For every dollar you spend on email marketing, there’s an average return of $32. Not bad, right? But as with all marketing, you can’t just throw anything out there, wish upon a star, and hope it works. The key to getting the most bang for your buck is knowing how to write a newsletter that is effective and speaks to your audience. It’s extremely rare that you will meet someone that doesn’t have an email address, and with the number of promotional emails that are sent out daily, it’s crucial that the newsletters you send out have a purpose.
8 Tips for Writing an Awesome Newsletter
So, how do you make sure your email gets opened, read, and ultimately, sends the reader over to your website?
1. Know Your Audience
Even if your business is one that would ideally benefit anyone, it’s likely that you have an average demographic that you cater to. For example, a fitness center that is located near a university campus likely has members of all ages and walks of life, but the main audience they likely want to target is college students looking for a place to work-out.
The most effective email marketing strategy is one that speaks to your target demographic. These emails generally perform better than an email that’s “designed for everyone,” because you are better able to focus your message.
So, before you begin an email, ask yourself: what kind of person do I want to reach?
2. Define Your Goal
Every newsletter you create should have a clear goal. Some goals may include:
- Directing traffic to your website to share a new service your business is offering
- Sending traffic to your website to get customers to read your latest blog
- Bringing attention, and sending traffic to your website’s online store to sell a product
- Selling a specific promotion or special offer
The key to writing a great newsletter is making sure that you appeal to the reader, and that there’s a clear call-to-action. While we love high open rates, that shouldn’t be the main goal, because opens don’t automatically mean conversions.
Select your goal and allow that goal to shape your newsletter.
3. Organize the Pieces with the User Experience in Mind
Decide which content you want to include and the order in which you want to present it. If the reader opened your email and had to decide in two seconds whether or not they’re going to read the whole newsletter (because this is often the case), how are you going to keep them there?
If one of your most popular products is on sale for 50% off, that’s a pretty clear and appealing message to hit them with right away, but it’s not always that easy. If you’re announcing a new service or showcasing a new blog, think of how that service or blog can really make your reader’s life better and use that to shape your initial message.
4. Keep It Short
We understand that as a business owner, you are very passionate about what you do and want to shout every reason why it’s awesome from the rooftops, but as we touched on earlier, you only have a short window of time to keep your reader’s attention.
If you’re covering multiple topics within your newsletter, condense them into concise, but powerful, paragraphs. Give the reader a taste of that topic, and a clear link or button to a destination where they can learn more. But, be sure to keep a consistent voice throughout the entire newsletter, because you don’t want to confuse your audience.
Throughout your entire newsletter, your tone should match your brand. Not sure what we mean by that? Check this out.
5. Add Personalization & Personality Where You Can
Readers respond well when it feels like they are being communicated to directly. We aren’t suggesting you create a custom email for every contact in your audience (because who has time for that?) However, there are many easy ways to add a personal touch, which include:
Add a name-tag code that automatically enters the reader’s first name at the beginning of the email.
If you have your audience segmented into groups (people that are clients vs. people that are not yet clients for instance), create a couple of versions of the same email, with a slightly different message in each.
Also, the more you can make your business fun and relatable to your audience, the better:
- Use humor when appropriate.
- Add special messages from your staff.
- Offer freebies just for the heck of it.
- Include fun videos or personalized images
For local businesses, insert community references that residents in your city will appreciate. Go Ducks! 😉
There are so many ways to have fun with your newsletters, and each business can find unique ways to appeal to their audience.
We cannot stress this enough: make sure you have multiple sets of eyes on each newsletter before you press the Send button. There’s no better way to get someone to exit out of your newsletter than major typos and grammatical errors. These common errors erode trust and credibility and make your newsletters look careless.
Take a few extra moments to read through your newsletter, and read it again… and again.
7. Make Sure It Looks Good
You know how much we love good content (hint: we REALLY love it), but we also know that humans are visual creatures, and if your newsletter doesn’t instantly catch someone’s eye, they are probably going to click away rather quickly. All of the awesome content you’ve written for your newsletter needs to be presented in a beautiful way.
Here are a few quick tips from our designers:
- Stick to 1-2 fonts, and select font sizes strategically.
- Incorporate striking images and colors that are true to your brand.
- Make sure images aren’t too big or small – big images take too long to load, and small images will be blurry.
- When looking at the entire email from top to bottom from a distance, ensure it flows nicely and looks like a cohesive flyer or poster.
- Add social icons to all of your newsletters.
8. The SINGLE most important tip is this: Tell your reader why they should open your email in your subject line.
Emails that perform are not tricky. The subject line tells the reader why they should open it and then delivers on that promise. Write subject lines that give away what’s inside. Don’t make the reader guess. They won’t. They’ll just pass. If you’re offering a coupon, say that. If you’re telling about a new service, say in the subject line what the service is. This way those people that open it are already interested in what’s inside.
We honestly could write all day about this subject but for now, we hope these tips not only help you write your next newsletter effectively but also help you to gain more traction with your overall strategy. You can do it!
And if you’re like one of the many busy business owners we work with, and you just don’t want to do it or don’t have the time, keep in mind that we create newsletters every day, and would love to explore ways to boost your business with a bomb-dot-com email strategy (let’s just pretend people still say bomb-dot-com).
For Newsletter Help, Contact Us Today
If you want help from our techy/writing/designing Spyders, contact us today and let’s chat. As our owner, Deanna, says, “There is still NO better marketing for return on investment than email when it’s done right.”