E-newsletters & Email Marketing
If you’re ready to jumpstart your e-newsletter in 2016, start by focusing on these best practices.
Depending on your audience, mobile email will account for 30 to 80% of email opens. If smartphone users are not your largest group of email readers yet, they may be soon. And no matter what your statistics show, you can’t ignore this group.
Why does mobile matter? Because reading email on a smartphone is a different experience.
Make sure you’re sending emails that are optimized for smartphone readers as well as desktop email clients. Check that your email service provider (ESP) has templates that are responsive in nature, not just mobile friendly.
You want your readers to have a great viewing experience on any kind of device.
Tailor design elements to a small screen. Buttons should be large enough to be easy to click. While most web designers are aware of this issue on mobile-friendly web sites, it often gets overlooked by e-newsletter designers.
Limit the length of content. People often use their phone to check email when they just have a brief moment. They expect to get through your email content quickly, so make your e-newsletter as short as possible, while still being useful.
Personalize your e-newsletters
There is growing proof that personalizing content increases engagement, and e-newsletters are a prime vehicle for creating personalized messages for your readers.
One of the biggest challenges with e-newsletters is the sheer volume of email we all receive. It’s hard to cut through the noise. If there is nothing special about your email, it will be quickly deleted, or worse—permanently unsubscribed from.
Most readers want one of three things when they sign up for an e-newsletter:
- special offers
- exclusive information
- or to stay in touch with you.
Let’s start with the third one first.
Assume people don’t care that much about you. Very few people (besides your Mom) will sign up for your newsletter just to get “news” from your company. That will rarely attract people to sign up for an e-newsletter, so you’ll have trouble building your list.
There are a few of exceptions. Some non-profits, school, or events can get away with this approach. You probably have signed up for an e-newsletter from a group you support or your kids’ school because you want to be kept up-to-date on things like people hired, upcoming events, or even photos of the holiday party, etc. But very few people want to hear similar news from their insurance broker, restaurant, etc.
For everyone else, figure out what’s in it for your reader.
People want special offers. The number one reason people cite for joining an e-newsletter list is special, exclusive offers—coupons or special sales only available for subscribers.
Use these offers to entice people to sign up and don’t dilute their power by then turning around and offering the same thing to everyone.
Share exclusive information. Some businesses, especially B2B firms, are not going have sales or offer coupons. That’s OK. Your subscribers are probably looking for information, rather than offers.
Just like with a blog, your newsletter should provide useful, expert thoughts, tips, etc. that would be time consuming to find elsewhere. Your e-newsletter is the perfect place to position yourself as an industry expert.