Don’t listen to the rumors out there: email marketing isn’t dead – not even close.
Here are the real facts about email:
- As of July 2015, email was the most popular online activity among U.S. adults
- 205 billion emails are sent each day
- The average email marketing campaign earns $38 for every $1 spent
A newsletter is one of the best strategies for an email marketing campaign. It’s actually been proven that consumers want to receive promotional email content from brands they follow: A whopping 91% of U.S. consumers, actually.
A newsletter offers your business the chance to communicate directly with customers. This can range from promoting a new product, distributing relevant informational content, or sending a coupon for them to use on your site.
At Taktical Digital, we use our Taktical Growth Hacks newsletter for sending news and helpful tips to fellow digital marketers and businesses in hopes of providing them with a resource for development and education.
Regardless of your intention, a newsletter is only as effective as how many people click on it and take action within it. Here are the tips you need to know for writing a newsletter that gets people to convert.
It Starts Before They Even Open the Email
Your subject line and sender name are where you can grab the reader’s attention and either convince them to open the newsletter or send it right to the trash.
When it comes to the “From” name, try to personalize it so it’s not just from a generic company domain. Personalized emails experience 50-60% open rates, versus the 20% standard for commercial emails that are not.
So, try sending your newsletter form the name of who authored it or someone else recognizable within the company.
When you’re considering your subject line, it’s best to aim for something creative and catchy. Personalization can go far here, too: Add merge tags to your subject line that insert the recipient’s name upon sending.
Other tips for crafting a subject line that compels people to open your newsletter include:
- Asking a question
- Make it a listicle (aka include numbers)
- Using an emoji
Make It Scannable
There are few things more off-putting to someone opening a promotional email than a big wall of text. In general, people will keep a newsletter open for less than one minute, with only 19% of recipients actually reading the content in full.
Scanning is the name of the game, so the best way to handle this is to organize your newsletter content more appropriately.
Separate content into chunks that correspond to the information of a heading or title. Let the headlines guide the flow of content, but keep it all short and to the point.
A card design principle is a popular choice among email marketers for its simplistic design and clean appearance. Use this or a similar template for organizing your copy and making it more digestible and appealing to your audience.
Capitalize on CTA Opportunities
Your calls-to-action (CTAs) in a newsletter is how you’ll get readers to convert. That being said, you don’t want to overload them with too many or confuse them about your message and intention.
Once you’ve formatted your newsletter so it’s easily scannable and divided into content chunks, insert a CTA button at the bottom of each section.
Customize the button to correspond with the content (e.g. “See More Templates” if that block is discussing email templates you offer), and make it stand out with contrasting design.
When people see CTAs that direct them to a specific action and are thoughtfully placed and spaced out in the newsletter, they are more likely to click through.
One last note on CTAs: Make sure to format them as buttons instead of text. CTA buttons received a 28% higher click-through rate than text links according to one Campaign Monitor study.
Format the Newsletter for Mobile
More people now open and read emails on their mobile device than their desktop.
According to one Litmus report, the number is now 51% of people checking their email on mobile vs. 49% on desktop. By 2018, this number is expected to grow to 80% of email users checking their inboxes on a mobile device.
The way that people interact with email on mobile is different than on desktop, however. You need to adjust your newsletter strategy on both a design and content front in order to adapt to these changes in user behavior.
According to recent research, the pain points of many recipients of promotional emails include the content being too small to read and a lack of appropriate formatting for mobile (e.g. images cut off or appearing awkwardly on screen).
In order to combat these and create a newsletter that works seamlessly across platforms, make sure it’s optimized for mobile.
A good email marketing service will let you send emails that are already formatted for mobile. You can then preview the newsletter before sending to make sure your content is appearing appropriately.
For starters, though, you should always be sure to use text that’s at least 14px and format it in a single-column design. Additionally, keep in mind that your images may not show up on a mobile device, to compensate for this by keeping visual content to a minimum.
You can still have excellent design and formatting without a ton of images.
There’s no denying a newsletter is a convenient and effective way to accomplish a range of marketing goals.
Whether you’re looking for greater engagement, brand awareness, or higher ROI, a newsletter strategy as part of your email marketing can help you accomplish that task. In order to get the most from your campaign, however, use our guide above to maximize your conversions.