Email newsletters work. However, not all email newsletters are created equally. Some are, simply, better than others. What makes an engaging newsletter? What ensures your e-newsletter will be read, and acted upon, rather than sent to the cobwebs of the recycle bin before it’s even opened?
The Top 3 Email Marketing Trends in 2017 are:
1) Interactive emails
3) HTML 5 Video
All are to do with the content of your emails and e-newsletters. That’s no accident. Here’s our How to Guide to writing engaging newsletters that motivate your audience.
1) Get Your Aim Right
In our experience, the problem with newsletter content comes before you’ve even started drafting. It comes because the aim of the newsletter is too broad, and lacking in focus. A newsletter can’t, and shouldn’t, be seeking to cover everything. It needs one clear and significant message. This isn’t a pew sheet from 1970…where your audience has nothing better to do than read multiple messages.
2) Get the Balance Right
Try not to treat your reader like a fool. Your content needs to be predominantly educational, with only a small bit of advertising and direct promotion woven in. Instead, get them falling in love with your brand character and your writing style. Then tag on the promotion. Make the content relevant, timely, and useful. Automation can help you with the timing – we’ve got you covered there.
3) Get the Subject Line Right
It’s easy to bash a subject line out without any real thought. However, if you don’t hook your reader there, they won’t even click through to the body of your brilliant newsletter. This means it needs to be personalised, and punchy. For some helpful pointers for writing great subject lines, read this guide.
4) Get the Style Right
Only once you’ve got the above steps in place are you ready to think about the content itself. You need to have a newsletter persona. The best newsletters are those that feel rather like a message from a witty and articulate friend. So, adopt short sharp sentences, and a punchy style. Use language that is informal and concise. Keep it clutter-free, mobile-optimised, and with a fair amount of white space. The best newsletters have 3 or fewer images, and around 20 lines of text.
However, those few images really matter. Often readers don’t have images enabled – so make sure you have some great ‘alt text’. Furthermore, if you’re going down the route of embedding video (and you should, see top trends), then the video counts as an image.
5) Get the Call to Action Right
We’re all under the impression that you need great content followed by a strong Call to Action (CTA). However, the savvy reader needs us to jiggle things up a bit. CTA’s should now be multiple and loaded into the newsletter from the start, in the form of enticing buttons, rather than links. For a great example, check out NextDraft. Don’t assume your reader is going to make it to the end – so give them a get-out clause that’s in your favour.
6) Get it Right for You
Finally, be prepared to scrap all of the above advice if it doesn’t work for you. Yes, these are the general principles that create great engaging e-newsletters, but they are generic. So test, test, and test again. See what works well for your audience and then hone and refine that. Your list is as unique as you are, so identify what makes them tick and then play to your strengths.
Creating email newsletters that hit your reader’s inbox with a sense of ‘wow’ for them, and a sense of purpose for you, is an art. We can help you out by providing customisable templates that we know work.