How many unread newsletters do you think there are in the world? That question is a little asking how many angels fit on the head of a pin. You don't know but assume the number is pretty large. Even though people consciously subscribe to newsletters, they often skim the headlines and then delete them. You have only a moment to catch their attention and keep it.
If you worry that your newsletters are not making an impact, consider the following tips for improving your content and design.
Understand Your Audience
You can safely assume that your audience has something in common. They signed up for your newsletter, so they are interested in your services or products. You do have to figure out what type of content they will read. Updates on new products? Profiles on new hires? Helpful entertaining tips? Before beginning your newsletter, create a reader profile and then design your content for that reader.
Understand what they do not want. Your audience is not interested in off-topic subjects like a visit to Comic-Con or a visit to Yellowstone unless it has something to do with your products or services. For a travel agent - yes. For a glove manufacturer - No.
If your newsletter goes out to a widely diverse audience, you may need to segment your distribution list and offer several versions of your newsletter. That step applies to larger businesses, for the most part. One newsletter a month is enough for most companies.
Grab Them with the Subject Line
Since most newsletters are delivered by email, your subject line is all-important. It must be compelling enough to earn a click from a reader deluged with other emails. No pressure, right? The success of your newsletter depends on earning that click.
You should personalize your e-newsletter subject line if possible, beginning with the recipient’s first name. Never use “salesy” language because the newsletter is meant to inform and not be an extended sales flyer. Don’t use ALL CAPS or !!!!!!!! either. Those over-used tricks will earn your email an automatic trip to the trash bin. Instead, you can add a date or deadline to add urgency. Keep the subject line to 50 characters or less so it won’t get cut off in the recipient’s inbox. And if you are funny, use humor. “James, Let’s Drop a House on 2020.” If you are not funny, you can hire someone who is.
Content, Content, Content
Your newsletter may have sales ads that offer discounts or special deals, but these are a small part of your content. You need to give your readers value and share your expertise. Try using evergreen topics - those that never become outdated. For instance, topics on how to lose weight or how to cut your electric bill are evergreen. Identify evergreen topics in your industry and use them whenever possible. If the topics are timeless, your audience can save them and refer to them in the future. Your company name will remain along with the information.
Your readers want content they can use in their own lives or businesses. You can also include entertaining material to make them laugh and keep them interested. Just make it relevant. Review books and movies that pertain to your company. Jokes are fine (except dad jokes) if they poke fun at your industry.
If you have the knowledge but not the writing talent, hire a freelancer to give life to your ideas. You can find talented writers at Scripted.com who will create powerful newsletter content that fits your company’s brand.
Keep it Simple and Concise
Newsletters are meant to be brief and easy to read. Ditch the long or complex sentences. The subject matter cannot be a deep dive into a complicated subject. Readers spend only minutes on your newsletter, so publish easily-absorbed content. But, you can link your newsletter pieces to your website blogs or longer analytical articles. That way your audience has the option to learn more, and you'll drive traffic to your website. Watch your Google rankings rise!
Some experts say a person's attention span is around eight seconds, or less than that of a goldfish. (Which may be an insult to goldfish.) Even if your audience has better focus, they still want to read your newsletter in small bites. To help your readers along you can:
- Add subheadings
- Use bullet points
- Highlight or bold important points
- Use short paragraphs
Remember, you are not writing a white paper, so keep it simple.
Create an Attractive Design
Today’s readers expect visually appealing design, including graphics, white space, logos, etc. Fortunately, almost everyone has access to basic design tools that can do the job. You can put together a good-looking newsletter using Word or Google docs and grab free images from an internet source. Many companies have a skilled graphics person on staff who can create more sophisticated designs. Just make sure that your newsletter looking inviting.
Creating a solid design requires some thought. Design experts urge you to incorporate the following:
- A color scheme that compliments your logo. (Orange logo/pink newsletter is a big no.)
- Use common fonts. (The weird ones are cool to look at but hard to read.)
- Make it mobile-friendly (Many people only read their email on a smart-phone. Design accordingly)
- Use images (People turn away from uninterrupted copy)
Try a few designs and run them by your staff. Take them home and let your family weigh in. They may be your toughest critics, so listen to their feedback. Making your newsletter fun, informative and easy-on-the-eyes will get a positive reader response. Your sales and brand will benefit.
Let Scripted Help
Does your email newsletter end up lost in your clients' inboxes or moldering in the trash? It's time to partner with Scripted and give your efforts a new life.
Let our expert writers help you create a dynamic newsletter that engages your audience. We have a team of exceptional writers ready to tackle your project and produce quick and effective results. Call 866-501-3116 or visit the website today for more information on our services. This month, you can send out your best newsletter yet. Good copy, attractive design and happy readers await.