Writing Email Newsletters That Stick
99% of consumers check their emails every day. With a statistic like that, it’s easy to see why email campaigns should be part of your marketing strategy. A mailing list can help you expand your reach and increase brand awareness and loyalty.
What is an email newsletter?
An email newsletter is a specific type of email with valuable content that is sent to a mailing list. Its contents can include links to guides, blog posts, news, videos, and even advice.
Because your mailing list subscribers signed up to receive your emails, using email newsletters is a unique way to establish brand loyalty and develop relationships with clients. Including links to your website can also lead to more website traffic.
Why are email newsletters important?
72% of customers prefer email communication over other marketing channels. A well-designed email newsletter will drive engagement and traffic to your website, which makes customers spend more time learning about your brand.
Using fun, well-written copy can strengthen the connection between the audience and your brand, establishing your brand personality and distinguishing you from your competitors. Reading your email newsletters can help grow trust and loyalty in your target audience, which can lead to repeat sales.
A huge difference between marketing through emails versus marketing through social media is that emails provide personalization. You can address your audience by their names with email automation. You can also divide your audience into different categories such as new subscribers or existing customers. Including personal fields like the subscriber’s preferences, job title, and location can help you create curated emails targeted for a more specific segment of your audience. By writing emails that are relevant to your audience and providing them with direct value, you can increase audience engagement and establish your brand.
Besides establishing your brand and providing valuable content, email newsletters can also promote your products and services. 68% of millennials reported that promotional emails influenced their decision to complete a purchase. This statistic shows that email marketing can help close sales, especially if you offer special discount codes for your mailing list subscribers. In fact, sending three abandoned cart emails (follow-up emails sent to someone who didn’t complete their purchase) can lead to more sales than sending a single email, boosting your revenue.
Email is also 40 times more effective at gaining new customers than social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter. Email newsletters have the highest return on investment (ROI) for marketers—for every $1, email marketing has an ROI of $44.
Don’t believe that email newsletters can have all these benefits? Try it for yourself and see how easy it is to measure the performance of your email newsletters. The costs of an email newsletter software are usually much lower than paid ads, and can provide you with email statistics with key performance indicators (KPIs) such as open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, and bounce rates. You can then calculate your return on investment (ROI) to inform your marketing strategy.
Best Practices for Creating Email Newsletters
Step 1: Identify your Target Audience
Before writing or designing your newsletter, identify who you will be talking to. Tailoring your content to a specific target audience will ensure your email will appeal to them.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your target audience:
- Who would purchase my product or service?
- Who is my typical customer?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What problems do they have that my product or service can solve?
- What do they like/dislike?
- Where is my target audience from?
- What interests my target audience?
Step 2: Identify Your Goals
At this step, you may want to consider your overarching marketing strategy. How will your email newsletter fit into your strategy? Having specific goals and determining whether these goals fit within your company’s mission and values is a crucial component of writing an effective email newsletter.
Keep in mind that your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Set some corresponding KPIs for your goals.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your goals:
- What are you hoping to accomplish with your email newsletter?
- What message am I trying to communicate to my audience?
- What would your audience gain from your email newsletter? What value does it have?
- How will you measure your email newsletter’s success? What are the KPIs?
- What type of email content (how-to guide, advice/tips, promoting products) will help you achieve your goal best? Why?
- How will you ensure your content is unique and stands out?
Step 3: Brainstorm and Create Content
After identifying your target audience and your goals, you will need to brainstorm to ensure that your email newsletter has content that fits with your audience and goals.
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm content for your email newsletter:
- At what stage in the sales funnel are you struggling the most? Product awareness, closing a sale, or product reviews?
- What ideas will align best with the strategy and audience you have in mind?
- How will your content look, design-wise? Does it follow brand guidelines?
- What content does your audience want or need? It might be worth it to survey your audience or include a question on your email sign-up page to answer this question.
- What is the tone of your email? Is your copy engaging and easy-to-read?
- What images or graphics will you be including in your email?
It may be helpful to look at your sales funnel at this point. There are three main parts to the funnel: awareness, intent and consideration, and evaluation and purchase.
If your goal is to increase awareness for your product or service, create an email newsletter that informs your target audience about your product or brand. Write about how you can bring value to your audience to increase brand awareness. If you’d rather convince your target audience to consider purchasing your product or service, try listing the benefits of your product or service in a promotional email. If you want to make purchasing easier, smoother, and better for your customers, including discount codes and abandon cart emails in your newsletter can help with that.
Some things you will want to keep in mind when creating email newsletters:
- Keep it simple—some people will be opening emails on mobile devices, so make sure everything is easy-to-read regardless of the device it’s being viewed on
- Emphasize your call-to-action (CTA)
- Keep your images small for faster loading time
- Use colours that reflect your strategy
- Tailor your emails to your specific target audience
- Brand your newsletters
- Optimize content by including alt text and keywords with images
Remember to have consistent branding in your newsletter design, leveraging colours, typography, and contrast to highlight information and CTAs (call-to-action). You will also want to ensure you have good email copy and that the subject line hooks readers so they are encouraged to open your email. 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line only, so you must utilize the space you have to engage your audience.
Here are some potential ideas for email content:
- Educational or informative content
- Popular posts on your website or blog
- News from your company
- Product promotions
- Discount codes and deals
- Tips and advice relating to your field
- Inspirational quotes
- Listicles relating to your brand
- “Get to know us” with team pictures
- Testimonials or reviews of your brand or product
- Behind-the-scenes and progress shots of your product
- Interviews with people at your company
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers
- Upcoming events and webinars
Step 4: Have a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)
Your CTA is what you want your audience to respond to after encountering it. It is important that your CTA uses verbs, which encourages your audience to take action. You’ll also want to have a specific, tailored CTA. Check out the examples below for a comparison between a generic CTA and a specific one.
- Learn more
- Click here
- Buy now
- Get to know the product
- Collaborate with the influencers who matter
- Get better sleep now!
Good copywriting can make email recipients more likely to take a desired course of action, whether that’s clicking on a link in your email or following your social media accounts.
Step 5: Send out Your Newsletter
After creating content that reflects your marketing goals and is tailored to your target audience, it’s time to send out your newsletter.
If you’re just starting out, promoting email sign-ups on your social media account and directing potential customers to your website can help increase audience engagement. If you already have a mailing list, consider splitting it up into segments to better tailor specific content for each type of audience.
Step 6: Measure Results
Now that you’ve sent out your email newsletter, it’s time to go back to your goals. Take a look at the KPIs you decided on and evaluate if you achieved them.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you reflect on your email newsletter:
- Who is looking at or opening your content?
- Did you accomplish your goals? If not, why?
- What type of content performed the best? i.e. what brought in the most traffic, if increased traffic was your goal?
- What was your ROI? Why?
Your answers to these questions can help you with your marketing strategy and inform your future email marketing process.
Let Us Help
In addition to advising best practices for email newsletters, Imagine Better Solutions also helps with copy and content development, social media management, and website design. As a company that strives to be a one-stop shop for ease of management, we have all of your marketing needs covered.