Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Why are email newsletters important?
Email isn’t shiny or new, but it’s still very much relevant – the proof is in the ROI. Email newsletters are an effective recruitment tool that you can use to do a number of things, including getting new potential customers interested and directing returning ones back to your website.
Email creates an opportunity for you to connect and build relationships, and that’s really what marketing comes down to. You can speak directly to prospects, leads, current customers, and past customers who are 100% interested in you and your business – and that’s powerful.
So you want to start an email newsletter, now what?
If you’re brand-new to email marketing, read our Beginners Guide To Email Marketing for 5 simple steps you should take in order to launch your first campaign. Once you’ve mastered the basics, take it one step further by creating a monthly or weekly newsletter!
Email newsletters are a great way to share information on upcoming events, current sales, giveaways, and other updates with your subscribers… but some email newsletters are more successful than others. Think about the emails you read all the way through. Why do you keep reading?
Here are 5 golden rules to think about when you send your next email newsletter that will get people to open up and ultimately increase your ROI:
Rule #1: Don’t Sell
Your newsletter content should never be 100% promotional. In fact, it should be significantly more educational and informative than promotional. We are talking 90/10, friends. Don’t get us wrong, promotional content has its place in email marketing, but only when it’s used in the right proportions.
Your subscribers are looking for updates from you. So be you! Tell them about what’s new and exciting and why they should visit. Be as personal as possible. Talk to them like they are your BFFs who’s super interested in you and your business.
Example: When you do sell, make it subtle. Adding a tickets button will do the trick without being an in-your-face advertisement.
Rule #2: Always Provide Value
Our inboxes are constantly flooded with emails that provide very little value to us. The goal here is to *not* be that guy. If your newsletters are relevant and interesting, your readers will find them valuable and they’ll start looking for them/being excited when they receive them.
How can you provide value? Entertain, educate, and inform your subscribers. Show off your personality and have a sense of humor. And remember, people love getting the inside scoop, so why not deliver it straight to their inbox? If your newsletter offers exclusive information you can’t find anywhere else that instantly increases its value ten-fold.
Example: Since Step Out Buffalo followers love to eat and drink, sharing news about the new breweries coming to town is relevant and valuable. Plus, it’s fun who doesn’t love beer news?
Rule #3: Write for Your Audience
Find your audience and speak to them. Remember, your recipients have opted in to your updates aka they want to hear from you. Taking the time to get to know your subscribers can really pay off, so think about who they are, what they are interested in, and what you want to share with them. Doing so will make you better at talking to them, which will only create a stronger bond between them and your business.
Conversational copy is effective, so pretend you’re sitting next to a regular. What would you say and how would you say it? Email newsletters are meant to be a friendly, casual way to communicate – so write how you would speak!
Example: People love guides, so all you need is a quick and simple tease and that will peak their interest. A simple phrase like “dial up the romance” is totally conversational and attention grabbing.
Rule #4: Make it Pretty
Visuals. Are. Everything. People love pictures, and people appreciate good design. Email newsletters need to appear scannable – think bold headlines, bullet points, and images. Images are just as important as text (or more so!), so make yours attention-grabbing. Breaking up your content into sections is really key because it makes it easier for your readers to digest.
You don’t need a flashy, fancy template to succeed, but you do need to follow best design practices. From the header to the footer to everything in-between, keep the design simple and clean so your content can really shine. Cluttered emails get sent to spam real quick!
Example: People love pizza. Pizza is pretty. And delicious. If you’re promoting anything involving food, your photos should make people hungry, just like this one.
Rule #5: Use Really Good Subject Lines
Last but not least, always remember that first impressions are everything in the world of email marketing. Really good subject lines can drive open rates and ultimately determine whether your newsletter is read, clicked, ignored, or marked as spam.
Don’t use clickbait if you can’t deliver. You don’t want to be over-promising and under-delivering in your email content . Do personalize your emails, add a call to action, and keep your subject lines short and sweet. After all, the majority of people read emails on mobile devices.
So what makes a good subject line? It depends. Every audience is different, so you’ll need to do a little bit of testing to see what resonates best with your readers. In A/B split testing, you can create two variations of one campaign and send them to a small percentage of your total recipients. The results will help you determine which subject lines work and which ones don’t, giving you a better idea of how to craft future email newsletters for maximum effectiveness. Check out this article from Mailchimp on how to create A/B split tests!
Example: Phrases like “X Places to Visit,” “Everything You Need to Know About…” and “Best Things to Do This Weekend” are effective. Trust us, we use them all the time.
Want to know more about promoting your business on StepOutBuffalo.com? Contact us!
At Step Out Buffalo, we help businesses promote themselves and their events on our website, email, and social media channels. Our team is comprised of experts who know exactly how to make your business or event stand out, and we’ll put you in all the right places so you get noticed by all the right people. Hit us up if you’d like to learn more about our business and/or events-based promotions – there’s a reason 94% of our readers go places they’ve seen on StepOutBuffalo.com