7 Tips for Writing Better Email Newsletters
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy building your newsletter audience… now it’s time to see results! The top priority of any newsletter is to engage and convert a given audience, so every bit of energy you put into that newsletter should impact one if not BOTH of these goals.
But how do you accomplish this?
Lets dive right into seven tips for writing better email newsletters that convert while still engaging your audience to always keep them coming back for more:
1. MOBILE FIRST
Email and smartphones, they go hand in hand. In fact, most emails (54% to be exact) are read on mobile instead of on desktop or tablet. That said, don’t let mobile optimization be an afterthought! When developing your content and overall newsletter design, FIRST consider how it will appear on a mobile screen.
Having too complex of a layout with tons of images in every corner can also run the risk of appearing funky on different mobile devices and email clients. While adding imagery can certainly brighten up your newsletter and add color, a photo-ridden email can take much longer to load making it too inconvenient for today’s audience’s short attention span. Which leads us to our next point… simplicity!
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
While there are some pretty awesome email templates out there and your design team may have some great visuals you want to use, sometimes text-based emails can go a long way and are actually better at helping you get your message across. Think of the newsletters and emails you subscribe to and which ones you make sure to read every week, versus the ones that sit in your Social or Promotions folders. See a trend?
Text only emails face less of a risk of going straight to spam, and they also demonstrate to your audience that you prioritize providing them with actually useful content instead of a pretty template you picked out. Unless your target audience is heavily art and design focused, opt for stripping your template design down a bit.
3. always be testing
You’re not always going to get it right on the first go, so don’t get discouraged! There is always room for improvement, so always take up the opportunity test out different subject lines, send schedules, content, design, sender name and so on.
CAUTION! Try to avoid going overboard.
While you may have tons of great ideas you want to test out, remember that you should only test out one variable at a time, and be sure that the results are statistically significant before choosing a winner!
4. have a clear call to action
You’ve heard this a million times by now, right? Well, this is an obvious one that is too often neglected. Everything you do in digital marketing and email marketing should have an end goal in mind.
Do you want to:
- Drive traffic to your great content?
- Get people to the checkout page and buy?; or
- Get people to fill out your free trial and demo forms?
For all of the above, you’ll need clear calls-to-action throughout your newsletter.
Test out different ways of positioning the main offer you want to present to your audience. Whether it’s a big blue button saying “Start Your Free Trial!” at the top of your newsletter, or embedding your offer as hyperlinked text one third of the way into the newsletter. Test different formats, copy, colors and design for strategically positioning your CTA.
5. segment your audience
Not all readers are created equal! Depending on your product or service, you probably target multiple buyer personas or audience types. When possible, try to segment your email database to uniquely speak to each of your different audiences.
If you’ve already spent time developing buyer persona definitions, you’re already one step ahead of the game! Consider what each of your segments care about or how they consume your products differently. Break up your email audience into these different segments and be sure your subject lines really speak to them. If you A/B tested this strategy versus pooling your entire audience together, I guarantee you’ll see a difference.
6. keep them hanging
If your goal is to engage your audience with your brand while driving traffic to specific pages on your site, then you need to incentivize them to click where you want them to. Don’t give away all of your goodies away by completely spelling everything out in your newsletter. Leave a cliff-hanger to encourage your readers to click on your links to learn and see more.
CAUTION! You want to avoid being too click-batey.
We’ve all seen those annoying ads across the web, “You’ll never believe how this toddler makes a million dollars a day!”, stay classy and leave more to your audience’s imagination without being deceptive. You’ll want to establish trust with your newsletter audience if you want to keep them coming back.
7. establish a hierarchy of information
Did you know that the average person only spends 15 to 20 seconds reading an email? With so little time, your content really has to stand out in order to compete for your audience’s attention. Consider prioritizing the structure of your email content with the most important bits of information always starting at the top, and the least important information trickling down to the bottom.
Always keep in mind two things when mapping out your hierarchy of content in your newsletter:
- What do your READERS think is important?
- What do YOU want your readers to think is important?
It’s always a balancing act of delivering the right content and offers to an audience that actually wants it, and strategically crafting in the product or service you want to push.
Wrapping It Up
All of these tips and strategies wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t have a great email marketing tool to help you every step of the way. Begin your free 14 day trial with Sendlane and start using best-in-class tools and features for sending emails that will propel your business forward!
Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!