One of the very best tools brands or marketers can use to reach out to and connect with their customers is a newsletter. A newsletter can be used to keep in touch, announce a sale, or share new content. The possibilities are endless.
While you might think a newsletter doesn’t accomplish much in the way of “real” marketing, patience my friend. They can actually be some of the very best ways to not only keep your brand top of mind, but also nurture your leads through the buying cycle.
Now, the real question is – are you using your newsletter to it’s full potential?
Chances are you might be missing a few key components that separate the emails that get sent to trash every week, from the ones that subscribers open the second it lands in their inbox.
The good news?
That’s what we’re here for! Let’s dig into it.
Step 1: Determine Frequency
Yup, that part actually matters.
The thing is, when you start sending out a newsletter, you want to commit to it for the long term.
Part of the effectiveness in newsletters is that your readers can count on them. If you don’t send out an email on a consistent basis, it won’t be long before your readers simply forget who you are and don’t bother reading your emails.
It doesn’t matter if you send out weekly, monthly, every 3rd Tuesday or the 14th of every other month. What does matter is that readers know to expect them.
So be sure to set those expectations with the readers right from the start, you can do that in your welcome email, or on your subscription page.
Step 2: Find a Focus
Too many newsletters ask way too much of their readers. Is it any wonder they slowly stop reading?
Here’s what we mean (and we’re sure you’ve been there), getting a newsletter that features a sale, a coupon, 3 new blog posts, the latest on Twitter and a featured book.
How are readers supposed to weave their way through that and figure out what you want them to do? Instead try to keep every newsletter focused on one thing.
If having readers click through to your blog posts is the most important thing, make that the focus. If it’s buying your product, make that the focus.
Step 3: Don’t Forget Design
This one, while not quite as important as the content of your newsletter, shouldn’t be overlooked. You want your newsletter to be just the right combination of interesting and engaging, without being too cluttered and impersonal.
And, don’t forget about mobile! Use a template that allows for responsive design.
We know over 50% of people are opening their emails first on mobile, and guess what? A study by BlueHornet found if that email doesn’t display correctly, over 71% of them will delete it.
This chart from EmailMonday illustrating that point.
Step 4: Balance Your Content
The most successful newsletters are those that strike the right balance between offering a ton of value and educating their readers, all while working in the pitch and promotions.
Most studies have shown that somewhere between 85% content and 15% promotion is just the right touch. Of course, the numbers are flexible, so test your own results, but generally the 80/20 rule is a good starting point.
Don’t be that brand that focuses only on the sell. Yes, of course you want to include pitches after all you still want your readers to become customers, but doing it that way is a very quick (and easy) way to turn off your readers.
Step 4: Have Fun (and Engage)
There’s no point in sending out a newsletter if you aren’t going to work to get readers to engage and have some fun with the content. Just because it’s a newsletter doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy.
Here’s a good example (and it’s optimized for mobile!):
Now don’t you think an email like that is going to get a lot more interest and engagement from readers than the standard fare most brands and marketers send out?
Don’t be afraid to be a little different and infuse personality into your newsletters. If your audience doesn’t respond, simply change up the next one.
Those are some easy tips to get you started on your way to having a newsletter your readers can’t wait to open. Give it a shot, and let us know how it goes!