One of the biggest problems with email newsletters is that they are often cluttered and unfocused because they are supporting every aspect of your business. Product news goes right next to PR stories, blog posts go next to a random event week … it’s kind of all over the place. Email — whether it’s a newsletter or not — needs one common thread to hold it together.
A way to help reduce the randomness of an email newsletter is by keeping it to one very specific topic instead of it being about your company in general.
Tip #1 Make the content of your newsletter to be 90% educational and 10% promotional.
Chances are, your email newsletter subscribers aren’t down to hear about your products and services 100% of the time. While they may love you and want to hear from you, there’s only so much shilling you can do before they tune out.
Case in point: I willingly opted in to the company’s email list about fashion, but it now sends me emails 2-3 times a day to buy, buy, buy … and when I see its sender name pop up in my inbox, I want to scream. Now, if they sent me educational content — maybe about the latest fashion styles, or how to pair certain shoes with certain outfits — I might be more inclined to buy from them, or at least start opening their emails again.
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.
Tip #2 Set expectations on your ‘Subscribe’ page.
Once you’ve figured out your newsletter’s focus and content balance, make sure you’re properly communicating about them on your subscribe landing page.
Be specific: Most subscribers want to know what kind of emails they will be receiving when signing up for a newsletter. Telling your users what kind of emails you intend to send out builds trust and lets visitors know exactly what they are signing up for.
Also let them know how often they should expect to hear from you.
Tip #3 Get creative with email subject lines.
ven if your subscribers sign up for your emails, there’s no guarantee that they will open your emails once they get them in their inbox.
Try to have a different, creative, engaging subject line for each newsletter you send. This creates an extra incentive from the subject line to click on that specific email right this instant.
Tip #4 Pick one primary call-to-action.
Part of what makes a newsletter a newsletter is that you’re featuring multiple pieces of content with multiple calls-to-action (CTAs).
But, that doesn’t mean you should let those CTAs all have equal prominence.
Instead, let there be one main CTA — the main thing that you would like your subscribers to do. Whether it’s simply to click through to see a blog
post or just share it on social media, make it super simple for your subscribers to know what you want them to do.
Tip #5 Keep design and copy to a minimum
A newsletter can easily feel cluttered because of its nature. The trick to make a winning email newsletter look uncluttered revolves around two things: concise copy and the use of enough white space in the design.
Concise copy gives your subscribers a taste of your content, just enough that they want to click and learn more. White space is key in email newsletters because it helps visually alleviate the cluttered feel, and on mobile, makes it much easier for people to click the right link.
Tip #6 Do not forget the alt text on images.
Alt text is the alternative text that appears when images aren’t loaded in an email. If you don’t include alt text in your images your email campaign could be in jeopardy. This is especially so if
your CTAs are images, you want to make sure people are clicking even without the image enabled. Most of the time, people won’t have images enabled, so you’ve got to make sure your all your images have an alt text.
Tip #7 Make sure your email has an unsubscribe link
This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s key if you want to maintain an active, engaged subscriber list. Also, don’t use weird language like “Update your subscriber preferences.” Don’t hide an unsubscribe button behind an image without alt text. Besides keeping your list healthy, having a clear unsubscribe process will help ensure your email isn’t marked SPAM before it hits the rest of your list’s inbox.
Tip #8 Test, test, then test again
Test everything before sending, because you can’t take it back. Run an A/B test on subject lines, change up your CTA copy.
Just like different groups of people prefer different things, different groups of email subscribers
prefer different things.
And also, follow the law.
Get coding and do it!