Keeping in touch with customers and leads is essential for encouraging both new conversions and retention. One of the ways marketers do this is by sending out email newsletters.
With around 333 billion emails sent per day, how can you make sure you’re putting marketing effort into sending a truly valuable newsletter that won’t just get buried in the inbox – or worse, sent to spam folders?
To craft a winning email newsletter, optimize email deliverability and maximize the value your readers get from your efforts, you need to follow the best practices of email marketing specialists.
In this article, we discuss the email marketing tips and strategies you can employ to grow your email list, increase your newsletter and email open rates, optimize for click-through rates and conversions and enjoy greater profitability from your newsletters.
9 actionable email newsletter best practice tips
Here, we’ll give you nine tips you can start using immediately to start generating more income from your newsletter subscriber list.
If you’re looking for information on how to get started, check out our guide to creating a newsletter.
In order to start creating a list of email subscribers that show interest in your newsletter, your website visitors or social media followers will have to willingly offer their email addresses to you.
Many businesses pop up a signup form on a landing page and wait for the subscribers to roll in. That worked in the early days of email newsletters, but now, subscribers are far more reluctant to sacrifice that inbox space without good reason.
To compel subscribers to hand over their contact information and opt in to a regular email from you, you’ll want to tell them all the value you have to offer up front.
Take inspiration from Damp, an ecommerce winemaker that tells readers exactly what they get when they subscribe.
Notice also that Damp doesn’t ask for extra details, such as first and last name or phone number. For Damp’s newsletter purposes (a brand awareness play to stay top of mind), only the email is necessary.
When it comes to newsletter best practices, make your sign-up forms as simple and obstacle-free as possible.
It’s important to know what you want to achieve with your newsletters and to set expectations for your readers. Whatever the goal, have it crystal clear before crafting your emails.
Your email marketing campaign goals might be to increase retention or increase conversions of a particular product. Either goal will look completely different when it comes to how you shape your newsletter.
For example, a newsletter focusing on retention will want to showcase the value your product brings to customers’ lives, the benefits they’re getting, relevant content about how to use it more often, etc.
A newsletter aiming to increase conversions for a particular software add-on will release content around using that product or the customer need that’s linked to it.
Likewise, you’ll want to make sure your email newsletter campaigns are aligned with your customers’ goals.
Your subscribers sign up to receive regular emails from your company to get real value, so you’ll want to make sure every campaign delivers on that.
Talk in your readers’ language, refer to their problems in an empathetic way and offer the solutions without coming off as salesy. Your delivery and how it feels to your reader is essential in boosting your email engagement metrics.
Here are some basic guidelines on how to create interesting content:
Use storytelling to engage your audience. Tell them about your week (or month) and give them behind-the-scenes tales.
Share thought-provoking ideas to encourage responses and start conversations. This will help build a community and trust among your subscribers.
Give your subscribers free value to show them that you care (e.g. insider tips, subscriber-only content or peeks into your process)
All this is aimed at nurturing your list, providing value beyond your product and building your authority in the niche you are serving.
While arguably your email copy is the most important element of a successful newsletter, your email newsletter design can take it to new levels.
Aesthetic formatting can make emails more pleasant to read and add to your newsletter’s professionalism.
You don’t have to overthink it. It can be as simple as pulling feature images from the content you already have on your website.
This is what Resy does, for example:
If your branding is particularly visual or you sell visually pleasing products, you can make images or gifs a feature of your newsletter. Match your types of content to both your brand and your audience’s preferences.
Design is a big feature of WeTransfer’s brand, so they replicate this in their newsletter:
Play around with colors, layouts, images and fonts. Choose a style that fits your brand and follow design best practices to ensure it’s also optimized for every device.
When it comes to newsletter marketing, what sets the best apart from the rest is knowing what works for the target audience and doubling down on that.
The only way to objectively know what works is by measuring and comparing metrics, like conversion rates and open rates, between different types of email.
A/B testing plays an essential role in any email newsletter campaign because it helps marketers compare different newsletter templates with varied subject lines, preheaders, layouts and design elements. You can then identify which have the most significant impact on the subscriber list.
You can also send a test email to a small segment of your subscribers before sending it out to the rest of your email list. This way you can see if your email needs any tweaks before the wider audience sees it.
Making an effective email newsletter is both a science and an art. Using these email newsletter best practices, you can start to build and nurture an audience that sees your brand as valuable and authoritative. Over time, you’ll nurture your email list into repeat customers.
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