Think this is the end of email marketing? Let us convince you otherwise.
If you’re looking to create an effective and comprehensive marketing strategy, a newsletter should be one of your go-to tools.
Not only do newsletters allow you to keep your audience informed on what’s going on with your business, customers will think of you first when they’re ready to buy because you’ve regularly shown up with value.
But, not all newsletters are created equal. From subject lines and content to design, a lot goes into creating an effective newsletter that engages and converts. Read on for some useful tips on how to design an effective newsletter.
The purpose of having a newsletter for business
Newsletters are a tool to share information with a select group of people, usually in the form of a bulletin to share information, updates, promotions or announcements. They sit within email marketing, but in contrast to regular or ad-hoc company emails, newsletters are often stylized and sent out on a regular schedule.
The main purpose of a newsletter is to keep subscribers informed, engaged, and excited about your business. They can (and should) form a strategic part of your content marketing strategy, with goals such as:
- Increase leads
- Increase sales and/or conversion rates
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase customer engagement
- Increase brand awareness
The benefits of including a regular newsletter into your marketing mix
Direct access to a warm audience
Inboxes are sacred places, but if you’ve been granted permission to send your business’ newsletter to someone, they’re already a warm lead. They’ve opted into receiving information –and promotions– from you. That’s gold dust.
Email marketing comes with staggering statistics, with the average ROI (return on investment) between 3800%-4200%. Plus, the costs involved in setting up and sending out newsletters (depending on your email provider) are relatively low.
Increased engagement and customization
Again, your customers have chosen to receive your newsletter, so are much more likely to respond to CTAs (calls to action) within your email. Email marketing is highly customizable, segmentation allows you to tailor your content to specific audiences within your customer base.
A regular, well-written newsletter can position your business as a point of authority, or as an expert in your particular niche. When you focus on providing great value, your customers will learn to trust your authenticity and buy what you sell, increasing your conversion rates.
Access to informative stats
As you begin to build your email list and send regular newsletters, the statistics on offer can provide valuable insights into your customer’s behaviors, wants and needs.
Practical tips for creating newsletters that effectively engage and convert subscribers
There are some key steps to follow to ensure that your newsletters are valuable, and bring you that enticing ROI:
Define your target audience
As with any new marketing strategy, it’s vital that you understand who it is you’re trying to reach with your efforts. Before you start planning, define your audience so that you’re clear on what they want and need from your business.
Provide valuable and relevant content
Keep subscribers onboard by offering up something they can’t get anywhere else. How-tos, tutorials, discounts and repeated features (like round-ups with links) are all great options.
Design Force tip: Plan out the sections of your newsletter in advance, and stick to the same format each time you send it out. Your customers will know exactly what to expect from you and are more likely to stick around if they enjoy what they’re getting.
Keep it short and sweet
Don’t overstuff your newsletter with too much information, it will look overwhelming and end up in the trash. Research suggests that 200 words is a sweet spot, but do your own testing to see what works best for your industry and goals. Less is more.
Make sure to have one CTA
To make your newsletter as effective as possible, limit the customer’s action to one thing only that supports the goal in mind. That could be a button to go to your website, to buy, or to reply. Remove the choice = higher conversions.
Prioritize effective subject lines
Your subject line is the most valuable part of your newsletter. If it’s weak, your email won’t be opened, sending all that hard work to the trashcan. Keep it short (so that it’s not cut off in preview), make it compelling, and give the reader a glimpse of what to expect.
Design Force tip: Don’t overpromise or use click-bait subject lines. You’ll instantly lose trust.
Keep your list clean
Do you have inactive subscribers? It’ll hurt your open rates to keep sending them emails if they’re unresponsive. Don’t be afraid to regularly clean out your list to remove those emails –you want engaged readers only.
Read ‘Do Open: How a Simple Email Newsletter Can Transform Your Business (and it can) by David Hieatt’
This short and powerful book is a great resource and case study for the vast benefits of newsletter marketing that can be read in one sitting.
Practical tips for designing newsletters that customers want to open
The design of your newsletter can often be as important as the content itself. Here are our tips for effective newsletter design.
Use responsive design
Emails are opened on a wide variety of devices, so ensure your design is optimized and responsive no matter where the content is viewed.
Be consistent with the layout
Much like sending your newsletter to a schedule is beneficial, using the same template design is just as effective. Regular subscribers will learn what to expect from you, and your newsletter will become a part of their inbox routine.
Again, less is more. Avoid overwhelming your readers with excess clutter and streamline your newsletter using a few simple elements. Yes, aim to make it beautiful, but too much ‘design’ makes an email feel like a sales tool (even though it is) from the get-go, which can be off-putting. Test out a few options to see which gets the best click-through rates to know what works for you.
Stay on brand
Your newsletter should be viewed as an extension of your brand, so ensure you keep colors, fonts and image styles consistent throughout to increase brand awareness and recognition.
Bring your business newsletter to life
Newsletters shouldn’t feel like an add-on, but a central component of a comprehensive marketing strategy. When done well, they have the power to reap huge rewards, so we encourage you to test out our tips listed above.
Need some support? We get it. Adding any new arm to your strategy can feel stressful at the start, but we’ve got a team of world-class designers with an eye for effective newsletter design on hand to give your business a boost.
Book a free 15 minute demo to see how we can support you in getting your newsletter off the ground and into the inboxes of your dream customers.