The Art of Writing Email Newsletter That Customers Actually Read
Newsletters can be an effective way to keep your customers posted on the latest products and changes in your company, as well as attract prospective clients. A well- written and adequately distributed newsletter is a core component of every solid marketing strategy. The tricky part is in producing a newsletter that readers will find useful.
Email newsletters come in two types: those that people read and those that are sent to the e-marketing graveyard also known as “spam folder.” The latter seems to be way more prevalent. And yet, there are quite a lot of newsletters enjoying considerable success and a sizable readership.
Let’s explore what makes people read some and not others.
Cater To the Needs of Your Customer Base
This may sound obvious, but so many companies don’t seem to get it right. Many businesses use newsletters when they need to spread the word about a new product quickly and with a very low cost. But unfortunately, its low cost makes many businesses invest little effort into crafting a good letter. That is, bombarding everyone within reach with tons of unsolicited emails with irrelevant content.
"It’s a senseless, aggressive strategy that has proven time and time again to be inefficient and counterproductive. Gaining notoriety for spreading spam will not do your company any good. Moreover, it can harm your business and deal a serious blow to your marketing goals." — says Amanda Sparks, marketer and author at TopDownWriter.
It’s about having the right approach.
The right way to do it is first to identify your target audience for a specific product and then deliver content that matches its needs and wants. Maintain mailing lists for various products, not only will it simplify the process, but it will also help you not cross-pollinate between customers with different needs.
Style Is Essential
It’s not always only about what you deliver to the reader, people care about how a text is written. In many cases, a well-crafted text is what gets you readers and return customers.
An excellent newsletter is like a newspaper, written by a columnist you’ve been following for quite a while. Having a journalistic tone will help you captivate the reader’s attention on what your newsletter has to offer.
The reader that has subscribed to your newsletter may have done it for several reasons. Maybe he finds valuable information there, maybe he keeps posted with the news, but maybe he founds your style of writing interesting and easy-going.
"Follow the same set of rules and principles when editing your text. This way, you’ll be able to deliver texts that have a tone that your subscribers enjoy," — suggests James Daily, content manager and a blogger at Brainished.
Newsletters Must Sound Human
Ensure that your customers receive only relevant and high-quality content by having a real person curate your newsletter. Don’t automate this process, as automation tools have a propensity for not being very accurate and picking subpar content. Sure, automated curation can save you time, but it comes at the cost of quality.
For example, the following email from CodeAcademy:
The main roadblock to writing a good newsletter is that you may not be very good with words. It’s a fact of life. Not everyone has a silver-tongued way with words; this is especially true in the marketing business. Many people in the industry who aren’t writers by trade have to write out of necessity because their boss told them to.
If you doubt your writing prowess and don’t want to leave your boss unsatisfied with your performance, it would be wise to contract the work out to a professional writer. An excellent place to start looking for someone like that is on sites for freelancers and professional writers, such as Fiverr , CanadaWriters or Upwork.
Focus on Mobile Users
Research suggests that in 2017, a whopping 60 percent of all email opens occurred on mobile devices with desktop opens making up only 16 percent of the total number. If at least half of your customers read email on mobile, it makes sense to target your newsletter at them.
Here are a few things you need to consider when optimizing for mobile:
- Use bigger fonts for better visibility and readability, don’t go below 15pt
- Avoid using long subject lines; their length shouldn’t exceed 40 characters
- Write less wordy newsletters, a lot of text can be hard to read on mobile
- Your newsletter shouldn’t be over 600 pixels wide. Not all devices can handle that width
- Use smaller images, and it will decrease the load time and use less bandwidth
The future looks mobile.
While the mobile phone is a relatively new invention, its booming success can no longer be ignored. Mobile marketing opens an endless array of new unexplored possibilities.
"The dynamic of marketing itself has shifted with the emergence of mobile phones and a decrease in desktop use. Today the marketing world spins according to different rules, and you need to follow the trends if you don’t want to get left behind." — says Amanda Reyes, email marketing manager at BestWritersCanada.
Don’t be oblivious to the needs and wants of your client base and deliver content they are interested in. Sell things that people need, rather than the things you need to sell.
Attract a particular audience with a relevant well-crafted newsletter. Spoon-feeding poor quality unsolicited content down random strangers’ throats is a detrimental business practice.
It would help if you didn't ignore the technical aspects of marketing. Most people are on mobile today, so look into adapting your newsletter to mobile users.