Email marketing produces an average of 174% more conversions than social media and results in 28.5% higher ROI than direct mail, but there are a lot of other considerations at play. Writing compelling copy, crafting clear CTAs, creating an enticing design (viewable on multiple devices), and ideating interesting, clickable topics for writing…there’s so much to think about!
Newsletters are no exception to this rule. They are one of the most common ways to distribute company updates, from recent partnerships to brand-new product lines. Still, newsletters have to follow the exact same considerations as every other type of email marketing. With this in mind, newsletters can be deceivingly difficult to do well.
But, lucky for you, DIDO Agency has your back! If you’re ready to start putting together an impactful newsletter campaign, this blog is the one for you. We’ll take you through what an email newsletter is, why they’re helpful for your brand, and some of our top “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to crafting newsletters. Ready?
What’s In an Email Newsletter?
Before you get started, it’s important to understand what an email newsletter is and how it differentiates from other communications. A newsletter is a communication between your business and email list that contains company news, product updates, and upcoming promotions. Think of your newsletter as having an expiration date, because the information is only relevant for a short period. Newsletters will never provide you with evergreen content.
Email newsletters are a great way to engage your subscribers and get them excited about what’s happening within your company, but they need to be sent out consistently to be effective. Most companies send monthly, quarterly, or annual newsletters—delivered in various designs and layouts—to their email list.
As part of your email marketing strategy, you can also send daily promotional emails or automated transactional emails that are specific to an action or product, but remember that these are completely distinct from newsletters. Newsletters are more about keeping customers in the loop versus converting them with a hard sell.
Why Should You Have a Newsletter?
With over four billion active email accounts around the world, there’s a huge opportunity for marketers to build awareness around their brand with email newsletters. A newsletter gives you the chance to inform your subscribers about your brand while also driving them to take action. Of all digital strategies, an email newsletter can have a great impact on your marketing strategy for the following reasons.
■ You can consistently connect with your customers and distinguish yourself from competitors through a newsletter. The more trust your customers have in your brand, the more loyalty they’ll have to keep coming back to you.
■ Newsletters offer you a way to send personalized messages to your email list with the ability to customize features like the subject line, content, and location.
■ Newsletters are a good tool for driving traffic to your website. This will not only improve your SERP positions but also provide a way for your subscribers to learn more about your brand through features on your site like a blog.
■ While newsletters aren’t offering a hard sell with messaging, they can still drive sales. Email newsletters can contain product highlights or even special promotions, piquing customer interest and driving a purchase.
The list of newsletter benefits is almost endless. As consumers increasingly connect with brands on digital platforms, developing a newsletter allows you to stay in touch and provide value to your consumers on a consistent basis.
DIDO Agency’s Top Newsletter “Do’s and Don’ts”
So, now that you know what a newsletter is (and isn’t) and what it can do for your brand, are you ready to get a brand newsletter started? First, you’ll need to understand what some best practices are, and what things you should avoid with newsletter creation. Let’s take a look at our top “Do’s and Don’ts” of newsletters that you need to implement before pushing send on your next campaign.
While there isn’t enough time to mention every best practice when it comes to newsletters, let’s take a look at the top four to help you get started on the right track.
1. DO Send Targeted Emails
Your newsletter is a great opportunity to send dynamic content based on your subscriber’s past actions and preferences. For example, if you’re sending a monthly newsletter about top restaurants in America, separate the content by geographic location, so the content is relevant to where each subscriber lives. 82% of marketers report that personalized emails yield a higher open rate, with 27% higher click-through rates, so join that 82% with your own targeted emails.
2. DO Include Clear CTA Buttons
When a subscriber opens your newsletter, not only should they find the content valuable, but they should also immediately know what action to take next. Whether reading an additional blog post, downloading a new whitepaper, or visiting your website, include a bold CTA button that links them to their next destination. The CTA button should be front and center of the email design and have a straightforward copy to set expectations, such as “Learn more,” “Download now,” or “Register today.”
3. DO Optimize for Mobile
With over 4.2 billion mobile email users worldwide, optimizing your content for mobile devices is a non-negotiable when it comes to email marketing. You need to develop a responsive newsletter that has a width of 600px to ensure it appears correctly with every screen size and email service provider. You also need to keep the mobile design in mind by creating clear CTAs, using concise copy and crafting a mobile-friendly design.
4. DO Encourage Sharing
A newsletter—or any email campaign for that matter—aims to grow a list of engaged subscribers loyal to your brand. After all, the money is on the line, and the more your subscribers engage with your message, the more likely they’ll be to purchase your products or services. Use social sharing buttons in your newsletter to give recipients the option to share your content and promotions with others, growing your email list by leveraging your subscriber’s personal networks.Email
Now that you’ve got a few best practices to keep in mind while developing your newsletter, it’s time to understand bad habits to avoid. The fact is that one wrong email can cost you subscribers and conversions, both of which could lower your brand reputation, so it’s best to know what things to steer clear of.
1. DON’T Write Vague Subject Lines or Preview Text
Your email’s subject line is your subscriber’s first impression of your email. In fact, 33% of users decide to open an email based on the subject line alone! A strong subject line could be the difference between your newsletter getting clicked through or it landing straight in the trash bin. You want to develop a subject line that’s catchy and concise, with five words or fewer. The average consumer scans their inbox quickly, so your subject line needs to grab their attention and set expectations for what the content contains as quickly (and succinctly) as possible.
2. DON’T Forget About Accessibility
With over 2.2 billion people living with a form of vision impairment, forgetting about newsletter accessibility would be alienating members of your target audience. To develop an accessible newsletter design, consider the following elements:
■ Avoid relying on images or colors to convey a message.
■ Make sure the text is properly contrasted with the background (check U.S. guidelines here).
■ Include a logical reading order like left-to-right and top-to-bottom.
■ Always use alt text for images (check U.S. guidelines here).
■ Write informative text on links.
■ Order heading elements in code.
3. DON’T Send Without Testing First
Before you click “send” on your newsletter, make sure you test it across multiple devices and email service providers by sending it to yourself or other members of your team. Oftentimes, the email appears in the inbox much differently than designed, and email providers may block certain elements of your design entirely. You can also use this opportunity to verify formatting issues, broken links, and typos before it gets sent out to your audience. You want to avoid letting your subscribers be the ones to catch issues.
4. DON’T Ignore the Metrics
After every newsletter campaign, it’s crucial to analyze its performance through metrics. Metrics and analytics highlight areas of improvement so you know how to do better in future campaigns. Most email platforms provide a full suite of analytics for you to leverage including the following.
■ Open Rate
■ Click-Through Rate
■ Delivery Rate
■ Bounce Rate
If you’re looking to further your use of analytics, consider A/B testing your newsletters as well to determine the most effective subject lines, CTA buttons, format, and more. Email marketing is all about continuous improvement, and taking advantage of analytics and testing allows you to learn what your audience likes (and do more of it).
Email newsletters can be a great way to communicate with your subscribers and move them further down your sales funnel, all while providing valuable content on a consistent schedule. By following our list of “Do’s and Don’ts”, you’ll start your newsletter journey on the right foot, producing the results that your brand wants and needs