By Rachel Peck
Confession time – I fear my e-newsletter tab in my email. Okay, so not a shocking admission, since I assume I’m not alone in this, but we’ve all been there. If you’ve ignored that tab for an entire work week, you might have hundreds of newsletters ranging from client news, to publications, industry peers and so many more. It’s daunting. What’s even more daunting, however, is cleaning out that inbox and sifting through all the “junk” and getting to the relevant information. In those moments, we pick and choose which newsletters to open and which to send to the trash for good. If you’re looking to get into the e-newsletter game, or hoping to revamp, here are our four tips for crafting an engaging e-newsletter:
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again – a good subject line is one of the most important elements in getting a high open rate. Techniques differ based on company and individual brand standards – some businesses might feel more comfortable with an edgier email subject line than others. Of course, the jury is still out on when/if we should be using emojis in our subject lines as well. A good rule of thumb though is to make it both on brand and appropriate for your audience.
Keep it clean
An engaging subject line will encourage your audience to open your email but getting them to actually read through it is another story all together. An effective newsletter isn’t too long and must have a balance of visuals and text – all tied together with a clean design. Figuring out which works best for you will take some trial and error but can be achieved with A/B testing to determine which design, content and layout resonates best with your audience. Additionally, you should incorporate your company branding, such as colors, logo and other relevant information. The design and information should flow, so that when an individual clicks through your newsletter and onto your website, there’s no doubt that it’s the same company, branding and voice.
Be engaging and relevant
While an eye-catching, visually pleasing newsletter is great for gaining attention and earning opens, it’s important to make sure your content is relevant and engaging as well. Click-through rate (CTR) is as important as open rate. If you’ve made it to this point in your newsletter development, you’ve probably already discussed internally what kind of newsletter it will be. Options range from monthly business recaps, to recent blog posts, company news and new job postings, client news and the list goes on. The possibilities are vast, but whatever you choose, make sure you’re looking at it from the perspective of what your audience wants to read. For some more tips, here’s a list of some of the best e-newsletter examples.
Segment your audience
Depending on your industry, not all of your emails might be relevant to every contact in your system. To ensure you don’t prompt unsubscribes by “spamming” emails, consider segmenting your audience. If you’re a communications or media company, this could mean you segment your client contacts, or potential clients, from general media contacts, etc. Segmenting your audience allows you to tailor your message specifically to those individuals, thus increasing your chances of engaging the interest of your audience.
Like anything, effective e-newsletters take time to develop, but focusing on a clean design, engaging content, eye-catching subject lines and tailored audiences are great places to start.
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