8 Best Practices for Publishing an Email Newsletter

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8 Best Practices for Publishing an Email Newsletter

Email newsletters are still an integral part of many Integrated Marketing strategies and campaigns.  They provide a beneficial way to stay in front of your customers provided the message being delivered is valuable and maintains your brand image.  The following are items to consider when drafting an email newsletter marketing campaign.

 

What’s the Agenda?

Before content and before getting a list of subscribers, businesses need to consider who the target audience is and what information needs to be presented to them.  Is this a customer retention strategy for existing clients? Is it a campaign to establish a position as an industry leader?  Is the newsletter designed to generate sales?  Or is it all of the above?

 

What can you give them that they don’t already have?

The trouble with most email newsletters nowadays is they blur together. Very few distinguish themselves. Look at what’s already out there and resolve not to reinvent the wheel. Do something fresh.  Be sure that the content matches your brand identity.  Be sure to not only talk about what’s for sale, but provide information, tips, anecdotal stories, etc.. that will keep your subscribers interested in what you have to say.

 

Shop Email Services

There are lots of options for email service providers.  Be sure when choosing which one you are going to utilize as part of your integrated marketing campaign that the company is secure and going to be around for a while.  Also, take a look at the templates they have in place and see if they match with your online presence already and see how easy they are to customize.  Additionally, take a look at the functionality the service provider has for you to created your newsletters, track results, add subscribers, integrate into your website, etc.  There is a lot involved with having a successful integrated marketing email newsletter campaign, so try to make sure the provider you choose is easy to work with and will be so for a long time in the future.

 

Decide how you are going to get Subscribers

Subscribers come and subscribers go.  Whether through attrition, job changes, or changes of emails, the amount of subscribers to any integrated email marketing campaign is in a constant state of flux.  So in order to keep you subscriber numbers up, your business needs to have a plan for getting new subscribers. The following are a few tips for boosting your subscriber registration numbers.

  1. Put a subscription box on your website. Seems obvious, right? But make sure the box is prominent throughout the website and not stuck on the bottom of your home page or only on the contact page.
  2. Give a reason or incentive for subscribing.
  3. Only ask for the email address at first.  There’s no need to get all of their contact information right now and asking for it may scare them away from subscribing.
  4. Display your privacy policy clearly and prominently. This provides your customers the comfort in knowing that if they subscribe, they won’t be getting spammed and that they can cancel at anytime.
  5. Display a sample issue. People like to see what they’re signing up for before they hand over their email address, so give them an example so they can make an informed decision to subscribe

Have good subject Lines

Everyone is trying to get their inbox less full.  The subject line needs to stop the reader from the repetitive motion of hitting that delete key that gets them to that very short-term goal. Keep you subject lines short.  Many people (specifically in B2B) are looking to find something out or learn how to do something. “How to” subject headers are a good idea for getting increased number of opened email.  Actual news works, too. The more specific, the better. In short, tell your customer something they don’t already know.

 

Look & Feel

Make it easy for the reader to skim your newsletter. Let’s face it, most people skim email. If they really do slow down and read your newsletter, good for you. But assume your readers are pressed for time every bit as much as you are. The more control you give them, the more they’ll appreciate it, whether consciously or unconsciously.

 

Read Your Newsletter Out Loud

Sounds silly, right? But unless you’re comfortable actually speaking the words you write, your newsletter “voice” will come across as phony. The Internet can be a pretty impersonal place. One good way to stand out from the rest is to be human, and to talk like one.

Get Feedback

Ask for your subscribers to participate in a study.  Have a poll on your website where they can share their thoughts.  Ask a question that can spark a conversation and have the means for that conversation to take place on your website.  Invite your subscribers to give suggestions or ideas on what they want to know from you.  They are already getting your emails, find out what they are looking for from you and try to give it to them.  This not only make your integrated email marketing campaign more popular, it will ultimately make it more successful.

 

These are just a few suggestions for how to integrate a successful email newsletter into your overall Integrated Marketing Strategy.  I’m sure there are several others this list doesn’t touch. What have you done in your email newsletter campaigns that has had success for you?

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