Let anyone reading this article right now try to remember how many newsletters they have received today – and how much have they really memorized. Exactly. Newsletters are often repetitive, predictable and simply boring. It does not have to be like that. It even shouldn’t – we will not get anything out of sending thousands of messages that nobody will pay any attention to. We will only lose a lot of time and energy. It has been estimated that about 120 business emails per person are sent each day, and this is a number that can give one a headache. By the way, this generates a lot of questions for marketers – how do I break through with my message in such swollen mailboxes of our recipients?
Remember that the newsletter is often our only form of contact with the customer, so you have to make maximum use of this opportunity. That’s why this article was created – to give you some tips on how to create attractive content and engage your audience. We will share good practices and some secrets behind an effective newsletter.
Lesson 1. Let’s get to know each other!
What do you know about your subscribers? How much do you know about their shopping preferences? Do you understand their consumer expectations? Determine what your customers’ characteristics are, what percentage of them are women/men, how old are they, in which industry do they work. Find out how their typical business day looks like – it will give you insight into the best time to send them newsletters.
Let them get to know you as well. Emphasize your personality. It’s important to engage our customers by showing the character of our brand, building relationships with them and making them like us. Keep a coherent marketing strategy and take care of your language – let’s say you run a clothing brand aimed at young people, and you start the message to the customer with “Dear Lady”. Something is wrong here, isn’t it?
Lesson 2. Personalize!
If you have done your homework after the first lesson and collected the right amount of data about your customers, use this knowledge. Build an effective (and up-to-date) mailing list. Create personalized content. Everyone responds better to an e-mail when they know the newsletter has been prepared specifically for them. With systems such as edrone you can analyze customer behaviour on the website; you know which products they view, which ones do they add to the cart. By using the dynamic newsletter tool, you can include a reminder for a product in your shopping cart. Maybe you can offer a small discount or free shipping? The possibilities are basically unlimited and depend solely on your marketing strategy.
You can also divide your entire mailing list into specific groups – depending on the age, language, gender, shopping preferences (behavioural targeting) – it’s up to you. Make sure you also have a personalized form of address for the message – everyone prefers to read “Hi, Ann” instead of “Hi, Customer.” Adapt the register to the recipient – remember that the language must match the target group. Do not write “Hello” if you sell luxury suits or “Yours faithfully” when you send a newsletter to teenagers.
Thanks to the individual approach to the customers, we build a relationship with the customer based on the loyalty and trust, so-called “lead nurturing”. The more we know about our customers, the better we can fit in their preferences.
Lesson 3. Make yourself stand out!
Okay, the e-mail reached your customer’s inbox. We now have a few seconds for the recipient to decide to open our newsletter. Draw their attention with the use of a catchy e-mail title – the headline creates the first impression. Customers willingly read those e-mails which include information about the industry in which one works, which show how to optimize one’s work or figures, such as how much money can be saved on the introduction of certain mechanisms. That’s how it works in business. When sending newsletters to customers, engage them by including in the title information about promotions or new merchandise in the store. You can also entitle it in an intriguing way – maybe as a riddle or a word game.
Don’t be a bore – it is a non-conventional approach to the subject that counts. Contrary to what one might expect, business e-mails, or strictly product e-mails do not have to be generic.
Lesson 4. It should be nice!
Yes, I know – there’s no accounting for taste. Something that for one person would be the peak of good taste may turn out to be kitschy for someone else. There are, however, some universal rules that make every newsletter visually appealing. First of all, remember about the graphics. Nobody would willingly read a raw wall of text displayed on the monitor.
Keep it simple and sweet – as the Anglo-Saxons say. According to this principle, we have to ensure transparency of the layout, a clear message, high-quality graphics and visuals which we put in the message, as well as a visible call to action (CTA) in the e-mail. The CTA is most likely to be clicked if we position it to the right of the message. It is good to know how the human eye works, and which elements attract its attention.
Sometimes it is worth to insert interesting graphics – even at the expense of the content. Audiences tend to look at the screen quickly, so if they get interested in graphics, they are more likely to get acquainted with the content. Or maybe you could include a funny GIF video? It is an increasingly popular measure of maintaining customer’s interest for a longer time. The upper part of the email is most important, so all product referral banners should be placed there – so that one doesn’t have to scroll down to look for the items.
Take care of the User Experience – let the recipient immediately see the main message that is addressed to them. Also, do not forget to include information on how to unsubscribe from the newsletter at the bottom of the newsletter. Let’s give the customer a choice, but let’s also make sure our newsletter is attractive enough to minimize the risk of losing subscribers. An interesting option is to create a sample newsletter, so that customers know what to expect when they open the mailbox. Remember about the details, select the colours (it has been studied that men prefer bright colours in newsletters and women – pastel ones) – this can be a valuable hint.
Do not forget about mobile devices – the newsletter MUST also look good on tablets and smartphones.
Remember that the landing page – which is the page that appears after clicking the button – also has to be attractive and consistent with your creation. But it’s already a subject for a separate article.
Lesson 5. Content is the king!
An engaging newsletter is an attractive newsletter when it comes to both the form and the content. It is worth remembering that neither the time of the day nor the catchy title nor the topic will prompt the recipient to open the newsletter if its content is not interesting. First of all, the newsletter should contain the“exclusive” content, which the recipient will not find on the company website, blog, and online shop. Do not duplicate the content that can be easily found. Take care of attractive topics – guides, tutorials, the “how to do?” tips, instructions are preferably clickable. Sell knowledge, not goods (or at least not directly). Provide product, business, and educational content. As many as 81% of respondents (according to the “How Poles use email” survey ) declares that the content of the newsletter is most important for them.
Attractive copy is a must – write in the language of benefits and excitement, appeal to pleasant associations, and encourage interaction – clicking on a link referring to a video, subscribe to a webinar, links to articles on a company website. You can also include links to social media in the newsletter, such as “like us on Facebook”
Content should be short and concise, it would be best if it intrigues and engages the recipients with the first words. To make the recipient focus their attention on the text even more – place the whole of it or a fragment in the frame.
Do not make spelling mistakes. Seriously, don’t, it’s really unprofessional. Accidents happen to the best of us, but make every effort to check few times the correctness of the texts in the message.
Integrate e-mail marketing campaigns with social media channels, letting the message be consistent with content that one can see on your company profile.
Lesson 6. Be consistent!
Patiently build your image and gain customers’ trust. Take care of regular and systematic newsletters. It’s best to send such messages once a week, at the same time – it’s easier for the recipient to identify you when you get them used to receiving e-mails on the same day. Find out on which days it is worth to send out newsletters and on which not. Take advantage of good practice – Friday afternoon is probably not the best time to send an attractive newsletter.
In the newsletter, as in any other form of communication, the three most important factors are: To whom do you speak, what you say, and how you say it. Neglecting one of these items can result in loss of the customer. In addition to patience and consistency, the constant development and creative approach to the tools used is a must if we want to emphasize our position on the market (and the competition is really big).
It’s important how do you begin and end
The newsletters are now experiencing their second youth. So far, with the enormous popularity of social networks, marketers have based their communication on Facebook. However, we cannot fully influence how this website will limit the reach of our message and whether it will actually reach the recipient. Hence the renaissance of newsletters – we can personalize the content; tailor it to an individual client and not to an anonymous crowd. Besides, we know that the reader has subscribed to the newsletter himself, so we can assume that he is interested in the subject matter we are discussing.
Let’s not forget how many benefits the newsletter offers – not only by building a positive image of your business, but also by increasing your sales, maintaining good customer relationships (and, at the same time, reducing your communication costs) and getting more traffic to your company’s website. A good newsletter basically brings only benefits, so remember to make sure that it has been well thought out – from A to Z.