When it comes to building brand awareness, creating a well-crafted newsletter can be invaluable. Newsletters are undoubtedly one of the most beneficial forms of email marketing. If it’s numbers you’re interested in, check out ’70 Email Marketing Stats You Need To Know’ by Campaign Monitor. It’s also a fantastic way for you to be able to connect with your customers. Whether they’re in the visitors stage or already a valued customer, providing them with content that they find beneficial as well as enjoyable, will help build trust in your company. However, what encourages people to want to read your newsletters?

Subject Line

Your phone pings. You have an unfamiliar email in your inbox and without opening the email, you chuck it straight in the trash. Why? What was it about the subject line that stopped you from opening that email? It could simply be that the content of the newsletter simply doesn’t peak your interest. You wouldn’t open an email about the next cheese festival coming to a town near you, if you’re lactose intolerant. If you’re aiming to attract people to your brand, you want to ensure your subject line is enticing and that it doesn’t end up in the trash, or in their junk folder.

  • Give them a reason to open your newsletter. If you’re offering them promotional codes, discounts or downloadable content, put it in the subject line.
  • Keep it short and sweet. This will also work in your favour for those on a mobile device, as longer titles may cut off before the real value of the subject line is readable.
  • Readers want to know what they’re about to read, before opening your email. Your readers are busy people, who are likely to scan over the text very quickly. Your relationship with customers may suffer if they’re unsure what you’re offering.
  • Use words that encourage action, i.e. must know! last one! act now! Creating a sense of urgency will encourage them to open your newsletter.
  • Personalisation in the subject line cause higher click through rates. But don’t overdo it, using their name multiple times can appear spammy and not like it came from an actual human being!
  • The use of capital letters and exclamation marks in subject lines can trigger spam filters. Meaning your readers won’t even know your email exists before it bounces straight into their junk mail.
  • Test, test, test! A/B testing will help you determine what subject lines work the best, which are being opened and which are bouncing straight into your readers trash.

Subheadings and body of text

Success! A reader has opened your newsletter, now here’s where the real magic happens. People are drawn to advice, knowledge and content that they will benefit from. Simple mistakes in the subheadings and main body of your content can affect whether your reader will convert into a customer.

  • Segmentation is probably the most neglected strategy in email marketing. Chopping up your text into bite sized pieces makes it easier for the reader to digest and understand.
  • Balance out the promotional, with the educational. Your readers don’t want all your content to be about promoting your brand.
  • Spelling mistakes. It happens to us all, we are only human. But spelling mistakes can come across as unprofessional and sloppy. Read through your content, read it again and even better, have someone else read it.
  • Calls to action are another useful resource to add to your newsletter to judge how well it’s performing. Whether you want people to click through to your website or to download a resource, it’s another incentive to get your readers to interact with your brand.
  • If you use links, make sure they work on both desktop and mobile. Sometimes the page you’re linking to could simply be redirected, this can break a link making it obsolete. Consider as well that not all websites are mobile optimised. They aren’t always ideal to link to if the reader is unable to view your resource on mobile.
  • Drawing attention to vital chunks of your text will help ensure that your readers don’t miss anything important. You can bold, highlight or enlarge text to have it stand out amongst the crowd. However enlarging font left, right and centre can appear as being used because you’re lacking content.
  • Have an unsubscribe button! Giving readers the option to unsubscribe is a great way to judge how well your newsletters are performing too. This option ensures nobody feels like they’re being forced to receive your emails and it’s a simple way for them to opt out.

Design

Your newsletter represents your company as well as the products/services that you offer. There’s many ways to approach design. You can opt for something sleek and simple, or go big with bright colours and funky text. Whatever you opt for, it will be a reflection of your brand and how you want people to perceive it.

  • Consistency! Structure, colour schemes, logos and will all need to be coherent across all your newsletters. If your newsletters lack harmony, the trust in your brand will be at risk. Readers want to recognise exactly who the email is from.
  • Less is more. Cramming your newsletters with as much content as possible will give your readers a headache. Clean, simple designs tend to be more appealing and your reader can focus on the important information.
  • Smart use of white space will help draw attention to your content. But, overuse of white space can make the newsletter look bare and empty so be careful.
  • A few images here and there are a great way to make your newsletter look more interesting, as long as they add relevance. Stuffing your newsletter with of images, gives the reader the sense that you ran out of ideas.
  • Your images should have alternative text! Alt text is text that will appear if your image doesn’t load. This is especially important if your CTA’s are images.
  • Always keep your mobile users in mind! Everything from the size of your images, the placement of your text and what the reader will see before having to scroll all have to be considered. Mobile users are going to be the majority of your readers, catering for them appropriately will help build your brands reputation. Creative Bloq have featured some newsletter designs that they love in this article. 

Once you have mastered the art of constructing your ideal newsletter, the aim of the game is to send those readers to your website. You don’t want them hanging out in their inbox reading your email. Your newsletter is for enticement purposes, to have people read your content and want to learn more. Whether your purpose is for them to browse your website, visit your store or buy a product, your goal is to cause an action to happen that eventually ends with them investing in your brand.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Hubspot have this handy list of their favourite newsletters they love seeing in their inboxes!

Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash