Email use is still increasing. It’s estimated that there will be 2.9 billion email users by 2019, with people also having more email accounts each. Add in to that the increased use of smartphones, and our knowledge that people spend a large proportion of their day with instant access to their open inbox, and you can see why it’s important to be ahead of the game for newsletter marketing best practices in 2017.
72% of people prefer communication via email. That’s a huge figure that we can’t ignore. But how do we ensure that we make it work for us, with the best newsletter marketing practices of 2017? What do you need to know to be ahead of the game?
1) Simplicity and Sensibility
Over the last few years, we’ve seen email newsletters getting bogged down in huge amounts of content, and too much padding. The result is that your email newsletter is quickly marked as spam and no longer finds its way in to your reader’s inbox.
Getting a subscriber signed-up is only part of the process. Keeping them reading and looking forward to your newsletters is the harder task. Therefore, the content needs to be hugely valuable time after time.
The average adult attention span is just 8.5 seconds. That’s worrying when you realise a goldfish can actually concentrate for 9 seconds, and less than 10 years ago we would concentrate for 12 seconds. Your readers need to be able to scan quickly, and in the process have their attention grabbed.
2) Interactive Newsletters are Expected
You need to stand out from the crowd. Generally speaking, we’re used to snazzy looking websites, and fairly dull and mundane emails. If you want to be ahead of the trend, you need to make your newsletters just as eye-catching, if not more, than your website. The easiest way to do this is by using a template service such as Postman’s, which will help you to create engaging interactive content with minimal effort and expertise.
So think clickable content, embedded video, and moving graphics. Make it so that your reader can ‘do something’ rather than just read.
3) Make it Personal
We’re used to being treated as individuals, and email newsletters need to get in on the act. You shouldn’t be sending the same single newsletter to every subscriber on your list. Instead, you should have address lists that are defined by reader characteristics. This way you know that you’re sending the most appropriate content to each reader, leading them to believe they are getting a highly customised service, and engaging with a brand that really gets them.
4) Shift Your Call to Action from the Bottom to the Top
Yes, you want your readers to read every word of your newsletter, but the reality is they might not make it to the end. Therefore put the call to action, which has typically been reserved for the last line, to the top. This way, whenever they get the urge to click-to-action, they know where to go. You’ll catch more clicks this way. Think about it – if they are only going to read one sentence, let it be the call to action.
5) Start Straight Away
Consumers are used to instantaneous gratification. If a subscriber signs up to your newsletter, yet doesn’t receive their first delivery until a week later, chances are you’ll have lost them. Get them immediately hooked in to what your newsletters can bring by making your ‘thanks for subscribing’ email, their first newsletter. This is only possible when you’ve got the software doing the hard graft for you. Fortunately, Postman has got that covered.
6) Responsiveness – Seriously
54% of emails are opened first on a mobile device. Your newsletter has to be mobile-friendly or it’s as good as going directly in to the bin. This is a growing trend for 2017. Make sure your newsletter works just as well on a mobile as on a desktop. It’s another reason for making the content short, sharp, and sweet. It can be better to send more, shorter, newsletters, than infrequent long ones.
These are the top best practices for email newsletters in 2017. Master these, and you’ll be ahead of the trend and ensuring that your newsletters really work for your business.