Make Your Email Newsletter Stand Out – And Get Opened
The newsletter is one of the most common types of emails that businesses send. Newsletters are an effective way to nurture your leads by keeping them engaged, helping your brand to stay at the top of their minds, and by providing solutions to common problems that they may have. The challenge, however, lies in getting your leads to actually read your newsletter. Although you may have done a good job getting your leads to sign up to your email list, whatever enticed them to do so won’t always be enough to get them to actually open and read your newsletters. The following 8 tips will not only help you to improve your open rate but will also help in getting your leads to actually read your email content.
1. Stick to one subject that supports your goal
You shouldn’t be sending out newsletters just because everyone else is. This typically means that you have no idea why you’re sending out a newsletter, which leads to content that is unfocused. You need to have a goal when it comes to your email marketing efforts or else you won’t be able to judge their effectiveness. Newsletters sent out by businesses without a goal in mind tend to contain all kinds of content, from blog posts to company news to product information. While newsletters do often contain these things, they’re used at specific stages of the sales funnel. If you’re just sending out random content, your readers are going to lose interest. Once you have a goal for your newsletter, stick to one specific topic for each newsletter you send out. Multiple topics will confuse your readers since they won’t understand what the message of your newsletter is supposed to be and what action, if any, they are supposed to take.
2. Set expectations for your newsletter on your opt-in landing page
The last thing you want to do is give your subscribers the wrong idea about what your newsletter is about. Make sure that you communicate clearly what the focus of your newsletter is on the landing page containing your opt-in form. One way to make sure that potential leads know what they are getting into is by providing a preview of one of your typical newsletters on your landing page that they can check out. Also, let them know how often you plan to send it. That way, they will know that you won’t be spamming them every day.
3. Make sure your newsletter is educational and not overly promotional
Your readers didn’t subscribe to your email list so that they could be bombarded by advertisements. Nobody wants to read more ads, and they are over-exposed to them as it is. Not to mention that if someone has subscribed to your newsletter, then they are already somewhat familiar with what your products are and, at the very least, can do their own research on your website if they want to know more.
Your newsletter content should, therefore, be mostly educational. For example, if your company sells men’s dress shoes, then content about how to clean your dress shoes or how to match your dress shoes to a suit will be much more appropriate than content about the types of dress shoes that you sell on your website. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t send any promotional content. If you have a huge promotional offer or a brand new product release, then you can inform your readers using your newsletter. The idea is not to overdo it.
4. Craft unique and creative subject lines for your newsletters
Just because your leads have opted in to your newsletter doesn’t mean that they will open your emails. The subject line is vital to convincing your subscribers to read your newsletters. A poor subject line could result in a recipient marking your email as spam, throwing it in the trash or simply ignoring it. Put some effort into writing subject lines that attract attention and that engage your subscribers. Keep your subject lines relatively short so that they can be read on mobile devices. Keep your subject line focused as well. They should tell subscribers exactly what to expect when opening your email. Additionally, subject lines that contain numbers and are written in question form can help to pique the curiosity of your subscribers. For example, “5 ways that you can create better subject lines,” or “Do you know how to write effective subject lines?” Being creative and using humor is also an excellent way to ensure that your emails are opened. For example, “Do you know why you opened this email?”
5. Always include a main call-to-action
Without a call-to-action, your readers will have no idea what it is you want from them. Make sure you include one primary call-to-action that is relevant to the content of your newsletter. It’s okay to have more than one call-to-action, but you need one main action that you want readers to take. The other calls-to-action are more like suggestions for what readers can do if they have the time to do them. Make sure that your primary call-to-action is the easiest one to spot, whether you put it at the very top of your newsletter or at the bottom. One effective way to ensure readers know it’s your primary call-to-action is by using a button to make it larger than your regular text and to make it a different color than everything else in your newsletter to help it stand out.
6. Keep your newsletter’s design and copy minimal
A newsletter that is too cluttered with text and visual elements is going to be too overwhelming for most readers. Make your newsletter easy to scan so that readers can get a good idea of what your newsletter is about before they begin to read it. Keep your content concise and make sure there is plenty of negative space (white space) in the newsletter. Readers in a hurry will read the headlines first, then the captions under photos or images, then move on to the content of the story. Try to tell the whole story in a nutshell with just your headlines and captions if you can.
7. Don’t forget to include alt text for your images
Visual content is something you’ll want to include in your newsletters. As you probably know, visual content, such as images or graphs, helps to break up text and makes content easier to read. However, people don’t always have images enabled, which means that you will have to make sure that you include alt text for all of your images. This way, if your images don’t load, at least your leads will be able to read the alt text. This is incredibly important if you use images for your calls-to-action.
8. Make it easy for your leads to unsubscribe to your newsletter
This may not seem like it makes much sense; after all, why would you want your subscribers to unsubscribe? Wouldn’t this make it easier for you to lose your leads? The thing is, if a reader is no longer interested in your newsletter or your brand, they’re not going to be much use to you. You want to keep your email list healthy and engaged, and if uninterested readers can’t unsubscribe, you’re going to have an email list full of dead leads. Not to mention that instead of just ignoring your newsletters, some of these uninterested subscribers may just mark your emails as spam, which is the last thing you want. You can avoid this by making sure that all of your newsletters contain an unsubscribe link that’s easy to spot. Further, allowing readers to unsubscribe is part of the CANSPAM regulation in the U.S. Once someone does opt out of your list, be sure you remove them from all of your mailing lists.
A good newsletter can be an extremely powerful tool for guiding your leads through the sales funnel. Unfortunately, even if your leads have opted into your email list, it’s not guaranteed that they will even bother opening the emails that you send to them. Use these tips to help increase your email open rate and ensure that your newsletter’s content will engage your readers and help nurture them through the sales funnel.
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