Just like social media, you have to be almost a word-smith with email too. Many complain that their open rates have plummeted, their emails get marked as spam, or their contacts are unsubscribing and “they’re losing them forever.”
Everything from subjects lines, colors, boring content, to images, can all play a role in whether someone will read your email or banish it to the Junk or spam folder. A poor email can also reflect badly on your organization, because it can make you look unprofessional.
Here are some tips on how to make your news newsletter more successful:
- Make your readers eager to open an email from your organization. Provide white papers, donation updates, even interesting bits of news can all make the difference in a readers willingness to open your next newsletter.
- Be consistent when you send a newsletter out. Be consistent with the newsletter template, colors, and even the date you send it out. For example, it doesn’t have to be sent out on the 15th every month, but the 13-18 would be acceptable and preferred.
- Put your header at the top of the newsletter. You don’t want readers wondering why the heck they’re getting an email from you in the first place.
- All email newsletters should drive readers somewhere else, whether it’s a blog, website, or Facebook Page. Always remember to include those links in a prominent location. If you don’t have any external resources in your newsletter, you’ve made the email a dead-end, which means it’s hard for recipients to follow-through.
- Use high quality photos (copyright free… or purchased stock photography) instead of clip art.
- Make sure your newsletter is balanced. Not too much white space, but on the flip side, don’t have text in every corner either. Be sure to have plenty of spacers and dividers to break up articles for the reader.
- Balance the content of your newsletter to be 90% educational and 10% promotional.
- CREATE RELEVANT AND INTERESTING SUBJECT LINES!
Most people go through their inbox at least once a day to remove irrelevant email. There’s just too much email and too little time so it’s critical for your emails have a subject line that makes people want to read more. People are looking for an excuse to delete your newsletter – don’t give them one! Don’t use a subject line like “Our October Newsletter.” Instead, use something that grabs attention like an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as “Venture Capitalists Explain How to Get Funded” or “Inside: Exclusive Interview with the Dalai Lama!”
If you’d like to encourage people to forward you emails, try this: The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds “Pls. Forward” to the end of their newsletter subject lines. Supposedly it has more than doubled their circulation!
Don’t make your subject lines too long, and don’t use acronyms in an effort to make them shorter, this is a sure-fire way to get your email deleted!
Another way to automatically get your email deleted is to constantly send updates about products you’re selling.
Even though most of your subscribers have probably made a purchase from you in the past or are just curious about your brand, chances are they want more content that will benefit them, not content asking them to buy your product. While they may love your brand and want to hear from you, there’s only so much shilling you can do before they tune out… so be careful how many promotional emails you send! You should only send an email about an event twice on average… once when the announcement of your event first launches (assuming you start promotion 1 month to 1.5 months in advance), and another about 7-10 days before your event. Sending an email the day before is pointless due to the lack of time to plan to the receiving individual, furthermore, it’s a great way to get more unsubscribes. This also goes for your social media. Your social media should not have a daily post about your event. Once a week is plenty.
Don’t be that company. In your email newsletters, get rid of the self promotion (most of the time) and focus on sending your subscribers educational, relevant, timely information. Unless you actually have an exciting, big piece of news about your product, service, or company, leave out the promotional parts.