Unlike writing a marketing email, a newsletter is typically sent out periodically [monthly or daily] to inform your audience of upcoming events and any new information. In this blog article I will give you some tips on what to include and what to exclude in an e-Newsletter.
To begin, it is very important that the recipients of your newsletter are receiving it because they asked to! This cannot be stressed enough, since you can be labeled a spammer if you do not have their permission to add them to your email list. One great way to legally obtain subscribers is to add a subscribe form to your website.
An e-Newsletter that looks nice is important too. People like to look at pretty things- consider having a professional header for your newsletters that varies from your marketing email templates.
You want to get the attention of your readers, but WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS ANNOYING!!!!!!!!! And, so is including tons of exclamation marks- many people interpret that as yelling.
Instead, you can get the attention of your recipient by writing a great subject line. Listed below are a few considerations pertaining to writing a subject line for newsletters [and marketing emails]:
a. Do not make the subject line too long. Your message will be lost in the subject line if you have a very long subject line; a subject line is best kept short and sweet.
For example, do not have a long subject line such as: “Ana’s Bakery is having a HUGE weekend sale- Learn when and where in this month’s newsletter”. A better choice may be, “This Month @ Ana’s Bakery: HUGE Weekend Sale”
b. Let the recipient know who the email is from. Many businesses will use an outgoing email address to inform their recipients who the email is from; others will use a more personal email address that includes their name. If you are using an outgoing email address that does not define your company, perhaps you should consider including your company’s name in the subject line [such as in the example above].
c. Do not use the recipient’s name in the subject line. Keep in mind, this advice is for when you are sending out a newsletter or any campaign that is going out to many recipients. The reader is going to know that or not unique, or worse, they will think you are a spammer- many spammers use the recipient’s first name in the subject line.
d. When thinking of a subject line, look through your own inbox. Look through your own inbox and see which emails you opened and think of why you opened them. Many times a vague subject line entices people. For example, I opened an email the other day with the subject line: Four AAA Batteries and a Razor Blade. It was very unique and vague- I had to open the email!
A great subject line may capture a recipient’s attention to open your email, but you still need to keep their attention. As you know, people are busy and do not like to waste time therefore, you must have a good opening line. Also, you may want to let the recipient know what the newsletter will cover to avoid losing their attention (i.e Table of Contents).
Once you have their attention, you’ve got to have a nice body! Make sure that your newsletter is informative and entertaining. Three or four articles per newsletter is typically plenty, but be sure that the articles aren’t too long. Your recipients are most likely not going to read every article in full; if you think your articles are too long for the newsletter, consider adding enough of the article to get the reader’s attention, followed by a link to the rest of the article.
Perhaps have some sort of static factor across all of your newsletters- such as an update about your business’ mascot, or, adding a “Question and Answer” section to your newsletter. Try to get your audience involved with your newsletter. Maybe you would want to include a survey or poll and, in the next issue, give your recipients the results from that last poll. Another idea would be to include a “Help Us Improve This Newsletter” section, this way you know what your readers want to read about.
Finally, don’t forget the small stuff! A typo will occur occasionally, but don’t let it ruin your credibility. Read and re-read your newsletter before sending it out. Like they told you in school, if possible, have someone else proof-read for you.
So to review, make sure your newsletter:
- Has a good subject line
- Has a great body
- Isn’t splelled incorecttley
- ISN’T SCREAMING AT YOUR READERS!!!!!!!
-Meg, Atlantic Software