Successful email newsletters that can help bring you business and keep your name in the spotlight rarely happen by accident. They are more often the result of careful planning and a little clever thinking. There are countless tips on helping anyone develop a more effective email newsletter, so continuing the last newsletter article, here are four more tips for paving your way to an excellent, hard-working newsletter!
Tip #1: Be personal.
Some of the better newsletters are ones that feel like a personal note to the recipient. If you have the first names of your subscribers, most email newsletter services have methods of automatically adding them to each newsletter; that way, your issue can say “Dear Mike” or “Dear Sue” or whatever the name and feel personal. Consider writing in a conversational tone for more of a casual feel. Maintaining that personal touch also means toning down the hard sell, which brings us to the next tip.
Tip #2: Avoid hard selling techniques.
No one particularly likes pushy salespeople. So why make your newsletter nothing but hard sells of your products? If you’re thinking about making your newsletter just about products or services to buy, you may turn off your readership. (Of course, there are always exceptions. Entertainment products, such as books, video games, movies; and clothing and fashion items may have better success with product-focused newsletters as people may be looking for places to spend disposable income.) Instead, by making your newsletter useful to people, such as with practical tips (like boosting gas efficiency in cars) or examples on using a product (like ways to use baking soda for cleaning) could keep your readership interested…all while suggesting an further purchase.
Tip #3: Use subject lines wisely.
The subject line of the email may be the most important part of your newsletter because it could be the deciding factor in whether or not a subscriber opens your newsletter or deletes it without reading it. In general, short-and-to-the-point subject lines tend to perform better. The sneakier and craftier a subject line is, the worse it tends to perform. Avoid using words like “free,” “help,” or “percent off,” and don’t write in all capitals. People tend to ignore these emails because they look like spam. Successful subject lines are timely, promise useful or needed information, are personal, and/or have emotional meaning for the reader.
Tip #4: Stay away from spam traps.
In the last article on newsletter tips, we reviewed the importance of not being a spammer, which boils down to one thing: never send a newsletter to someone who has not given you explicit permission to receive your newsletter. Just because you have their email address or know them isn’t good enough. Without explicit permission, you are breaking the law.
However, even if your email list is completely legitimate from a legal standpoint, spam filters on email programs may very well still flag your newsletter as spam, and your subscribers may never see your newsletter. How can you avoid spam traps? Take a look at spam messages you’ve received, and see what they have in common; then, avoid those tactics. For example, keep the design and colors simple; more flashy and splashy emails can be flagged as spam. Don’t send an email that’s just one image; use a mix of images and text. Avoid using all caps, and avoid changing lots of colors in your text. Your newsletter software should use well-formed HTML, and you should make sure your spelling is correct. (How many crazy spellings have you seen in spam?)
If you present a straightforward, honest approach in your email newsletters, and you aim to provide relevant, useful information, your email newsletters should see decent success, and your business will benefit!