How many of us have a bulging inbox, stuffed to the brim with newsletters from companies we bought a product from once about 8 years ago? Unless you’re strict, the daily deluge of newsletters and marketing promotions straight into your inbox can feel overwhelming and it could be easy to wonder why on earth you’d want to add to that.
Firstly, have a purge! Set aside a few minutes each day to look at everything you’re receiving and unsubscribe if it no longer interests you. A calm inbox makes it much easier to face looking at your emails in the morning. It’ll also make it far clearer to see when an email comes in that you actually want (or need!) to read.
Newsletter marketing is a really valuable tool. Very few other methods can give direct access to the customer, even social media relies on the ever changing algorithm for anyone to see your posts. It doesn’t cost as much as printing leaflets and is better for the environment as well. So - here are my top tips to make sure you’re getting the most out from your newsletter marketing and not being sent straight to Junk!
1. Have a plan! A newsletter needs a theme, a common thread to hold it all together. Saying that your business is the theme isn’t enough - your customer needs to understand why they’re taking the time to open and read your content. At Pink Spaghetti Weston super Mare we focus on one aspect every month that we can help our subscribers with. Whether it's a hashtag masterclass, surviving the school holidays or learning the basics of a fabulous piece of software, our newsletter offers value for the people reading it and always has an easily identifiable theme. You can even have multiple newsletters for different types of customer, and what their interests are likely to be.
2. Keep it short and simple. Use your newsletter as a teaser of what you can offer. Most of us don’t have endless time to sit and read long, rambling prose from companies to find out what the point of their communication is, so keep it sweet and snappy
3. Don’t be all ‘sell sell sell’. How many times have you opened a newsletter to be bombarded with a sales pitch? How many more times did you open the newsletter from that brand? Try to aim your content towards giving value to your subscribers - reward them for taking the time to open it with something that enhances their life instead of expecting them to sign up for your newsletter, open it, read it and then buy the product. If they’re opening the newsletter then they’re aware of your company and aware that you exist. Continue to offer them value and you’ll be the first brand that springs to mind when they need someone who does what you do.
4. Tell them what to expect. On your sign up page, go into more detail about what they can expect from you, and how often. If you’re going to email them daily with your favourite hilarious tweet of the day - tell them! Don’t let them sign up thinking it’ll be a weekly newsletter and then bombard them 3 times a day, it will create bad feeling and a sense that they may not be able to trust your brand. This will also mean they’re less likely to unsubscribe, and more likely to open your newsletter as they know that they want the content!
5. Have an interesting subject line. Even if the subscriber knows that they want your content, if the subject line isn’t interesting then they still may well not open your newsletter. Getting a weekly email entitled ‘Pink Spaghetti Weekly Newsletter’ may mean you know what it is, but it gives no information as to WHY you should open it. However, getting emails with subject lines such as ‘Our top tips for surviving the summer holidays’ and ‘How to get social with social media’ means you already have an idea of the content and whether it’ll be valuable to you. Spark your subscribers' curiosity and your open rates will increase!
6. Call to Action. Have one simple, obvious main Call To Action. Having lots of links and options to divert the attention of the reader away from your newsletter can be confusing and may mean that they miss the entire point of your newsletter. Make it clear - ‘sign up to our membership’, ‘book a call with me’ or ‘join our Facebook group’. Think about what you would most like the reader to do as a result of reading your newsletter and make that the call to action.
7. Be adaptable. Just because you love the format you’re sending your newsletter in, doesn’t mean that everyone will. Test your newsletter and be prepared to make changes based on feedback. If the colour options or layout aren’t working for the majority of your subscribers then change them up - customers love a brand that listens and makes changes based on feedback. We aren’t saying you need things for a single person, but if you get feedback saying your emails are too busy and cluttered to easily read then change the layout. If people struggle to read lime green text on an orange background then try different colours. You can’t please everyone, but you can please most.
8. Test it! There are few things more irritating than wanting to follow a link, only to discover it doesn’t work, or takes you somewhere totally different. Before you send each newsletter, check everything. Every link, every bit of formatting. Make it a seamless experience for your subscribers rather than getting them excited about reading an article or purchasing a product that they then can’t access. As well as this, think about the format it’s most likely to be read in. Most newsletter tools these days will automatically adjust your content to work for mobile, tablet and PC, but double check. It's frustrating to open a company's newsletter to then discover you have to play around with zooming in and out constantly to be able to read it - after a few attempts, people will simply give up.
Done right, newsletters can be a fabulous way to stay connected with your customers, past present and future. The trick is not to treat them as a sales tool and offer your subscribers plenty of value in return for their time. Hopefully these tips will help you create amazing newsletters with engaging content that makes opening them irresistible.
For more hints and tips for your business - sign up to my newsletter: https://mailchimp/83fef60097ec/pinkspaghettinewsletter
(see what I did there…?)
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