
Check your typical open and click-through rates and plan accordingly for what works best for you.
It also helps to stick to a schedule... Maybe every month on the first Tuesday, or the 15th, or the last Friday. Whatever you decide, be consistent so your audience knows they can count on you.
Finally, you want your newsletter to be opened, read, enjoyed, and anticipated the next time it is sent. The ultimate goal is to promise and deliver value in a fun way. This will pique your audience's interest and leave them wanting more.
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Written by Jordan McAndrew