If you have decided to promote your business through newsletters there are a number of things to think about to make them successful in turning your subscription list into brand advocates or even better, qualified leads.
You need to build engagement with your audience, but naturally not every topic will resonate with every reader. However, there are some general tips for sending newsletters out by email that will help to grab your subscribers’ attention and keep them engaged.
1. Keep it regular
The frequency of your newsletter could depend on the type of business, how much information you want or need to impart to your audience, or how much time you have to pull content together! The main thing is to decide on a frequency and stick to it, but not so frequent that your newsletter is considered spam.
2. Newsletter structure
Don’t try and include too many topics in one issue, it will make it seem cluttered and unfocused. To set expectations and foster interest, state the focus and content of the issue at the beginning and only have one main call to action.
3. Content Balance
Subscribers to your newsletter don’t just want to hear about your products and services. Whilst newsletters can be a great platform to announce a new offering, keep the ‘sales pitch’ to less than 10%. Other articles should be a mix of industry-relevant news, case studies and educational information. Encourage readers to continue to open and read your newsletter by solving business issues and keeping them up to date.
4. Minimise unsubscribes and spam rates
In order to minimise unsubscribes and spam rates, ensure that your landing pages tell people exactly what will be in your newsletter and the frequency. You should also add a header to your newsletters telling people why they are receiving it.
5. Write compelling headings
People judge a book by its cover and newsletters are judged by their headings. Ensure your subject lines are different, engaging and intriguing so that subscribers want to read more. Subject lines are what entice the audience to click.
6. Make it clean and sharp
As with any literature, your newsletter copy needs to flow and pictures need room to breathe. Ensure your newsletter does not look crowded or it will be off putting and difficult to read.
7. Make it easy to find content
Few people have time to read things in full, so provide clear signposts to key information – hyper linked contents at the start of the newsletter can be helpful. Highlight keywords and phrases so that readers can scan to find relevant content easily.
8. Don’t make un-subscription difficult
If there’s one thing more annoying than receiving an unwanted newsletter, it’s not being able to find how to unsubscribe. Keep your list and reputation healthy by having a clear unsubscribe option to ensure that your email is not marked as spam.
9. Match content to audience search terms
Ensure that you include high-quality, popular, business-relevant keywords to match up with corresponding popular user search terms. This will give you a higher ranking in Google searches, making it more likely that people will find you.
10. Use analytics to confirm what works
The best way to improve anything is to analyse what works. The easiest and quickest way to get feedback and boost engagement in future newsletters is to ask your recipients for it. You should also invest in a service to track your open and click through rates and then based on the data, critique your newsletters to make improvements.
In addition to analysing your newsletter, using Google Analytics to analyse your website or blog can allow you to identify what subjects get the most views, which you can then use to guide the topics in your newsletter.
Newsletter software packages can provide A/B testing tools which allow you to split your subscription list to trial different elements of your newsletter. You can test different subject lines, days and times for sending, ‘from’ name, layout, hyperlinks and calls to action. Keep experimenting to find that sweet spot that what works best for your business.